The fine wine market in 2013- Aarash Ghatineh, Cult Wines UK Sales Manager gives us his thoughts:

Posted by on May 01, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News / No Comments

With en primeur 2012 fast approaching and the first quarter of the year drawing to a close we took time out to speak with Aarash Ghatineh, our UK Sales Manager, to understand his thoughts on the start of the year for the fine wine market, and what he expects for the rest of 2013. As UK Sales Manager his day-to-day role involves liaising with all new and existing clients as well as overseeing our entire sales team, formulating existing and on-going investment strategies.

2012 was a tumultuous year for all investment markets, including fine wine, what were your thoughts on the year and were there any positives to take out of 2012?

A.G: 2012 saw more worries with continued fears about Europe, U.S. double dip concerns & weaker growth in the emerging markets. These tough economic conditions coupled with faltering prices for investment grade wines & a dismal Bordeaux en primeur campaign contributed to what was a testing year for the Fine Wine Market. Withstanding the turbulent market conditions, there are some great highlights & positives to take out the year’s trading. The Bordeaux 2009 vintage fared extremely well upon Parker’s in bottle assessment awarding 19 estates the coveted 100pts, leading to strong price development. Foretelling Parker’s scores can be a risky business but our stock selections from the 2009 vintage saw an average increase of over 50%. Exciting developments for the Right Bank at the end of last year, with Angelus & Pavie which were promoted in the recent St. Emilion Classification and are now trading at all-time highs. The market correction for Top end Bordeaux meant that buyer’s appetites widened with an increase in demand for Burgundy, Super-Tuscans & Champagne, and I expect this interest in other regions to continue in 2013.

People are predicting a positive year for the wine market in 2013, would you go along with this?

A.G: 2013 has started very positively & the general global demand for Fine Wine is at a high point, which suggests that we are in line for a market resurgence this year. In the past, prices reached ‘bubble’ territory for certain wines & the aftermath of that bubble bursting has undoubtedly been tough. However, the market correction represents a good buying opportunity and it seems that confidence is returning to the market.


What trends would you expect to shape the wine market this year?

A.G: I think a lot of buyers have learnt their lessons over the past 18-24 months and the days of sustained blanket buying are behind us. I think we will witness a return to a genuine focus on quality and value, with a much more selective market. I think our customers will continue to diversify their portfolios, paying particular attention to Rhone and Super-Tuscans. The regions that have been relatively untouched by new markets offer a strong investment opportunity.

And subsequently where do you think there are investment opportunities?

A.G: The Bordeaux First Growth market has come down significantly in price so I think there are some strong buying opportunities for well scored vintages. The Bordeaux 2010 in-bottle scores have been released & whilst certain wines were released slightly high En Primeur, we feel there is some great value to be had in the top scored wines such as Pape Clément 2010, the best value 100-point wine currently available at £1,500 per case of 12. There is no doubt that the market focus will be firmly directed at the 2009/2010 vintages which represent the pinnacle of Bordeaux wine making. The recent acknowledgement from Parker of Northern Rhone’s achievements in the last three vintages will undoubtedly stimulate interest in the region’s top producers such as Guigal & Chapoutier. Production for these specialist wines are extremely limited, and they often become very scarce within a few years of release. With the market continuing to broaden further, Champagne is a worthy portfolio addition, it is quite a safe option, as it is a region also untouched by the Far Eastern market, and could be in line for a substantial price increase in the coming years.

Following the disappointing EP2011 campaign, how important do you think EP2012 will be to the on-going recovery of the market?

A.G: I will defer opinion on the vintage until the rest of the team and I taste the wines in April. It is clear that the market is in recovery mode and a lot healthier in terms of demand, but of course the EP2012 campaign is a key cog in this wheel. In terms of pricing, you would like to think that the prices will have to come down on the last three years to really excite buyers but I feel that the price of 2012 will be similar to the 2011s. Historically, en primeur returns have been at their greatest in off-prime vintages so if pricing & timing is right then it could provide a boost to the on-going market recovery. Equally, if prices are too high this will have a negative impact on the market.

Having advised private clients in the market for the past 5 years, what would be your best piece of advice?

A.G: This is a cyclical market, do not take a snapshot view or expect to make a quick buck, take a medium to long term outlook.

What is your desert island wine?

A.G: Ch. d’Yquem 1988


What would you eat with it?

A.G: If there doesn’t happen to be a big slab of blue cheese knocking about, it would have to go with a freshly caught Salmon.




Tags: , , , , ,

Liv-ex revise their Bordeaux Classification

Posted by on April 03, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News, Wine Market News / No Comments

In 2009 Liv-ex devised a well needed recreation of the 1855 classification, ranking major left bank wines according to price, this was then updated in 2011, and again, last week.

The original 1855 classification was developed by brokers at the time at the request of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce as part of a display at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1855. The classifications were based entirely on price, and only included major Left Bank estates.

The theory behind the Liv-ex Bordeaux Classification system states that wines have to be from the Left Bank (including Pessac-Leognan) and have production levels in excess of 2,000 cases. The average price for every qualifying wine is calculated taking the: (lowest available wholesale price for an in-bond owc 12x75cl case in good condition, excluding duty and sales tax) for the past five vintages, 2007-2011. Prices are in GBP and as of 28 February 2013.


The wines are then grouped into price bands, which for 2013 include:


  • 1st Growths: £2,600 a case and above
  • 2nd Growths: £700 to £2,599
  • 3rd Growths: £450 to £699
  • 4th Growths: £320 to £449
  • 5th Growths: £250 to £319

Further information click here!

Tags: , , , ,

Lucrative Latour

Posted by on March 27, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News, Wine Market News / No Comments
Lucrative Latour

According to Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website, the 1995 vintage if Chateau Latour, sold at a 10-month high of £4,100 a case on London’s Liv-ex wine market in the past week.  This follows an announcement from the Chateau this month regarding the release of wines held in its stock earlier this month.

This result provides some well needed respite, representing an 11% increase on a 23-month low of £3,700 reached in March 2012. However, this price is well below the $7,170 a case paid at a Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. auction in Chicago in February.


Tags: , ,

Parkers scores boosts Bordeaux’s on Liv-ex Index

Posted by on March 19, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News / No Comments

As predicted, following the recent Robert Parker in-bottle ranking scores, Liv-ex have reported that 13% of all trade by value so far in March is derived from Bordeaux 2010 wines.

Whist the 2010’s still trail behind the 2009’s, the recent surge is the most concentrated activity of the past year, with the five of his 10 “perfect” wines (Latour, Cheval Blanc, Pontet-Canet, Pape Clement and Le Dome), experiencing enhanced trade.


Tags: , , , , , ,