Clos Fourtet ’09 Saint-Emilion Extends Record $3,100 on Liv-Ex

Eighteen bottles of Clos Fourtet 2009 Saint-Emilion sold for the equivalent of 1,950 pounds ($3,100) a case on the Liv-ex wine exchange this month, the third straight month the vintage has traded at or near a record.

The transactions on Nov. 7 and yesterday followed the sale of three cases also for 1,950 pounds on Oct. 21, while a similar case fetched 1,931 pounds on Sept. 13, according to data on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website. All of those prices exceeded the trading level of 1,900 pounds first reached in March.

While the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, tracking leading Bordeaux vintages, may be heading for its third consecutive year of declines after falling below its end-2012 level in the past week, wines from Saint-Emilion and Pomerol on the right bank of the Dordogne have outperformed some higher-priced Medoc vintages as collectors and investors sought more diversification.

“Right Bank wines have performed well overall, benefiting from good scores and solid price gains in a year which has seen many Bordeaux prices in stasis,” Liv-ex said in a market blog commentary.

Clos Fourtet is a Premier Grand Cru Classe Saint-Emilion wine estate, putting it among the top 18 in the district. Its 2009 vintage, made under the ownership of Philippe Cuvelier, comprised 88 percent Merlot grapes, 8 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 4 percent Cabernet Franc, according to notes on the estate’s website. The wine was aged for 18 months in barrels, with 80 percent new oak.

Medieval Fort

The vintage has risen 21 percent from its trading level at the end of last year, and tripled from the 640 pounds a case at which it traded in June 2010 on Liv-ex, soon after being released to the market.

It was rated a perfect 100 on U.S. wine critic Robert Parker’s scale, making it the estate’s best vintage on record according to that measure and ahead of the 2005 and 2010 vintages, which scored 98 each.

The vineyard lies at the entrance to the medieval village of Saint-Emilion and was called Camp Fourtet in the Middle Ages, when a fort on the site protected the town, according to the winery’s website. There is now an eighteenth-century manor house in its place.

The estate has 19 hectares (47 acres) of vineyards, according to the website of London wine importer Berry Bros. & Rudd, and its reputation was built up in the latter part of the twentieth century by Pierre Lurton, who went on to take over direction of winemaking at nearby Chateau Cheval Blanc.

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