News

Slow Bordeaux: lull in 2015 fine wine releases boosts trade in back vintages

18th May 2016


As the release of the very top Bordeaux wines of 2015 gets closer and closer, consumers seem to be playing the waiting game.

Experienced collectors, however, are taking the opportunity to scour back vintages for a bargain, and the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 has held its strength despite the lull in activity. Last week’s top performing wines came from the most revered 2015 brands – Margaux and Haut Brion.

Many second wines have been released already, and we look at some of the more promising ones below.

 

Buy Margaux or buy Haut Brion? That is the question…

These wines were the top scoring First Growths from the 2015 En Primeur campaign, both given 98-100 points by Neal Martin, as well as being the most highly rated wines of the vintage by Liv-ex members in their 2015 En Primeur survey.

The top performer was Haut Brion 2003, up 7.4% on the previous week. The 2010 vintages of Margaux and Haut Brion gained 4% and 2.8% respectively, while Margaux 2004 and 2011 also appeared in the top ten Liv-ex 50 mid-price movers.

 

Latest releases: must-have Bordeaux wines of 2015

Here is a small selection of the most exciting wines released so far.

 

Pontet Canet 2015: “intriguing”

The much-loved Pontet Canet 2015 was released today, up 13.6% on the 2014 release price. In a cautionary move, Pontet Canet cut back on allocations for this year’s campaign, offering the equivalent of just 60% of last year’s release quantities.

Neal Martin (94-96) described the wine as “intriguing and complex, almost mercurial”. Pontet Canet has a strong following and its best wines – awarded a perfect 100-points by Robert Parker – are a common addition to a well-rounded investment portfolio.

 

Pape Clement 2015: “one of the best”

Pape Clement 2015 has been released up 18.1% on the 2004 release price. This places it in a secure position above the four most recent vintages, but significantly below 2005, 2009 and 2010 – vintages that have been compared to the 2015 in terms of quality.

Pape Clement has been well received by critics, but not as well as it was received by Robert Parker in his recent review of the back vintages – in April, Pape Clement 2009 benefitted from an upgrade to a perfect 100 points, spurring a great deal of recent trade in the brand.

Nonetheless, Neal Martin says the wine will “doubtless evolve into one of the best wines this estate has produced since the 14th century” and awarded it 97-98 points. Will it reach the heights of 2005, 2009 and 2010? Only time will tell.

 

Lafleur 2015: “perfection”

Lafleur 2015 has received glowing praise from critics. James Suckling did not hesitate in a straight 100 points, writing – “it’s hard to describe perfection. It’s not just power and depth. It’s something mystical and ethereal.” Neal Martin was a little more conservative, scoring it 97-99 and calling it “one of the standout wines of the vintage”.

Liv-ex members also ranked the wine as their 7th favourite wine of the 2015 vintage. Like Pape Clement, the price of the 2015 sits comfortably above most back vintages, but below the ‘greats’ and a whole 55% below 2005.

Lafleur is sure to be a good bet for buyers in terms of relative value in a highly sought-after wine.  

 

Beychevelle 2015: “suave”

Beychevelle 2015 has been released up 16.6% on the 2014 release price, making it cheaper than all back vintages previous to 2012 and 39.2% lower than the 2005.

Neal Martin (92-4) called the wine “a suave Beychevelle in the making”, whereas James Suckling (92-3) described it as “very pretty”.

Beychevelle has recently been a strong performer on the secondary market and it was the top player on the Left Bank 200 index in March.

 

2015 wines at Capital Vintners

Stay tuned for imminent news of fresh 2015 stock – any day now!

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