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Vinous publishes Neal Martin’s Bordeaux 2021 in-bottle scores 

What’s happening in the market? 

Bordeaux has led trade since last Friday, holding 36.1% of total trade by value. Activity for the region was driven by wines from Château Mouton Rothschild and Petrus, accounting for 14.9% and 31.1% of Bordeaux trade respectively. 

Burgundy followed with 21.1% of regional trade, buoyed by Maison Leroy, Volnay 2003 and Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru, Les Suchots 2013 among the most traded wines by value since last Friday.    

Meanwhile, there has been an uptick in activity for the USA, which held 13.0% of overall trade since last Friday. Screaming Eagle held 7.3% of total trade with the 2007, 2012 and 2019 vintages of the Cabernet Sauvignon changing hands as well as the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc

Today’s deep-dive: Neal Martin’s Bordeaux 2021 in-bottle scores

On Thursday, Vinous published Neal Martin’s Bordeaux 2021 in bottle report titled ‘2+2=5: Bordeaux 2021 In Bottle’. 

In the report, Martin notes that ‘off-vintages’ like the 2021 can surprise with wines that defy expectations. Despite the challenges faced during the growing season, he suggests that dismissing these wines outright without tasting them first would be premature. While the critic cautions that he has barely scored any wines over 95 points, he urges against underestimating the vintage’s potential for both ‘sensory and intellectual pleasure’.  

The table above shows Neal Martin’s top-scoring 2021 wines compared to their in-barrel scores from 2022. Overall, Martin scored 685 wines, only seven of which received a score over 95 – and notably, four of them are white wines.  

Fair Value analysis 

As per the chart below, the 2021 vintage comes in above the Fair Value line, suggesting that on average, given their lower scores, 2021 wines are priced higher than the level implied by Liv-ex’s Fair Value methodology.   

Note: The wines considered in this analysis all feature within the Bordeaux 500 index, and In order to qualify and all have a Market Price and a Neal Martin score for vintages 2011-2021.  

In terms of scores, the 2021 vintage is middling, with an average of 93.3 points for the 41 wines considered. That said, it fares considerably better than the 2012 vintage with an average score of 92.1 points. The fact that the 2021 commands an average Market Price similar to that of the 2018, 2019 and 2020, however, which achieved an average score of 95.1, 95.6 and 95.7 points respectively, suggests that there is much to fear regarding its market performance.  

However, there is still value to be found in the 2021. Of the wines whose Market Prices have a correlation with Neal Martin scores, those that fall under the fair value line include Château Les Carmes Haut Brion, Château La Conseillante, Château Grand Mayne and Château Rauzan-Ségla. Liv-ex members can explore more on the Fair Value tool

There are 255 LIVE bids and offers for Bordeaux 2021 on Liv-ex. Log in to the exchange to view them and trade. 

In case you missed it 

Here’s what we’ve been reading:  

  • Liv-ex: Bordeaux 1990-2020 – The best of the back vintages 
  • The drinks business: Can premium wine be recession-proof? 
  • Reuters: Soaring Japanese equities offer investors cozy distance from troubled China 

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 620+ merchant members from across the globe. Together they represent the largest pool of liquidity in the world – currently £100m of bids and offers across 20,000 wines.               

Independent data, direct from the market.