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Bordeaux 2016: risers and fallers

The 2016 En Primeur campaign was greatly anticipated by the trade: it was the largest harvest in a decade and a high quality vintage – “one of the best years for fine wines in the last two decades”, according to James Suckling.

With the fanfare surrounding the vintage came higher-than-expected release prices, but overall the campaign appeared to be reasonably successful. Feedback from Liv-ex members showed that sales were their highest by value since the 2010 vintage.

However, behind the positive headlines, most merchants reported that only around 30 wines sold well, while many releases struggled. As a result, the campaign was dubbed by some as one “for the few, not the many”.

For further information on the 2016 campaign, you can read our concluding report here

The wines are now starting to be bottled and delivered. With this, secondary market trading has picked up and prices have started to move. The 2016s were the third most traded vintage last month, accounting for 10.8% of trade by value.

Of the 50 wines represented by the Bordeaux 500 Index, 11 have risen since release, one hasn’t budged, and 36 have dropped. On average their prices are up 2.4% since release, meaning that the vintage has underperformed against the market so far: The Bordeaux 500 Index is up 8.7% since April 2017.

The performance of the individual wines is mixed. The best and worst performing wines from the vintage can be found in the table above.

Those lucky enough to have secured an allocation of Lafleur 2016 will have seen the greatest returns since release. The wine is up an impressive 89% and currently commands a Market Price of £9,800 per 12×75. Likewise, lucky buyers of Le Pin will have seen increases of 71%.

Three Second Wines are among the top ten. Carruades Lafite 2016 is up the most (+64%), while Petit Mouton (40%) and Pavillon Rouge (23%) have also made strong gains.

A number of wines, however, are currently available at discounts to their release prices. Three of the five wines considered from Sauternes have failed to maintain their prices.

Pontet Canet 2016 has also been unable to sustain its release price, falling 17%. In our closing report we noted that the wine was one of the most overpriced upon release (overvalued by 64%).

Over the next few months, more of the wines will become physical and critics are expected to release their in-bottle reviews. As for their prices? Stay tuned.

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