Haut-Brion ’01 Bordeaux Climbs to 10-Month Liv-Ex High of $4,480

A case of Chateau Haut-Brion 2001, a first-growth Bordeaux from the Pessac-Leognan district on the south side of the city, sold for 2,741 pounds ($4,480) on the Liv-ex wine exchange this week, its highest level since March.

The transaction on Jan. 15 was almost 10 percent above last year’s low of 2,500 pounds a case touched in January, July and September, according to data on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website. This week’s price was within 5 percent of the 2013 high of 2,870 pounds reached by the vintage in March.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index has held stable since the start of this year after falling 3 percent last year, 10 percent in 2012 and 17 percent in 2011. Muted investor demand for top Bordeaux has reduced the proportion of first-growth wines traded on Liv-ex.

“A few bids are appearing that weren’t there before Christmas,” Miles Davis, partner of London-based Wine Asset Managers LLP, said. “It feels a little bit more positive.” The fund has $20 million under management.

The vintage peaked in April 2011 at 3,825 pounds, since when it has declined 28 percent, according to Liv-ex data. It is still more than triple the level of 855 pounds a case in January 2004, when it 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 2001 wine is the seventh cheapest of the past 15 available years, 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 2001 wine scored 94 points from U.S. critic Robert Parker in an online tasting note in June 2004, putting it below at least eight other vintages in the past 15 years, according to 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 in February last year while another fetched 10,810 pounds at a Sotheby’s U.K. sale the same month.

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