Cheval Blanc 2006 Bordeaux Drops to $4,620 Four-Year Low

The 2006 vintage of Chateau Cheval Blanc, a leading wine estate in Bordeaux’s Saint-Emilion region, fell to a four-year low of 2,740 pounds ($4,620) a case on the Liv-ex wine market as collectors favored older vintages.

Twelve bottles, packed as two half-cases, sold for that price on the exchange May 20, below the 2,750 pounds touched in November 2012 and the lowest level since December 2009, according to Liv-ex data on its Cellar Watch website.

Prices for recent vintages of Bordeaux have been under pressure following a muted investor response to the marketing campaign for the region’s 2013 wines, which went on sale last month. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, comprising recent vintages of first-growth wines, is heading for its ninth straight monthly drop and has declined more than 5 percent this year.

Looking at vintages over the previous month, “all the weakest performers were from 2004 or younger, supporting our view that more mature years are likely to generate stronger returns,” Chris Smith, investment manager at The Wine Investment Fund in London, wrote in an e-mailed market report.

Saint-Emilion Ranking

The Cheval Blanc 2006 trade was 32 percent below the 4,000-pound level at which it peaked in March 2011 and almost in line with the 2,726 pounds at which it traded in September 2009 in an early transaction on the exchange.

Cheval Blanc is rated among the top four growers in Saint-Emilion in the 2012 rankings. It has the status 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.

Another wine registering a decline this week was Chateau Cantenac Brown, a third-growth Margaux estate. A case of its 2010 vintage fell to a record low 326 pounds on Liv-ex May 20, according to exchange data, down from the previous low of 333 pounds in December and 17 percent down from the 395 pounds at which it traded in June 2011 when it first came to market.

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