Cheval Blanc ’08 Falls to Record Low $4,380 a Case on Liv-Ex

A case of 2008 Chateau Cheval Blanc, a Saint-Emilion wine estate, sold for 2,707 pounds ($4,380) on Liv-ex, 13 percent below its high for this year reached in February, as demand for recent Bordeaux vintages stayed muted.

The sale yesterday followed a seven-month price slide in top wines from the region, and was 36 percent below the high of 4,235 pounds a case it reached in April 2011 at the peak of Chinese demand for Bordeaux, according to data on the London-based market’s Cellar Watch website.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, a benchmark for top claret, has declined about 6 percent since mid-March after advancing 8 percent in the first 10 weeks of this year, leaving it up less than 2 percent since December. Demand for wines from Burgundy, Italy and California has combined with a rally in the British pound since July to weaken collectors’ appetite for Bordeaux.

“We haven’t got back to the recent low recorded in the second half of 2012, where there seems to be a natural floor due to the cheapness of the wines, but we are not far from it,” Will Beck, partner of London-based Wine Asset Managers LLP, said in a market report. The fund has $20 million under management.

This week’s price was 15 percent below the 3,200 pound a case level at which Cheval Blanc ’08 was trading on Liv-ex in April 2010, as the bull run in Bordeaux wines was gathering momentum, according to Liv-ex data.

Cabernet Franc

The 2008 Cheval Blanc ranks as the estate’s cheapest wine of the past five years, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website.

The vintage was given a rating of 93 points on a 100-point scale by U.S. wine critic Robert Parker, lagging behind the estate’s wines from the four subsequent years, according to data on the website.

Cheval Blanc is rated among the top four growers in Saint-Emilion in the 2012 classification published last September. It has the rank of Premier Grand Cru Classe A alongside Chateau Ausone, Chateau Pavie and Chateau Angelus in the classification, which replaced one dating from 1996.

Cheval Blanc has 58 percent of its vineyard planted with Cabernet Franc and the remaining 42 percent with Merlot, according to the estate’s website. The average age of the vines is more than 40 years.

The estate is one of the top wines marketed by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world’s largest luxury goods company, along with Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Krug and Veuve Clicquot Champagnes and Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes.

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