Three cases of 2010 Chateau Montrose, an estate in Bordeaux’s Saint-Estephe district, sold for 1,340 pounds ($2,140) this week, sliding to the vintage’s lowest level this year as demand for Medoc wines remained muted.
The transaction on Sept. 24 extended a slide which has seen the vintage drop 16 percent from its peak of 1,603 pounds in March, according to data on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website.
The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, tracking leading Bordeaux vintages, has declined since mid-March, paring an 8 percent gain made in the previous 11 weeks to leave it 3 percent up since the start of this year. Price cuts of 20 percent or more for the 2012 vintage sold as “en primeur,” or futures, relative to the previous year have been insufficient to spark buying.
“The fine wine market remains subdued,” William Beck, partner of London-based Wine Asset Managers LLP, which has $20 million under management, said in a market report this week. “There is no doubt that ‘brand Bordeaux’ is currently at a low ebb, mainly of its own making due to three over-priced en primeur campaigns in succession.”
Montrose 2010 fetched 1,500 pounds in June 2011 soon after it went on sale, and is now trading 11 percent below that level.
Recent declines have still left the vintage trading above the low of 1,161 pounds it touched in February last year. Four cases sold for $2,868 each, including buyer’s premium, at a Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. auction in Chicago in June.
The 2010 Montrose is the estate’s third highest-priced vintage of the past 10 years, according to merchant data collated by Liv-ex.
It scored 99 points from U.S. wine critic Robert Parker, the second-highest rating for the estate in the past two decades, lagging only the 100 points assigned to the 2009 vintage. The wine has “classic blueberry, black currant, crushed rock and floral notes,” Parker said in an online tasting note in February.
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 Bordeaux classification drawn up for Napoleon III’s 1855 Paris Exhibition. That puts it among the top 20 producers in the Medoc region, which is to the northwest of the city.