Liv-ex’s ‘Fair Value’ methodology represents a useful approach to pricing wines. It uses regression analysis to measure the relationship between price and quality and establish the fair price of a wine based on its critic score and vintages already available in the market. Where there is a correlation (R-squared) between the scores and prices of over 50%, the trend line suggests a wine’s ‘Fair Value’. 

R-squared value (0% to 100%) measures how close the data points are to the fitted regression line. In general, the higher the R-squared, the better the regression line (or ‘trend line’) fits the data. In statistical terms, the R-squared measures how much of the variation in price can be explained by variations in score. For example, as the chart below shows, Lafleur’s prices have historically shown a strong correlation (90%) to Neal Martin scores.  

‘Fair Value’ is a more rigorous way of assessing the price of a wine rather than the antiquated focus on year-on-year price change. For instance, a wine can go up in price from the previous year and still be undervalued if its quality is markedly better. We hypothesise that, over time, wines will tend toward their ‘Fair Value’ price. Typically, though not always, the most ‘undervalued’ wines provide the best returns as the price moves up to ‘Fair Value’ in the secondary market, whereas ‘overvalued’ wines provide the worst return. 

How to price En Primeur using ‘Fair Value’ 

Our analysis can be used to approximate the ‘Fair Value’ of a wine by looking at the price implied by the trend line, based on its score. However, it is expected that En Primeur releases should be priced at discounts to the trend line as buying En Primeur tends to carry more risk than buying wines that are physically available in the market. 

Other influences on price  

For some wines, age has a greater influence on price than score. This may be because buyers are seeking exposure to a particular brand and are prepared to pay a premium based on age. Prices for Beychevelle, for example, are more closely correlated to their age (82%) than their score (13%), suggesting that age is the key influencer of price. 

Why we use Neal Martin in our posts  

Historically, our ‘Fair Value’ methodology showed ‘Benchmark Critic’ scores (i.e. Robert Parker from 2005-2012 and Neal Martin from 2013-present) which were designed to consider both Parker’s continued influence and the changing face of wine criticism. 

However, in our 2021 annual En Primeur survey, we asked Liv-ex members to list the critics that have greatest influence on their – and by extension their clients’ – buying decisions. Neal Martin (Vinous) topped the rankings as the most trusted Bordeaux En Primeur critic.  

As such, with Robert Parker now long retired and considering Neal Martin’s position as the most influential Bordeaux En Primeur critic, our release posts and the Fair Value Tool now cover the most recent Neal Martin scores from the past ten vintages. 

How to find more information 

That said, to reflect the ever-increasing critical landscape, our Fair Value Tool has been updated so that Liv-ex members can filter between their favourite critics. 

The tool now includes the following critics and publications: Neal Martin (Vinous), Jane Anson (Inside Bordeaux), Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Antonio Galloni (Vinous), James Suckling, Jeb Dunnuck, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Independent). 

The Fair Value tool allows you to view the charts in real-time and in multiple currencies: GBP (12×75), EUR (1×75) and USD (1×75). The tool is exclusively available to Liv-ex members on Silver packages or higher.  

We also monitor the En Primeur scores of 16 leading critics (via our critics scores grid) and refer to multiple opinions in our release analysis posts to give a broad and balanced context for understanding new releases.  



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