Four cases of 2002 Chateau Leoville-Las Cases, a Bordeaux second-growth estate, sold for 940 pounds ($1,570) a case on Liv-ex in the past week, taking the vintage to its lowest in more than three years amid muted demand.
The transactions, on March 26 and March 31, were 16 percent below last year’s high of 1,125 pounds reached in March and 18 percent below the vintage’s record 1,150 pounds touched in September 2011 as Chinese demand for top Bordeaux was peaking, according to data on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website.
The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index has been in decline since the end of March last year, following a drop of about 10 percent in 2012. Muted demand for top Bordeaux has focused collectors’ attention on wines from other regions, including Burgundy and Champagne, as the attention of the wine trade has turned toward the marketing campaign for the 2013 vintage.
“The general outlook is not positive,” James Snoxell, head of buying at London-based Armit Wines, said in an interview during a tasting last week, commenting on prospects for the 2013 Bordeaux wines. “Older vintages are cheaper than recent vintages. The demand is simply not there.”
Leoville-Las Cases 2002 is still selling for more than double the price of 450 pounds a case at which it traded in March 2005, in its early trading on Liv-ex.
The 2002 Leoville-Las Cases is among the seven cheapest vintages of the past 15 years, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website.
It was rated 95 on a 100-point scale by U.S. critic Robert Parker in an April 2005 online tasting note, according to the eRobertParker website, ranking it above at least seven other vintages in the past 15 years.
Leoville-Las Cases is in the Saint-Julien district north of the city of Bordeaux, and is part of a larger estate that was divided in the 19th century. It was designated a second-growth vineyard in the classification drawn up for Napoleon III’s 1855 Paris Exhibition, which remains in force.