Montrose ’09 at Four-Month Low Still Beats Liv-Ex 50 This Year

A case of 2009 Chateau Montrose, an estate in Bordeaux’s Saint-Estephe district, sold for 2,225 pounds ($3,490) on Liv-ex this week, touching its lowest level since May while still outpacing the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index.

The transaction Sept. 9 came after six cases of the vintage sold for 2,250 pounds each between Sept. 3 and Sept. 6, near the level of similar deals in the second half of August that brought some stability after price swings in the past six months.

Montrose ’09 has risen 11 percent since the end of last year, compared with a 4 percent gain for the Liv-ex 50 tracking top Bordeaux wines. The 2009 and 2010 vintages from premium Bordeaux growers were among the highest priced of the past two decades following favorable growing conditions.

“The ’09s and ’10s exist in a bit of a market of their own,” said Chris Smith, an investment manager at The Wine Investment Fund in London. “They were so expensive up-front that they’re only being bought for investment.” The fund, invested in Bordeaux, manages $50 million.

Montrose 2009 fetched 1,305 pounds in June 2010, soon after it went on sale, and is now trading 70 percent above that level. Recent declines have taken it 5 percent down from the record reached in July.

The 2009 Montrose is the estate’s highest-priced vintage since 1990, according to merchant data collated by Liv-ex.

‘Mulberry Fruit’

It scored a perfect 100 points from U.S. wine critic Robert Parker, who described it in an online tasting note last year as having “massive blackberry, black currant and mulberry fruit intermixed with forest floor, damp earth, crushed rocks and a hint of spring flowers.” He estimated it would be drinkable until 2050 or beyond.

Chateau Montrose has been owned since 2006 by Martin and Olivier Bouygues, who run Paris-based construction and media company Bouygues SA. The estate is ranked as a second-growth vineyard in the Bordeaux classification drawn up for Napoleon III’s 1855 Paris Exhibition. That puts it among the top 20 producers in the Medoc region to the north of the city.