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It’s all gone quiet…

The last week has been one of relative quiet on the fine wine markets. Perhaps the fine wine trade has been busy sharpening its pencils and flexing its typing fingers ahead of the big release of Parker’s final in-bottle 2005 scores later this week (expected on his website this Thursday). As Mike Steinberger wrote in the latest edition of the World of Fine Wine: ‘It is axiomatic now that he is the most powerful critic the world has ever seen, in any field.’ You may disagree with his preferences (or dislike his dominance) but you can’t deny that he moves (and even makes) the market.

The release of Parker’s final bottles scores, always a relatively big event, has taken on even greater significance this year due to the quality of the 2005 vintage; the extraordinary prices these wines are already reaching; and the relative non-event of the 2007 vintage (the scores of which are being released concurrently). As usual, expect to see a number of price jumps for wines that have been given significant upgrades and those that receive the magic 100-points. Whether these price increases will be as big as in previous years is something that will be interesting to watch. With many wines having increased significantly in price since release it has been suggested that a number of them are already priced for the top of their score ranges and will not move significantly. Perhaps the most interesting moves we see this year will be in the other direction, with those wines that don’t get the expected ratings seeing a correction?

As a taster, below is a graph and table detailing some of the 2005 wines that have shown the biggest price increases since release, with Parker’s original scores (RP) and James Suckling’s final Wine Spectator scores (JS).


  Wine  Release price Best Price April ’08 % increase RP WS
  Angelus £1,400 £2,100 50.0 96-99 96
  Ausone £8,500 £21,350 151.2 98-100 100
  Carruades de Lafite £410 £1,200 192.7 N/A 89
  Haut Brion £3,500 £7,950 127.1 96-100 100
  Lafite Rothschild £3,900 £8,650 121.8 94-98 98
  Latour  £4,500 £10,200 126.7 96-99 99
  Margaux £4,500 £8,800 95.6 98-100 100
  Mission Haut Brion £1,550 £5,800 274.2 96-100 97
  Palmer £1,370 £2,800 104.4 94-96 95
  Pavie £1,800 £2,835 57.5 98-100 100
  Petrus £18,000 £32,000 77.8 98-100 100


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