Which collectibles sector was up 2.8% in January?

It's a start.

After two years in the doldrums, the fine Bordeaux market grew in value by 2.8% in January - its biggest gain in two years.

That's according to Liv-ex's Fine Wine 100 Index, which is formed of 100 of the most sought-after investment-grade wines, the majority of which are leading Bordeaux.

The figures offer encouragement to those who have stood by the sector while it endured a 22.5% drop in value between December 2010 and December 2012.

This was caused, in large part, by a backlash from Chinese buyers, who were themselves responsible for the stunning price appreciation seen in 2010.

They became nervous, or infuriated, by the rapidly escalating price rises, and grew increasingly wary of the flood of fakes onto the market, especially of the marquee offering, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild
Lafite - ready to return to form in 2013?

But why the sudden upswing at the beginning of 2013?

The general consensus is that, like opportunistic players of the stock market, collectors and investors are now swooping on the lower prices currently being seen at auction.

This indicates that many buyers are confident in the long-term investment potential of the top end of the Bordeaux wine market and suggests that the sector has reached the bottom of its trough.

Invest for the long-term

Like almost all areas of collectibles, it's important that wine investors take the long-term view.

Yes, it is possible to turn significant profits in a short period of time (the market for Domaine de la Romanee Conti, Burgundy's current star offering, was up 34.5% in the last two years), but they are exceptions rather than the norm.

The collectibles investor must focus on the general trend, and not panic when the market hits a rocky patch.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 is up 11.2% over the past 10 years despite its recent troubles.

That figure alone should give nervous investors plenty cause for encouragement.

Until next week


Paul Fraser

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