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Margaux 2001 Falls to 14-Month Low as Index Extends Drop

Chateau Margaux vineyards
Vineyards at Chateau Margaux are shown in the commune of Margaux, France. Photographer: Carol Olona/Bloomberg

March 4 (Bloomberg) -- The 2001 vintage of Chateau Margaux, a Medoc first-growth wine estate, fell to a 14-month low of 2,900 pounds ($4,850) a case on Liv-ex yesterday as the London-based market’s Fine Wine 50 Index extended its decline.

The price for the 12 bottles was 9.4 percent below the level of 3,200 pounds a case reached in May last year and 29 percent down from the 4,073 pounds a case of September 2011, according to data on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website. It took the wine to its cheapest since December 2012.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index tracking top Bordeaux fell for the sixth straight month in February as investors, deterred by prices of recent first growths, diversified to other wines. The Liv-ex 50 fell 3 percent last year, 10 percent in 2012 and 17 percent in 2011.

“Demand remains subdued but there are some chinks of light,” Will Beck, partner of London-based Wine Asset Managers LLP, said in a market report. “2005s have started to look attractive, while pre-2005s are in the zone.” The fund has $20 million under management.

The 2001 Margaux ranks as the estate’s 10th most-expensive wine of the past 15 years, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website. It is still trading at more than triple the 900 pounds a case at which it changed hands on Liv-ex in March 2006.

Estate Purchase

The vintage was awarded a 93 rating on a 100-point scale in a June 2004 tasting note by U.S. critic Robert Parker, putting it behind at least nine other wines in the past 15 years on that measure, according to the eRobertParker.com website.

Greek retail magnate Andre Mentzelopoulos bought Chateau Margaux, whose wines have been sold in London since the early 18th century, in 1977. It has been run since his death in 1980 by daughter Corinne.

The estate has 80 hectares (198 acres) planted with red-grape vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc and 12 hectares with white Sauvignon Blanc.

It produces an annual average 130,000 bottles of its main wine, a similar quantity of Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux and 15,000 bottles of white Pavillon Blanc, according to its website.

The vineyard is on the left bank of the Gironde estuary and ranked among the top Medoc first-growth estates in the classification drawn up for Napoleon III’s 1855 Paris Exhibition, which remains in force.

To contact the reporter on this story: Guy Collins in London at guycollins@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Risser at drisser@bloomberg.net

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