Bordeaux 2009 latest - 'the most expensive vintage, bar 1982'

It's already been two months since the wine markets were abuzz with opportunities to by the new hallowed 2009 vintage en primeur (or before it's bottled, for the uninitiated).

And, in that time, the ever-diligent analysts at Liv-ex have been keeping tabs on the on the performances of the 2009 vintages with the question, 'is it matching the hype?'

Well, in terms of value, things have been going well, according to reports. This is due in part to a weaker Euro currency, which has made alternative wine investments the preferable option for investors acquiring assets in Europe.

On the other hand, the hype surrounding the 2009 has resulted in mixed press in some quarters; with gripes stemming from it being "the most expensive currently available vintage, bar 1982" (in the words of Liv-ex).

For instance, an article in Harpers Wine & Spirit headlined 'Bordeaux 2009 "Overpriced"' quoted the Liv-ex as saying: "At 30% premium to the 2005s... the 2009 looks fully (if not over) priced..."

"Those in search of investment opportunities are likely to find better value elsewhere." This is also bearing in mind that the 2009 is still two years from delivery.

Although it's wrong to over-generalise with fine wines, it's true that many 'lesser' wines offer excellent value. At Paul Fraser Collectives, we're compiled some suggestions here.

Nevertheless, the 2009s have a two-month trading history behind them to analyse. So here's a look at the vintage's top performers...

(All values, in £, are based on the wines' London retail prices.)

Chateau Latour - "the" 2009

Always ahead of the pack, the Latour is currently retailing for £12,000 per case, way more than its 2008 (£1,590) and 2005 (£4,500) vintages.

Reliably, Latour is regarded by experts worldwide as "the" wine of the 2009 vintages. Critical endorsements include Robert Parker's not-easy 98-100 score.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild - but don't forget the 1983

Also awarded 98-100 by Robert Parker (and attracting 96-99 from the Wine Spectator) a case of the 2009 Lafite Rothschild can be yours for £13,500.

In comparison, a case of the also highly-regarded 2005 currently retails at £3,900. But collectors should also take a look at the hallowed 1983.

According to Liv-ex's Twitter feed, the '83 traded on its index at £7,100 (for a case of 12 75cl bottles) a couple of days ago.

Chateau Ausone - a valuable, singular wine

A case of the 2009 Ausone currently retails at £13,000 - just behind the Lafite in terms of value - twice as much as the 2006-8 vintages (currently trading for £7,500, £5,000 and £6,500 respectively).

Or you have the option of the 2005, of which a case of this famously singular and distinctive Burgundy-like wine can be yours for £8,500.

Calon Segur - the "value for money" bottle

Taking a break for the undisputed 'top wines', how about a great entry-level investment (or one which you can feel less-guilty about opening, instead of consigning it straight to your wine cellar)?

The "best value for money" tag has been attached to the Calon Segur, currently trading for £595 in Liv-ex's index.

Elsewhere, previous Calon Segur vintages from 2005-8 can be found priced between £295-470 (with the 2005 the most expensive).

And not forgetting... the Margaux and Mouton

These two wines comprise two fifths of Liv-ex's Top Five 2009s - in full: #5 Ausone; #4 Mouton; #3 Lafite; #2 Margaux; #1 Latour.

Awarded 96-98 by Robert Parker, cases of the Mouton Rothschild 2009 are currently trading hands for £7,800 according to Liv-Ex, over twice as much as the equivalent 2005 (£3,500).

Meanwhile, the 2009 Margaux is retailing for double the value of a case of the 2005, priced at £4,400 according to the index.

Whether the "2009 boom" remains a flash in the pan remains to be seen. But, for now, both collectors and investors would be wise to also consider older Bordeaux vintages - and to research and choose carefully - before parting with their cash.


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