Chateau Petrus 1998 Climbs to Record $41,500 on Live-Ex

A case of Chateau Petrus 1998, one of the two most expensive estates in Bordeaux, sold for a record 27,000 pounds ($41,500) on Liv-ex as investors sought rare older vintages even as demand in the broader wine market cooled.

The transaction yesterday was 4 percent above a similar trade in April and 9 percent up from its level two years ago. It has tripled in price on the exchange in the past eight years.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index has risen 4 percent this year, with gains in the 10 weeks to mid-March pared by a drop since then. While the index, a benchmark for top wines from Bordeaux, is heading for its fourth straight month of declines following a muted response to the sales campaign for the region’s 2012 wine futures, appetite persists for top producers.

“Petrus still seems to be in demand,” Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s European wine department, said by phone following an auction held in London earlier this month.

Petrus topped Bordeaux lots at that Sotheby’s sale on July 17, with 11 bottles of the 1990 vintage fetching 25,850 pounds.

The 1998 vintage of Chateau Petrus is the third most expensive of the past 20 years, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website.

The wine was awarded a 98 rating on a 100-point scale by U.S. critic Robert Parker, putting it in the top six vintages during that period, according to the website.

Chateau Petrus has 28 acres (11 hectares) planted with red-grape vines, of which 95 percent are Merlot and 5 percent Cabernet Franc. Fermentation is in temperature-controlled concrete tanks and the young wine matured in new oak barrels.

The vineyard is situated in Pomerol on the right bank of the Dordogne river.