After four consecutive years of price declines, the fine wine market has levelled off and is showing tentative signs of a recovery. Although there is a perception that Bordeaux is expensive, the more accessibly priced wines remain popular and there are some signs that Bordeaux may be becoming undervalued relative to other regions. The First Growths’ second wines have done particularly well in the last year, but most of the Bordeaux sub-indices are showing some improvement. The exceptions are the First Growths and Sauternes. Overall the Liv-ex Bordeaux 500 Index is up 8.8% in Euro terms since the low in June 2014.
Bordeaux has, however, continued to lose market share in value terms to Burgundy, Champagne, Italy and the New World. These regions have all achieved record (or near-record) highs over the last year according to their respective Liv-ex indices. In a year, which has seen considerable uncertainty in financial and commodity markets, wine prices have proved remarkably resilient. Nevertheless, market conditions remain challenging. This shows up in the financial accounts of leading European merchants, where sales and margins have fallen sharply since the heady days of 2011.