Liv-ex is launching a new index – the Liv-ex Claret Chip. Born of a desire to produce an index that is fully investable and transparent, it consists only of top-rated Bordeaux First Growths. Its components are chosen according to the index rules, rather than by committee, and there is no weighting for scarcity or production.
The rules are as follows:
• Left Bank First Growths only
• Components must score 95 points or above from Robert Parker (official erobertparker.com score only)
• Wines added when physically available and final bottle scores given (generally three years after vintage)
• Components removed after 15 years from vintage
• Components reviewed at 6 month intervals (30 June and 31 December)
As with the Liv-ex 100 Fine Wine Index, the components are priced with the Liv-ex Mid Price – the mid-point between the best bid and best offer on the Liv-ex fine wine exchange – the most accurate measure of real value available.
As you can see from the graph, the Liv-ex Claret Chip Index has outperformed other Liv-ex indices since January 2004 – the date the indices were rebased at 100 – with its current level of 298.53 some 13% above that of the next best performer, the Liv-ex 100.
An investment of £37,707 in January 2004, plus a further £21,812 to buy the proceeding vintages as they became available in bottle, would now be worth £121,716. A 104% return on investment. In addition, you would also have received £10,616 from selling off the wines from 1989 and 1990, increasing the return to 127%. It seems that simply buying the most highly rated First Growths when they become physically available has been an excellent investment strategy. With the 2005 Bordeaux wines having joined the Liv-ex Claret Chip at the end of June, it will be the future performance of this vintage – which has only just arrived in bottle – that will largely decide if it continues to be.