Our Top Five... Best-valued Bordeaux wine investments

When the newly-released Bordeaux 2009 - heralded as the "best Bordeaux in 40 years" - was recently tasted en-primeur by wine experts from across the globe, many were unsure if it is really better than the exceptional 2005.

Meanwhile, Matthew Jukes, an expert at Quintessentially Wine, advises collectors that the 2008 is a shrewd investment. According to Jukes, the 2008 bottles still look "fresh, balanced and vibrant... and you should not dismiss them."

In other words, while many collectors worldwide flock to the new 2009 vintage, the option remains for astute investors to look back to the older vintages. But which are the best buys for you as a collector, and offer a strong, appreciating entry-level investment?

#5 The 1986 Gruaud Larose (75cl) - around $1,800

The renowned wine expert Jancis Robson described the 1986 as "a tough, slow-maturing vintage." Following on from a series of great Bordeaux years (including the much-lauded 1982 and excellent 1985) the 1986 was a year marked by its tannin which originated from the skins of well-ripened grapes left for weeks before the harvest.

The 1986 was actually the largest vintage since the war, and produced a number of sensational wines boasting concentration, power and depth of fruit. Buyers could do far worse than the Gruaud Larose (around $1,800).

#4 The 1996 Chateau Lafleur (75cl) - over $3,600

Here is another from the Chateau Lafleur, regarded as being among the great growths of the region and among the most rare and expensive wines in the world.

The important 1996 vintage received very positive reviews up to its initial release, although many critics later downgraded the wine. Nevertheless, the 1996 is another tough and slow-maturing vintage with some stunning wines.

While many 1996s are perhaps best kept for an investment, rather than for drinking, the Chateau Lafleur is among the highlights, currently valued at around $3,600.

Some further examples of great Bordeaux...

#3 The 2002 La Fleur Petrus (75cl) - around $1,600

Jancis Robson calls the 2002 the "Cinderella vintage" - overlooked, underpriced and therefore perfect for collectors looking for a unique and great-value investment. So overlooked, that leading expert Robert Parker skipped the 2002 en-primeur tastings for the first time in his career.

First growth Chateaux like Léoville Barton and Pichon Longueville have proven themselves affordable and appreciable in the past. These were problematic when ripe, and are best kept long-term. The La Fleur Petrus is a particularly good buy.

#2 The 2000 Pensee de Lafleur (75cl) - around $1,700

Bordeaux produced some superb red wines in 2000, in a year which overall turned out to be an excellent and successful vintage. From the Château Lafleur estate, the Pensee de Lafleur is often regarded as "an insider's secret."

Among the fine reds of that year is the 2000 Pensee de Lafleur, valued at $1,300. Other great 2000 reds include the Gracia (over $1,400 per 75cl) and Calon Segur (around $1,000 per 75cl).

#1 The 1982 Leoville Las Cases (75cl) - just under $5,000

The 1982 Bordeaux was an excellent vintage - so excellent, in fact, that it is today regarded as one of the finest vintages of the 20th century.

Bordeaux's vineyards saw great weather that year, with harvested fruit that was super-ripe both in its sugar content and physiology, with excellent tannin levels which resulted in rich and tannic wines.

According to new figures released by the Antique Wine Company, the best purchase is a 75cl bottle of the 1982 Leoville Las Cases, priced at just under $5,000.

Click here to see Matthew Jukes' Top 10 recommended wines from the latest Bordeaux vintage: 'Bordeaux 2009 fine wine prices are set to sky-rocket'.


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