The Top Five 'most powerful' wines of 2009
The Top Five 'most powerful' wines of 2009
Here are the market's strongest fine wine brands in 2009, according to the industry's Live-Ex index
With Christmas very nearly upon us, corks on wine bottles will soon be popping all over the land.
And buyers and sellers of fine wines will likely be among them, toasting what has been a great year for the wine collectors' market, despite the recession.
The marketrecovered strongly during the second half of 2009and continues to outperform the stock market according to Liv-Ex, the industry standard index.
This success was thankspartly to growing interest in Asia, with the top wines performing better than ever during some periods of the year.
Last month, Liv-Ex marked the close of 2009 with theirlatest Top 100 'power' list.
Let's take a look at the Top Five most powerful wines in the global collectors' market...
- Bordeaux Latour
Latour's power status has dipped slightly this year. According to Liv-Ex, this could be because it doesn't have a large enough following in the Far East.
Chteau Lafite Rothschild is Liv-Ex's #1
The issue here could be brand-related: "Latour" in Chinese apparently means "to collapse" - the last association any drinks brand wants associated with it.
It is also speculated that Latour's overly-controlling nature could have impeded its market impact. Latour often likes to withhold stock, in contrast to the laissez faire attitude of otherchteaux, such as Lafite.
This means that you are far more likely to see 100 bottle cases of chteaux Lafiteat auction, and only a six bottle case of theLatour.
- Bordeaux Ptrus
Right bank Bordeaux enjoyed arather lacklustre performance in this year's Liv-Ex chart. Among them, Ptrus has seen a mere 1% rise.Thismay be because it, likeother right bank fine wines, hasn't established a strong presence in Asia.
This contrasts to the UK, where, according to C&B's Oliver Hartly, the Ptrus 2008 vintage was oversubscribed by a factor of nine.
"In the secondary market, there is only so much wine people are going to buy and consume. And, in China, there are a very small number of collectors," he told Liv-Ex.
Nevertheless, Ptrus can certainly claim to be a critic's favourite. The pre-eminent fine wines expert Robert Parker awarded the 1961 Chteau Ptrus a 100/100 "perfect" rating.
- Burgundy DRC
DRC is the most expensive fine wine traded on Liv-Ex's list. But it isn't the trade's most powerful brand because, says Liv-Ex,its 6,500 case production is too small to impact the market.
Nevertheless, 2009 reportedly sawa risingmarket presencefor Burgundy. Twice as much was traded compared to 2008,witha massive increasefor Leflaive, DRC, Rousseau, Raveneau and Comte Lafon.
This is reportedly due to bigger demand for Burgundy from Asia; including DRC, Leroux, De Vogue, Dujac and other great smaller producers.
- Bordeaux Mouton Rothschild
The Mouton Rothschild has enjoyed an improved performance on this year's Live-Ex list, progressively moving from fifth, to fourth, and then most recently to second place in 2009.
Live-Ex speculates that this may be down toMouton Rothschild'sappointment of new winemaker Phillipe Dhalluin in 2000, in collaboration with Bordeaux's legendary consultant Jacques Boissenot.
Together, they have successfully ended Mouton's period of producing first growths which fell short of expectation.
Mouton became the most traded first growth in 2009's first quarter.And itcould be the next star wine in the Asian markets, as Lafite becomes either too scarce or too expensive. "Mouton is in vogue,"concludes Liv-Ex's report.
- Bordeaux Lafite Rothschild
Without question, Lafite Rothschild has certainly made its presence felt on the auction block throughout 2009.
Half a dozen bottles of 1982 Chteau Lafite-Rothschild doubled their estimate at Christie's in November.
Expected to sell for as little as $18,000, the selection sparked some very competitive bidding and was eventually taken away for $38,400.
The following month, another 12 bottles of 1982 Chteau Lafite-Rothschild entered a Chicago auction with a $20,400-27,600 estimate. They eventually sold for $35,891.
The availability of Lafite Rothschild in 12 bottle cases, andthe legendary reputation which precedes is, sees it easily dominate Live-Ex's 2009.
Its scarcity and value will only increase in 2010.
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