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A wine from the old world (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy) can last for 70+ years and they are usually ready to drink around 7 years after being made.
A wine from the new world (Australian) will last for 20 years and can be drunk after year 1. The Australian market is smaller in choice is considered to be gaining a response in the markets, but this will still require many more years before it will become less speculative. The low life expectancy and short maturity means that the market works very differently and doesn’t contain the ‘waiting factor’ you see with the Old World.
French Bordeaux is usually best to buy once an initial grading has been given. If you are new to this, buying futures can be speculative and risky, even if the wine is from a well known name. As French wine is re-graded many times, it will have many spikes in price. Buying as a future is not the usually the safest way to proceed. If the wine is graded poorly, you are going to get minimal growth, so wait till the wine is at least 2 years old.
Back vintages are wines that are already in bottle with a track history. Less risk and rarer to find, these are ideal for first time investors and if you buy shortly before full maturity you can often see great value added. This would be something like Lafite Rothschild 1998, or Cheval Blanc 2003.
When wine is ready to drink the stock will drop off fairly rapidly. This is often where you can see a spike in price. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to buy young wines, as often the best wines take up to 15 years to mature. This market ultimately requires patience and those that know this will benefit the most. It is important not to buy too late or when the wine has a short life expectancy as this can mean very small profit or none at all. See our wine price system to examine your choices or see examples.
The supply and demand of this market means the Bordeaux area has and always will remain a strong financial investment. With time to come, new fine wine areas will also grow.
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