While football fans worldwide obsessively check the internet and their phones and BlackBerrys for the latest World Cup results, wine aficionados have been eyeballing a different table of figures over the last two weeks...
It's been a fortnight since the 2009 Bordeaux vintages - considered by some to be the best vintage in 40 years and greeted with rave reviews from global experts including Robert Parker - started being released onto the market, and things are steadily starting to wind down.
All the big names, apart from Ausone, have now emerged on the market. Last week, in particular, saw the release all five Firsts: Lafite, Margaux and Mouton. The 2009s of each were released at €550 per bottle (ex-négociant*, as allocations were difficult to come by).
Latour and Haut Brion were slightly more expensive at €600 per bottle, with a particularly large portion of the latter being released to buyers. Meanwhile, 2009s are reportedly already seeing a strong trade on the secondary market.
All this fervent activity has lead Liv-ex, the leading wine market analyst, to ask the question: in terms of value, how is the 2009 doing in comparison to other prominent vintages?
Its findings can be seen in the below table - revealing that many of the First growths are trading above the current market prices for their respective 2005s (considered superior to the 2009 by some experts) with some values even rising above the 2000s.
In particular, a hierarchy of sorts has already emerged just one week after the release of Lafite, the first of the Premier Cru to be released this year. Lafite has seen some particularly great price movements. It now trades at around €1,286 per bottle - almost double the price of Haut Brion.
Elsewhere, in comparison to the 2009s, some First Growth vintages from previous years are now comparatively cheap. According to Liv-Ex, Haut Brion 2000 (RP 98) is trading at €545 per bottle (£5,400 per case) - 20% cheaper than in 2009.
And the Mouton 2005 also looks appealing at €509 per bottle (£5,050 per case).
In comparison, non First-growth (and therefore not shown in the above table) 2009 prices include the very scarce Chateau Bellevue Mondotte (awarded 95-100 points by Robert Parker) and Clos l'Eglise (96-100 points). They are typically valued at $3,995 and $2,895 per case, respectively.
Other less-scarce wines to watch include the "superseductive" (in the words of the Wine Spectator's J Suckling) Chateau Palmer priced at around $3,895 per case.
For now, experts predict that the 2009s will be suitable to open and drink sooner as well as later (five-to-eight years is the estimated time span), so collectors looking to start or build-up their wine cellar should weigh up the vintages and prices which best suit their needs.
If you're intent on investing in a pre-2009 vintage, here is our specially compiled guide to the best-valued pre-2009 Bordeaux wine vintages currently on the market - showing a wealth of older years to choose from.
*A négociant is the French term for a wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name.
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