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Gruaud Larose 2005 Above $700 a Case Approaches Liv-Ex Record

Eight cases of 2005 Chateau Gruaud Larose, a Bordeaux second-growth estate, sold for more than $700 each in five trades on Liv-ex in the past month, matching July and April levels and near its record high reached in February.

Three cases sold for 463 pounds ($743) each, two on Oct. 10 and one on Oct. 11, days after five other cases traded for between 440 pounds and 452 pounds each, according to data on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website. That took the vintage within 3 percent of the 475-pound record it set in February.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, a benchmark for top Bordeaux wines, has fallen more than 5 percent since the end of March. The index tracks first growths on the left bank of the Gironde estuary. Some other wines, including second growths and those from right-bank growers, have outperformed it, and a recent increase to a record level in the number of wines traded on Liv-ex with active bids or offers may be a sign of a revival in broader investor interest.

“Increased liquidity might suggest that as a whole the market is becoming more healthy and less narrowly focused,” Liv-ex said in its Cellar Watch market report for October.

The Oct. 11 price for the Gruaud Larose 2005 vintage was 49 percent above the 310 pounds at which it traded in June 2006 soon after it was released to the market. It ranks as the estate’s third-highest-priced wine of the past 10 years, lagging behind only those from 2010 and 2009, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website.

Eighteenth-Century Roots

“I see some change, but on the good side, for Bordeaux,” David Launay, Gruaud Larose’s sales director, said in an interview during a visit to London last month. “Bordeaux is a secure buy.”

Chateau Gruaud Larose, with 80 hectares (198 acres) under vine, traces its history back to 1757, when Joseph Stanislas Gruaud owned land in the region. It has been under the control of the Merlaut family since 1997.

Its vineyards in the Saint-Julien district, just outside the village of Beychevelle, are 60 percent planted with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, 30 percent Merlot, 7 percent Cabernet Franc and 3 percent Petit Verdot, and alongside its main wine it also produces a second wine, Sarget de Gruaud Larose.

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