La Mission Haut-Brion ’08 Bordeaux Declines to Record Low

Twelve bottles of 2008 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, a Pessac-Leognan vineyard in Bordeaux’s southern suburbs, sold for a record low 1,160 pounds ($1,940) on Liv-ex amid price declines for recent top Bordeaux vintages.

The price for the deal on March 5 was 12 percent below its peak 2014 level touched in January, according to Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website, and 51 percent down from its record high of 2,350 pounds reached in May 2011 amid a bull market in top Bordeaux wines fueled by Chinese demand.

The London-based Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index has declined for 10 of the past 11 months and has fallen 2 percent since the start of this year after declines of 3 percent in 2013 and 10 percent in 2012. Investors and collectors deterred by prices of recent top growths are focusing on next month’s presentation of the 2013 vintage for a signal on how the market may develop.

“The unwinding of the Asian premium should be close to completion,” Miles Davis, partner of London-based Wine Asset Managers LLP, wrote in a market blog. “The younger vintages have come off more than the more mature ones.” The fund, invested in Bordeaux, manages $20 million.

Twelve bottles of the same vintage sold for 1,186 pounds yesterday, still below the baseline level of 1,200 pounds set in January and February, according to Liv-ex data. It is also below the level of 1,236 pounds at which the wine traded in July 2010.

Clarence Dillon

The 2008 La Mission ranks as the estate’s cheapest of the past five years, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex.

The vintage was awarded a 95 rating on a 100-point scale by U.S. critic Robert Parker in an August 2012 online tasting note, putting it among the estate’s top five wines of the past 10 years, according to the website. The 2009 wine was awarded a perfect 100-point score.

Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion has been owned since 1983 by Domaine Clarence Dillon, proprietor of neighboring first-growth wine estate Chateau Haut-Brion.

La Mission produces mainly red wine from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes. It also makes smaller quantities of white wine, and traces the history of its vineyards back to the early sixteenth century.

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