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Bordeaux’s price performance in 2021

By February 2, 2022Bordeaux, Fine Wine Market
  • Prices for Bordeaux’s top wines rose 10.5% in 2021
  • The First Growths have seen the biggest price rises in 2021, led by Lafite Rothschild.
  • Lafite Rothschild and Rieussec are among the top 10 price risers in the Bordeaux 500 index

Prices for Bordeaux’s top wines rose 10.5% in 2021


Prices for Bordeaux’s leading estates were on the rise in 2021 as shown by the Bordeaux 500 index, which represents the price movement of 500 leading wines from the region.

The index is calculated using the Mid-Price, which is based on the activity of 570 merchant members of Liv-ex from across the globe (bid, offer and trade) on the Liv-ex trading platform.

In 2021, the Bordeaux 500 Index was up 10.5%.

However, the index was the weakest performer of the Liv-ex 1000’s sub-indices. By contrast, other regions had a far a better year; Burgundy and Champagne prices for example were up 31.0% and 41.5% respectively. A topic we delve into further in our report on the fine wine market in 2021.

In a year where blue chips were back in vogue, what held back Bordeaux’s prices? The following post takes a deeper look at the performance of the Bordeaux 500’s sub-indices to see which wines drove (or lagged in) price performance.

The First Growths lead in terms of price performance


Perhaps unsurprisingly, the First Growths saw the biggest price rises on average in 2021 (+13.2%), as the chart above shows.

This performance was largely driven by Château Lafite Rothschild, particularly in the second half of 2021 after the estate informed the market that it would not be releasing any château stock for the remainder of the year. Seven of the top 10 price performers in the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 index are from the estate, as shown in the table below.

Top 10 price performers in the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 over one year

*Made using Indices Explorer. Data taken from 31st January 2022.


The second-best performer was the Right Bank 50. The sub-index tracks the price performance of the ten most recent physical vintages for five leading wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank: Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Lafleur, Petrus and Le Pin.

In a year characterised by a return to blue chip labels, it is unsurprising that this sub-index has also fared well. However, it is worth noting that price performance across the region is not uniform. The Right Bank 100, for example, was the worst-performing of the Bordeaux 500’s sub-indices in 2021, rising a modest 5.9%.

It was outtrumped by the Sauternes 50 (+9.0%), which has historically lagged behind the other Bordeaux sub-indices.

Top 10 price performers in the Bordeaux 500 over one year


*Made using Indices Explorer. Data taken from 31st January 2022.

The table above shows which wines have driven the price performance of the Bordeaux 500 index over one year.

Interestingly, several wines from Sauternes feature in the top 10. Château Rieussec 2011 is in the top spot (+52%), while its 2017 vintage and Château Climens 2008 also feature, up 29.1% and 32.3% respectively. Buyers of Rieussec 2011 at en primeur (£350) have now seen a positive return on their purchase. Not so yet for the 2017 vintage, despite its recent rise.

In second place is Château Lafite Rothschild’s 2017 vintage, up 34.3% – the château was the most traded wine (LWIN7) on Liv-ex by value and the second-most by volume in 2021. It also jumped from 11th place to 2nd place in the 2021 Liv-ex Power 100.

Château Lafite Rothschild 2017 trades on Liv-ex

Liv-ex analysis is drawn from the world’s most comprehensive database of fine wine prices. The data reflects the real time activity of Liv-ex’s 560+ merchant members from across the globe. Together they represent the largest pool of liquidity in the world – currently £100m of bids and offers across 16,000 wines. Independent data, direct from the market. 

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