Last week brought the news that, for the first time since the market’s peak in 2011, the Bordeaux 500 is now the best performing sub-index of the Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000. The world’s most revered wine-making region owes this recent success principally to non-first growth wines, of which the 2012 vintage specifically has proved very popular.
The rise of the second best Bordeaux wines
The Left Bank 200 and Second Wine 50 indices, which track price movements for second, third, fourth and fifth growths, are currently the best performing sub-indices of the Bordeaux 500.
From 2011 to 2015, price movements for second wines closely mirrored those of the first growths, but since July last year the picture has shifted considerably. The Second Wine 50 index has risen 4.5% while the first-growth tracker Fine Wine 50 has fallen 1.3% – indicating a clear shift towards second growths with the great value and sizeable returns these wines offer.
Second growths were among the wines that benefited most from the China-led bull market of 2011, and consequently were among those hardest hit with the bear market that followed. Driven by the brand power of their grand vin siblings and their relative price advantages, it is no wonder they are now making a firm comeback in the market.
2012 wines: a good investment?
Along with a clear rise in popularity of second wines, the 2012 vintage in particular seems to be leading the way on the Left Bank.
The vintage was far from a success when first released onto the secondary market, but since becoming physical last year the picture has proved more positive. Prices for 2012 non-first growth wines have gone up 8.3%, compared to 6.8% for the 2008s and 6.2% for the 2006s since February 2015.
Of the 48 wines from the vintage, 41 are in positive territory over one year. Pavie 2012, a wine recently purchased by many of our customers, has happily made the greatest gains. The vintage carries a special black and silver label to celebrate its elevation to Grand Cru Classé A status.
Trading activity for the 2012 vintage has also increased, accounting for 9.5% of total Bordeaux trade since February last year.
Praise for the 2012 vintage wines
It is also worth noting that the 2012s are the second cheapest physical vintage wines on the market after the 2011s, and have received buckets more praise from critics than the mediocre 2011s.
But while the Left Bank 2012s have seen most market activity, it’s the Right Bank 2012s that occupy the spotlight in terms of critics’ scores.
Robert Parker describes the 2012 Pomerols as “excellent…the most successful appellation… closely followed by Pessac-Léognan,” and Jancis Robinson agrees, writing “among right-bank wines there was a substantial jump up in quality between lesser and top St-Emilions and, particularly, Pomerols.”
Any way you look at it, the 2012 is a winner!
Investment-grade wines at Capital Vintners
Apart from the popular Pavie 2012, we stock many a great wine from this vintage at very competitive prices. Get in touch with one of our brokers for advice on which labels to go for.