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  Latest Offers November 2010 - 10th November 2010
By Thomas Gearing - Cult Wines Ltd -

This is our current list of offers. See below for complete write up.

Ch. Margaux 2009 @
£8,500 per case (12x75cl)

Ch. Lafite Rothschild 2008 @
£13,000 per case (12x75cl)

Carruades de Lafite 2009 @
£3,200 per case (12x75cl)

Forts de Latour 2009 @
£1,675 per case (12x75cl)

Pavillon Rouge du Margaux 2009 @
£1,250 per case (12x75cl)

Bahans Haut Brion 2006 @
£865 per case (12x75cl)

Pontet Canet 2009 @
£1,185 per case (12x75cl)

Château Margaux 2009 (98-100 pts)

Considered by some experts as potentially the wine of the 2009 vintage, Margaux has produced one of its greatest ever wines, with owner Paul Pontallier believing the wine to be “the greatest young Margaux of the last 30 years”.

Having produced one of their finest ever vintages, Margaux have been determined to increase their foothold in the Asian market. Thibault Pontallier, 24-year old son of Château Margaux owner Paul Pontallier, has moved to Hong Kong to promote and act the ambassador for the brand at the Château’s recently opened Hong Kong office. This effort from Margaux is a strong indication of the demand coming from the Asian market.

Parker awarded Margaux 2009 a potential maximum 98-100 points en primeur. This puts Margaux on a par-score with Lafite, Latour and Haut Brion out of the first growths, with many of the top experts – such as Jancis Robinson and Decanter – rating Margaux the wine of the vintage. In Parker’s tasting notes:

“Thirty-five percent of the crop went into the 2009 Chateau Margaux, composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The alcohol level of 13.3% is high, but not excessively so. A wine such as this is like the quintessence of terroir. A super, uber-concentrated perfume of creme de cassis and flowers cascades across the palate with a lightness of being despite massive concentration, a sumptuous personality, and an unctuous texture. I have never tasted a Chateau Margaux quite like this. It should be relatively drinkable at an early age, yet will last for 50-100 years. Oh my!”.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

With the astronomical release prices of the 2009 vintage, the focus for the last few months has been firmly on the second wines and highly-rated previous vintages offering better value. However, recent weeks has seen a surge in demand for Bordeaux first-growth wines, particularly the top rated 2009’s. Lafite 2009 has seen growth around 16.7% in less than a week on the exchange and market prices for Latour rose from around £11,500 at the end of October, to £13,500 on the 5th November. This strong uptake in two of the ‘wines of the vintage’, symbolizes the market’s renewed demand for the 2009 wines now the top value back vintages and super seconds have had the chance to play catch up. With the Margaux – rated 98-100 points by Parker – now priced 59% below the similarly rated Lafite and Latour, it seems obvious where the current value lies for the highly sought after 2009 vintage.

Ch. Lafite Rothschild 2008 (98 – 100 pts) *very limited supply

Why Invest in Lafite 2008?

With the 2009 En Primeur campaign the most expensive of recent times (Lafite Rothschild 2009 trading @ £13,500), interest continues to grow for the well-received 2008’s. Parker scored all the first growths at 95+, with Lafite Rothschild scoring a potential maximum (98-100pts). Recently Parker made his case for the 2008 vintage, stating:

“some very strong wines, particularly from the top properties in the Médoc… given what will be the enormous hype machine buttressing the 2009 campaign, 2008 is a vintage that smart money will seek out.”

He continued: "More and more I am convinced that in ten years this vintage will prove to be far superior overall to 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007, and not far off the quality of the 2005 and 2009."

However, the appeal of Lafite 2008 was taken to a new level when the estate announced that all of the 75cl and magnum bottles of this vintage will feature the auspicious Chinese symbol for the number 8, an announcement which saw the price of the en primeur rise around 40% in less than a week.

Many commentators now believe that Lafite 2008 should be treated as its own entity, with its price and desirability in the Far East now impossible to predict.

2 Year expected growth: 40%
5 Year expected growth: 100%+

Carruades de Lafite 2009 (92-94+ pts) @ £3,150 per case (12x75cl)

Enormously popular in the Far East Carruades de Lafite has been one of the biggest Liv-ex movers over the past year across all vintages. (Please see table below) The 2008 alone has increased 528% since its release in April 2009. The 2009 is rated at 92-94+pts whereas its 2008 counterpart is rated at 91-93pts one can therefore expect unrivalled returns in the next 6-12months. The demand for Carruades de Lafite in Asia is second only to Lafite Rothschild and this has had an unprecedented effect on price levels. I would strongly suggest adding Carruades de Lafite 2009 to any investment portfolio.

Similarly to Duhart, Carruades de Lafite has an almost identical label therefore increasing its sales potential in Asia. Currently, Carruades de Lafite 2000 which scored 87-89pts out of barrel – trades on average at £3,500 per case. Therefore, in the long-term this year’s vintage definitely offers investors a stable return likely to be between 75-100% over 2 years.

Below is the "Liv-ex En Primeur Hall of Fame" - the top 20 performing chateaux according to our study.

