Haut-Brion 2000 Slides to $8,460 Nine-Month Liv-Ex Low

A case of Chateau Haut-Brion 2000, a first-growth Bordeaux from the Pessac-Leognan district on the south side of the city, sold for 5,250 pounds ($8,470) on the Liv-ex wine exchange yesterday, its lowest level since January.

The transaction was 7.9 percent below this year’s high of 5,700 pounds a case reached in June, according to data on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website. This week’s price was 12 percent above the level of 4,700 pounds at which the vintage traded in December last year.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index has given up all of the gains it made in the first 10 weeks of the year as investors deterred by prices of recent Bordeaux wines have diversified outside the region. It fell 1.5 percent in October, its sixth month of decline in the past seven, extending a slide which has taken it down about 7 percent since the end of March.

“It is the first growths that are generally underperforming the market in Bordeaux at the moment, whereas demand for other left bank and right bank claret is, if not buoyant, then at least showing a bit more stability,” Will Beck, partner of London-based Wine Asset Managers LLP, said in a market report. The fund has $20 million under management.

The vintage peaked in March 2011 at 7,276 pounds, since when it has declined 28 percent, according to Liv-ex data. It is still more than double the level of March 2003, when it first started trading on the Liv-ex market.

Clarence Dillon

Haut-Brion is one of the five left-bank first growths in Bordeaux’s 1855 classification, and the 2000 wine is the third most expensive of the past 15 years, lagging behind only the 2009 and 2010, according to Liv-ex data. The estate, which has been making wine for more than 400 years, was bought in 1935 by U.S. financier Clarence Dillon and is still owned by his descendants.

The 2000 wine scored 99 points from U.S. critic Robert Parker, putting it among the top three vintages of the past 20 years, according the eRobertParker website.

Haut-Brion’s most expensive wine of the past quarter-century remains its 1989 vintage, which was awarded a perfect 100-point score by Parker. One case sold for 10,925 pounds at a Christie’s International Plc auction in London on Feb. 21 while another fetched 10,810 pounds at a Sotheby’s U.K. sale the same month.

Three cases of Haut-Brion’s 2006 vintage have also traded on Liv-ex this month at their lowest level since January, according to Liv-ex data. Twenty-four bottles sold for the equivalent of 2,700 pounds a case since Nov. 7, 8.5 percent below this year’s high of 2,950 pounds reached in February.

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