Two cases of the 2008 vintage from Chateau Montrose, a Bordeaux wine estate in Saint-Estephe, sold for 550 pounds ($850) each on the London-based Liv-ex market in the past week, taking the vintage to a six-month low.
The sale on Aug. 29 was 12 percent below this year’s peak, reached in March, and down 43 percent from the record 964 pounds a case touched in July 2011, when Chinese buyers were fueling a bull market in Bordeaux classed growths.
The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index tracking top Bordeaux vintages has risen 4 percent this year, gaining in the first two months and then falling during the second quarter as recent vintages including the 2008s competed with a sales campaign for new wines. It has slipped further since the end of June as investors turn their attention increasingly to other regions.
After four years of strong Asian demand for Bordeaux, “we’re moving on to the next great wine region, Burgundy, and other countries and other regions and different vintages,” Simon Tam, Christie’s International Plc head of wine for China, told Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television’s ‘On the Move Asia’ last week. Tam was commenting on the wine market in the context of a Christie’s auction held in Hong Kong on Aug. 31.
Chateau Montrose has been owned since 2006 by Martin and Olivier Bouygues, who run Paris-based construction and media company Bouygues SA. The estate is ranked as a second-growth vineyard in the 1855 Bordeaux classification, putting it among the top 20 in the Medoc region.
Montrose 2008 traded at 470 pounds in May 2009, soon after it went on sale, and is still trading 17 percent above that level.
The 2008 Montrose is priced similarly to the estate’s most recent 2011 and 2012 vintages, while costing less than half the 2010 wine and barely a quarter of the 2009, according to merchant data collated by Liv-ex. It scored 95 points out of 100 from U.S. wine critic Robert Parker, putting it among the vineyard’s top five wines of the past 10 years.