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Liv-ex optimistic about fine wine market heading into 2015

Published:  18 December, 2014

Bordeaux's fine wine market "looks to be recovering", says fine wine exchange Liv-ex, whose 100 index has showed gains over the past four months, with its 50-index holding steady since July.

However, while early reports of the coming vintage are promising both from a size and quality perspective, the success of the en primeur campaign will all hinge on price.

Liv-exLiv-ex is more confident than in previous years about 2015

2014 showed a shift from the traditional pattern of the past three years, which saw values pick up in the first quarter, only to be "dashed by a mispriced en primeur campaign". But this year, the 2013 release "failed to provide a first quarter bounce, while the final quarter seems to be signalling a turn in sentiment".

The burgeoning appetite for fine wines from outside the Bordeaux heartland has meant the Rest of the World 50 is Liv-ex's best performing index in 2014, rising 2.8%. Growing the fine wine trade to better reflect wines from outside Bordeaux "points to a healthier, broader market", the report states. 


The top 10 wines in the Liv-ex Top 1000 index are dominated by California's Dominus, whose 2004 vintage, occupying pole position on the list, was worth £772 on December 2013 and has rocketed by 48% to £1,145 in November 2014. Its 2001 and 2003 vintages take up third and fourth positions respectively, with growth of between 32% and 40%.

Rhone's Ermitage Pavillon 2011, by Chapoutier, comes in in second place, showing growth of 41% in just under a year to £1,738. Italy's Tignanello 2008 has increased in value by 28% to £590, while the rest of the top performers are all French - four from Bordeaux and one Champagne.

Since January 2011, "market shares for regions beyond Bordeaux and Burgundy have risen for the fourth consecutive year, reflecting a broadening market. Italy and the Rhone have risen from 3.5% and 2.8% in 2013 to 5.3% and 3.6% in 2014, respectively. At the peak of the market, Bordeaux accounted for 93.2% of market trade by value, but as its star has fallen, and First Growth demand has waned, its share has fallen to 78.9%", the report shows.

"It remains to be seen whether breaking the cycle of the previous three years will lead to a longer-term change in direction, but sentiment certainly feels a great deal more positive than it did going into 2014."