Pop Value - Price Over Points

This value is calculated by reducing the RPJ score to a 20 point scale, from 80-100pts. The reason for this is that any wine under 80 pts has little or no re-sale value on the secondary market; therefore wines under this level are discarded. Parker’s point system doesn’t drop below 50 pts anyway.

Once the scores have been reduced to a 20 point scale, if you divide the market value of the wine by its score you will get its price per point. With this figure you can predict future values of non-physical wines (en primeur).

Average market price for Carruades de Lafite @ 90pts: £3,355
90 Points = 10 (New Scale)

Pop Value: 3355/10 = 335.5

Carruades de Lafite 2009 – 92-94+ pts. Therefore at a score of 92 (12) this wine has a potential value of £4,026. If scored at 94 (14), the wine has a potential value of £4,697. If however the wine matures over time (which the majority of top fine wine does) and it is scored over 94 points. Then at 95 (15) the wine could worth £5,033.

Based on current demand and activity of back vintages, Carruades de Lafite 2009 has a potential value of £4,026 - £5,033. (30-60% growth) in the next 18 months.

I would strongly advise you to invest in this wine, as over the next 2/3 years this wine has the potential to return 75%. It offers the perfect introduction for any investor into the fine wine market. At a reasonable capital investment, investors have the opportunity to buy the highest ever scoring Carruades de Lafite, a wine which as the graph above shows has been the best performing Bordeaux wine available to buy in the market (due to it’s incredible popularity in Asia).

3 year expected growth: 75%

Forts de Latour 2009 (93-95pts)

Tasting Notes:

Perhaps the finest example ever made (including the extraordinary 1982) of Les Forts de Latour. An opaque purple color is followed by notes of black fruits, crushed rocks, spring flowers, and hints of blackberries and smoke. Prodigiously rich and thick with an amazingly long finish of 50 seconds, this astonishing second wine will undoubtedly put on weight before bottling, and should last for 25-30 years. (Tasted once.)

There is no doubting that Director Frederic Engerer and owner Francois Pinault are thrilled with what they have accomplished at Latour. These three wines are hugely different in price, but all are extraordinary. Drink 2010-2040.

Robert Parker added an asterisk to this wine score to signify that it is a wine he considers has the finest potential of all the offerings he has ever tasted from this estate in nearly 32 years of barrel tasting samples in Bordeaux.

Score: 93-95
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

With Forts de Latour 2008 already trading above £2,000 – there is no doubt in time the 2009 vintage will overtake this wine in terms of price. Forts de Latour, like so many second wines, has a fantastic reputation in Asia and with the limited supply of the 2009 (20% lower than normal) once this wine is bottled there is no doubt this will accelerate in price greatly. Considering the 2009 vintage is the best yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was worth closer to £3,000 by delivery in Spring 2012.

Pavillon Rouge 2009 (91-93pts)

There is no doubt that Pavillon Rouge is this year’s Carruades. Prices don’t look like slowing down and if you had the chance to go back and buy Carruades at around £1,200 a case you would in a heartbeat (here’s that chance!). Chateau Margaux are also firmly on the charm offensive in China (Thibault Pontallier, the son of Chateau Margaux managing director Paul Pontallier is currently in Asia as a Brand Ambassador) – so there is a lot of growth potential. With first growth prices for the 2009 vintage continuing to rise, buyers in Asia will certainly be looking at the more affordable second wines to get their hands on their favourite ‘labels’.

Pontet Canet 2009 (96-100pts)

This Pontet Canet is potentially perfect and this has been reflected in Parker’s score of 97-100pts. Without a doubt, one of the best wines that the estate has ever produced and at £1,185/case is the cheapest potential 100pt wine of the 2009 vintage. When you consider the current market prices for the other potential 100pt wines of the 2009 vintage, Leoville Las Cases (£2,400), Montrose (£1,500), and Pavie (£2,000) this wine seems extremely undervalued. At such a low capital level, it offers the perfect introduction for any investor into the fine wine market. Pontet Canet 2005 has appreciated around 70% since it’s release back in 2006. The 2009 vintage has already risen 30% since release back in May and is set to out perform it’s 05 counterpart by quite some distance. This is a wine with a successful trading history, high demand and a potential 100pt score.

Bahans Haut Brion 2006 (88-90pts)

Currently, the market growth of the Second Wine’s outperforming the general wine index – it’s obvious to see where the smart money is going. Wines such as Pavillon Rouge and Forts de Latour (both second wines) have seen their average price increase by 50%+ in recent months. Bahans is currently the cheapest on the market, but in the last few weeks prices have begun to move considerably. The 2005 vintage trades at £800 having previously sat at around £500 at the beginning of the year. It’s considered that any second wine under £1,000 is great value for money. Considering current ratios of the first growth as 1:2:2.5:3:3 – (Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Mouton and Haut Brion respectively) – applying these same ratios to the second wines, Bahans Haut Brion should trade at a 1/3 of Carruades – therefore £1,250 per case. As a result we are very confident in this wine’s growth potential.


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