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LIVE opportunities: finding the value in ‘great’ First Growth vintages

  • Taking the average critic scores across the 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2018 vintages, Mouton Rothschild’s 2016 vintage has the highest rating among the First Growths.
  • The 2016s consistently look to offer considerable value versus their fellow ‘great’ vintages.
  • Margaux 2015 has been the best-performing wine among this selection of First Growth vintages, up over 100% since release.

Pick of the bunch

There is much debate about use of the word ‘great’ in relation to Bordeaux vintages. The 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2018 vintages tend to be the lead candidates in any such conversation but which look to offer the best value among the First Growths?

Taking the scores from Neal Martin and Antonio Galloni at Vinous, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW and James Suckling, the best average rating by a clear margin is Mouton Rothschild’s 2016 vintage.

Among the other Mouton wines from this selection of vintages, the 2016 at £5,450 per 12×75 is also the second cheapest; with the 2015 costing £4,580.

Value in 2016

The 2016 vintage overall among the First Growths looks very strong. All five wines from that vintage hold an average score of 98 and above (Latour has been excluded from the table because the wine is not physical yet).

It is also noticeable that the wines released post 2010 have, in general, held their value much better than the 2009 and 2010s. Latour’s 2010 is the only First Growth from either of these blockbuster vintages to see its price gain since release.

The best-performing wine overall, however, is Margaux’s 2015 vintage. Presented in a limited-edition bottle to mark the estate’s 200th anniversary, it was the last vintage of the late Paul Pontallier; it has appreciated 137.6% since release.

Released at £4,850 it has a Market Price today of £10,100, despite having an average score of 96.8 from the selected critics – though both Martin and Perrotti-Brown individually rated the wine 99.

Earth Day’ First Growth

And for those looking for ‘Earth Day’ appropriate First Growths, Mouton Rothschild’s 2008 might be on the cards, with the label art by Chinese artist Xu Lei apparently representing, “the role of a great wine as a link between people and cultures, from one hemisphere to the other of ‘planet wine’.”

It has a current Market Price of £4,340 (12×75).

The Liv-ex 2020 En Primeur Report is now available to read and download here.

LIVE offers – Bordeaux Blue Chip