Our views on the market and the latest 2011 Bordeaux campaign
With all the Bordeaux 2011 now released, including a great Ausone and overpriced Petrus, this will continue to be a slow burning campaign for months to come. It may turn out to be a better vintage in time with rising values and scores as market demand picks up.
The success of this campaign is all about the price with less emphasis on top quality. Cutting back quantity by half to maximise quality at all costs may work in boom time conditions but the interest, after two standout vintages of 2009 and 2010, is dismal by comparison. Consumers either have wadded in too heavily into these preceding vintages or expect the 2011s to be trading at the same prices or less in two years time once bottled.
Some prices are absurdly high whereas others have been fairly close to their 2008 release prices. It is worth sticking with a few safe bets such as Chx Pontet Canet, Vieux Ch Certan, Lynch Bages, L’ Eglise Clinet, both Rothschilds and the Leovilles. One should not write off 2011 because there are highlights in every vintage.
Two of our most profitable campaigns by percentage for us were the 2002 and 2008 vintages. Both came out in some of the most difficult economic times, due by war and the banking crisis. Sensible pricing policy and a quick succession of releases coupled with genuine value sparked off global interest.
While enthusiasm for Bordeaux has waned, we have noticed sales from other regions showing signs of growth, especially Burgundy, leading Italian producers, Champagne, Australia and the Rhone. These are good opportunistic times to buy if you can see the wood between the trees. There are a lot of great recent vintages on offer, a week Euro and uncertain stock market. Fine wine has it’s risks but is still a safer harbour than many other investments in the current climate.
L’Assemblage Ltd specialises in sourcing and trading the world’s finest wines . Founded in 1996 by the Managing Director Guy Willings, they sell a wide selection of classic wines that express their regional styles. This applies to their house agencies to the most prestigious brands. Besides trading from good reserves in bonded storage they also offer cellar management, investment advice and a worldwide delivery service.
(Wines are sold via mail order and the internet directly to trade and private clients. Some are collectors and others investors, hunting down labels for their cellars and specific vintages. All wines are sourced directly from châteaux, growers, trade agents and from reliable private cellars.)