Liv-Ex, the fine wine industry's trusted source for market analysis, has released a list of the chateaux "that consistently prove to be better buys, as well as at those that are perhaps best left until they are available in bottle."
For fine wine collectors, in particular those who buy for investment, "en primeur" - meaning to purchase the wine after it has been produced and initially tasted, but before it is bottled - has often been a great option.
This way, the chateaux can finance their crop while the wine is still in the barrel, while collectors get access to the most sought-after vintages at the best prices.
Nevertheless, there are issues of trust here: namely, what will your wine taste like when its actually bottled?
Another issue is the profits realised by en primeur purchased wines, which can vary from hefty... to not so great. This brings us to Liv-Ex's new report.
According to its findings, 235 of the 645 chateaux sampled - or 36% - are classed as "definite buys" for en primeur collectors and investors. The below table lists the average price movement of vintages between 2000-2007 (excluding the best and worst performing years, so as not to distort the findings).
Liv-Ex's research compared the prices of 81 major chateaux in 2000 to their values in 2007, looking at initial en primeur release prices and their market prices when available in bottle.
The results reveal each chateaux's average price movement - and reveal some fascinating key trends.
Overall, two-thirds of wines increased in price between their initial release and being available to buy in bottle. Of these, high-quality vintages were unsurprisingly the best performers - especially the 2005 - with certain First Growths almost guaranteeing value appreciation for en primeur buyers.
Here, Carruades, Fleur Petrus, Duhart Milon, Leoville Barton and Lynch Bages are highlights spotted by Liv-Ex.
Meanwhile among other chateaux, the best vintages and those lauded by the critics proved the best buys and demonstrated significant price increases following their initial London release.
"Left Bank wines have consistently outperformed those from the Right Bank, filling up 17 spots on [our] 20 best performers table," reports Liv-Ex.
"The study also shows the changing fortunes of Latour and Lafite: the former was dominant between 2000-2004, with the relationship reversing from 2005 onwards."
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