First growth prices have fallen 39% since the market peaked in 2011. The last year has seen some recovery, with the Fine Wine 50 index rising 0.94%, yet it is undeniable that the headline numbers are negative. But are the first growths an accurate representation of the whole Bordeaux market?
The Right Bank 100 has been the star performer since the market peaked, climbing 7.6% over this time. There is a clear divide in the performance of the ten individual wines: five have risen, and five have fallen. The top performer is Angelus, which has rocketed 35.5% since July 2011. It was boosted by its promotion to Premier Grand Cru Classé A in the September 2012 St Emilion reclassification, while fellow promoted wine Pavie has risen 17.3%. Clos Fourtet, with a 33.8% gain, is the second best performer, having seen trade invigorated in recent years by the 100 points awarded to its 2009 vintage, and Parker’s description of the wine as “one of the greatest immature Bordeaux I have ever tasted”.
The Bordeaux 500 as a whole has fallen by 20.2% during this time and the Right Bank 100 has been the only index to see a gain. If it had fallen at the same rate as the Left Bank 200 – and perhaps if Angelus and Pavie had not been promoted – then the Bordeaux 500 would now be down 23.1%.
Nonetheless, the impact of the promotion has slowed. Following 13 consecutive monthly rises throughout 2012-2013, the Right Bank 100’s growth has stagnated, and the second, third, fourth and fifth growths from the other side of the Gironde have outperformed it.
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