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Fine wine news roundup: 10-16 November


Posted in: Wine Market News

Tagged: Auction results

Bordeaux bounces back

After reaching an all-time monthly low of 56.4% in September, Bordeaux’s trade share appears to be recovering, with an average 62.4% in October and a higher 67/8% by value last week. First Growths were particularly strong at 27.7% of all activity.

Burgundy rose to 16.6% of trade by value, up from 12.8% the previous week, while Champagne saw the biggest drop, falling to 1.6% from 7.9%.

As Liv-ex reports, these figures correspond with renewed critical interest in the region, following the release of Bordeaux 2016 in-bottle scores from several prominent critics.


Fine wine now cheaper in USD

Liv-ex has conducted a review into the performance of the Liv-ex 100 by currency. The industry benchmark is calculated in Sterling and has risen 18.4% over the past five years. However, fine wine is now cheaper in USD than it was five years ago.

“A catalyst for rising prices in Sterling was its weakening following the EU referendum in mid-2016,” Liv-ex says. “Almost overnight, dollar buyers saw around a 10% discount on UK-based stock, increasing US and Asia-based buying activity and stimulating the market.”

Over the last year, the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 has risen 1.6%. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 equities index has dropped 5.1% and has seen considerable comparative volatility.


Verite 2015 released

For the first time, the Verite estate in Sonoma Valley has released its flagship wines – La Muse, La Joie and Le Desir – as a 3-pack collection case.

As Liv-ex reports, the 2015 vintages have been released at €660 per 3×75 ex-negociant. Last year, each bottle was offered at €210 ex-negociant. The international retail price of the assortment is £3,560 per 12×75, a 1% discount on the 2014 release price of £3,600 in sterling terms. This year, there is 60% less volume coming to the market.

Le Desir, La Joie and La Muse have been awarded 100, 99 and 97 points respectively by Lisa Perotti-Brown, who described the top scoring Le Desir as “very firm and elegant yet incredibly intense in the mouth”.

The release price of the assortment currently sits above almost all other recent vintages available in the market. As an individual wine, only La Joie 2005, which offers bottle age, commands a slightly higher price. Liv-ex suggests that buyers wishing to focus on a single bottle might look at previous vintages, which may present better value. However, the relatively low availability and pack diversity of this year’s release might attract attention.


Buyers spend more than US$5m on top claret at Chicago sale

Bidders at US auction house Hart Davis Hart’s annual Bordeaux-only sale spent more than US$5m on Petrus and other top claret last weekend.

The two-day sale realised a total of $5.3m and was 100% sold, with 93% of the 1,461 lots selling above their pre-sale high estimates.

Sixty lots of Petrus dominated the sale, with a 12-bottle case of the 1989 sold as the top lot for a final hammer price of $50,190. Elsewhere, First Growths of Lafite, Mouton Rothschild, Margaux and Latour combined to make $2.1m out of the final total.


Sotheby’s to offer ‘glorious’ collection in London and NYC

Auction house Sotheby’s will offer a ‘glorious’ array of fine wines from the private collection of a European connoisseur this winter, at auctions in London and New York.

The London sale, taking place on 21 November, will feature 486 lots worth an estimated £550,000. Champagne features heavily, with highlights including: the 1990, 1996 and 1999 vintages of Bollinger’s ‘Vieilles Vignes Francaises’; Grande Année dating back to 1985; 1990 Dom Perignon; 1988 Krug; 1988 Clos du Mesnil; 1996 Cristal; 1990 Salon; the 1996 and 2002 vintages of Pol Roger’s Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill; and Comtes de Champagne.

Highights from the New York sale, which takes place on 8 December, include 1997 and 2001 Harlan Estate, and Shafer’s 2005 Hillside Select Cabernet. Bordeaux and Burgundy will also be well represented, with bottles and cases of rarities such as Domaine Ramonet’s 1992 Montrachet, 1988 Richebourg from Domaine Leroy, 1998 Clos St Jacques from Domaine Armand Rousseau, Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue's 1978 Bonnes Mares, 1982 Mouton Rothschild, 1989 and 1990 Petrus and 1928 Palmer.

Sotheby’s honorary chairman, Serena Sutcliffe MW, said: “This is one of the most evocative collections of wine we have brought to auction.”

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