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The impact of Cheval Blanc, Ausone and Angélus’ withdrawal from the Saint-Émilion classification

By August 23, 2022Bordeaux, Fine Wine Market
  • Following the withdrawal of Cheval Blanc, Ausone and Angélus from the Saint-Émilion classification, Pavie is the only Premier Grand Cru Classé A estate remaining.
  • There has been no discernible effect on their secondary market performance since their decision to leave.
  • Cheval Blanc has been the top-traded and best-performing estate.

An article last week examined the secondary market performance of Château Figeac and Château Canon. Both estates are potential candidates for promotion to Premier Grand Cru Classé A in the upcoming revision of the Saint-Émilion classification.

Today we look at the estates that have decided to leave the classification, namely Château Cheval Blanc, Château Ausone (both of which withdrew July 2021) and Château Angélus (January 2022), and how they have fared against the remaining Premier Grand Cru Classé A, Château Pavie.

The ‘big four’ lead Saint-Émilion Grand Cru trade

Year-to-date, Cheval Blanc leads trade within the appellation, replacing Angélus, which had the top spot in 2020 and 2021.

Pavie and Ausone have maintained their positions, while increasing their shares of trade on the last two years.

Price performance

When it comes to price performance on the secondary market, there has been no discernible long-term effect for the three estates following their withdrawal.

As the chart below shows, the Cheval Blanc and Ausone indices closed July 2021 down 3.0% and 1.5% respectively. However, they quickly made up for this dip. Meanwhile, Angélus went up 0.2% in January 2022, after announcing its exit.

In fact, Cheval Blanc has seen prices rise since the withdrawal announcement, helped (no doubt) by two well-judged releases in this year’s and last year’s En primeur campaigns which have cast a positive light on the brand.

Longer term impact of Covid-19

As can be seen from the chart below, the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have had a greater immediate impact on the performance of these estates than any withdrawal announcements.

All four estates saw prices fall much more sharply in the beginning of 2020, as borders closed and Asian buyers pulled back.

Cheval Blanc has recovered since then and prices have risen 20.4% on average over the last three years.

Likewise, Angélus has seen prices rise 6.5% and Pavie 2.9%. Only Ausone has remained in negative territory, down 6.1%.

However, looking back to 2017-2019 one can see that Ausone’s price performance was drifting even before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Liv-ex members can explore their individual price performance via the Charting Tool.

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 600 merchant members from across the globe. Together they represent the largest pool of liquidity in the world – currently £80m of bids and offers across 16,000 wines. Independent data, direct from the market.

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