Chateau Latour 2003 Bordeaux Rebounds in London

A case of 2003 Chateau Latour, a Bordeaux first-growth wine estate, sold for 7,350 pounds ($11,190) on Liv-ex, marking a 5 percent gain from this year’s February low while remaining within its 2013 trading range.

Yesterday’s deal compared with the 7,165 pounds paid for a similar case the previous day, and left the vintage still trading 29 percent below the 10,300 pound record it reached in July 2011, when demand for top Bordeaux was peaking.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, a benchmark for top Bordeaux wines, fell 2 percent in the second quarter after gaining 7 percent in the first three months, and has slipped further during July to trade 4 percent up on the year. A muted investor response to the Bordeaux 2012 sales campaign of the past three months has also sapped appetite for older vintages.

“Volume is currently low,” William Beck, partner of London-based Wine Asset Managers LLP, which has $20 million under management, said in a market report this week. “These are small movements, similar to those in the second half of 2012.”

The 2003 Latour ranks as the estate’s fourth-highest-priced wine of the past 15 years, lagging only those from 2010, 2009 and 2000, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website. Yesterday’s price was the highest since a trade at 7,400 pounds on March 20.

Chateau Latour, with 78 hectares (193 acres) of vineyards, traces its wine-growing history to at least the 16th century and has been owned since 1993 by French billionaire Francois Pinault, according to its website.

Pauillac Estate

It was one of the first Bordeaux wine estates to install stainless-steel tanks in its winery in the 1960s and fully renovated them in 2001. Last year it set another precedent by announcing it intended to no longer sell wine through the Bordeaux futures system, instead reserving it for sale closer to the time when it becomes ready to drink.

Latour is one of the five first-growth wine estates on the left bank of the Gironde estuary and one of three in the Pauillac district, along with Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Chateau Mouton-Rothschild. The classification was drawn up for Napoleon III’s 1855 Paris Exhibition, and remains in force.