Bordeaux is back on the investment table as Hong Kong buyers boost price

Wines from the Bordeaux region have had their prices restored to 2010 levels in Asia
BORDEAUX prices are back at 2010 levels, with the cost of some of the French regions’ best-known brands returning to pre-crisis peaks.

Bordeaux Index, which monitors fine wine prices, said yesterday that while prices had soured in recent years, the supply excess had now “worked out of the market” and export demand is increasing again, driven by Hong Kong collectors.

In a stock market announcement, Guy Ruston, managing director of Bordeaux Index Hong Kong, said: “We saw new ground broken with some astonishing prices achieved at Sotheby’s ex-Chateau auction of wines from Mouton Rothschild.

“This particular Mouton auction was a perfect storm however as demand for Mouton in Asia over the past quarter has far outstripped that of any other Chateaux and with the Lunar New Year being that of the Ram, Mouton’s emblem, the wines of Mouton Rothschild were practically guaranteed to be a hit with the local tycoons, collectors or bon viveurs.”

Wines traded on Bordeaux Index’s online dealing platform LiveTrade last year rose 22 per cent on 2013, with a 28 per cent increase in Asia.

Meanwhile, the Bordeaux Index climbed nearly two per cent last month, driven by demand for 2005 Bordeaux. The 2005 Mouton vintage was given added appeal by its recent reappraisal by US critic Robert Parker – a boost that increased prices by 35 per cent within weeks.

Bordeaux Index Gary Boom, said that, stripping out the “ram” effect, the healthier fine wine market is likely to return to a more normal pattern, without dramatic swings.

“We anticipate a reversion to the classic model of a consumer-led focus on coveted and valued wines that are ready, or nearly ready, for the table as well as young wines with a strong story that appeals to both future consumers and investors alike.”