Montrose '05, Cheval Blanc '06 Lead Trade on Liv-ex Wine Market

  • Bordeaux's share of trading climbs back toward January level
  • Screaming Eagle 2013 vintage also features among most traded

The 2005 vintage of Chateau Montrose, an estate in the Saint Estephe appellation of Bordeaux, and the 2006 wines of Saint Emilion grower Chateau Cheval Blanc led trading by value on the London-based Liv-ex wine exchange over the past week, according to a Liv-ex market blog.

Last month, Montrose’s 2009 vintage caught buyers’ attention after a fresh batch from the estate went on sale, according to Liv-ex data. The 2005 is cheaper, reflecting a lower score from U.S. wine critic Robert Parker, trading at 890 pounds ($1,282) per case of 12 on Liv-ex in the past week compared with a broader market price of 1,900 pounds for the 2009.

Bordeaux wines have been increasing their share of Liv-ex trading this year after a four-year slump since 2011 sparked by a global economic slowdown, volatile financial markets and waning demand from China.

Chateau Montrose and its vineyard stand in Saint-Estephe.

Photographer: Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP via Getty Images

Bordeaux’s share of trading by value rose to 78.4 percent in the week to Feb. 18 from 75.7 percent the previous week, almost taking it back to last month’s 78.6 percent level, according to Liv-ex. It fell to as low as 65.5 percent in June.

“After two slow weeks for the region, Bordeaux’s trade share increased to levels seen in January,” Liv-ex said in its blog. “But activity was not boosted by the first growths, which accounted for just 12.5 percent by value. Instead, Montrose 2005 and Cheval Blanc 2006 were traded in large quantities.” 

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index rose 1.6 percent last month, notching up its first back-to-back monthly gain since June, as demand for Bordeaux revived, partly helped by the Chinese New Year festivities.

Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of leading Bordeaux first-growth estates.

Chateau Montrose has been owned since 2006 by Martin and Olivier Bouygues, who run Paris-based construction and media company Bouygues SA. The estate is ranked as a second-growth vineyard in the Bordeaux classification drawn up for Napoleon III’s 1855 Paris Exhibition. That puts it among the top 20 producers in the Medoc region, which is to the north of the city.

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.

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.

Other leading wines traded on Liv-ex in the past week included the 2013 vintage of leading Napa Valley estate Screaming Eagle, as well as Cheval Blanc 2007 and Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2003, according to Liv-ex.

London-based AWC Fine Wine said in an e-mail on Feb. 18 that it had received its first offer for the latest release of the Screaming Eagle 2013, which it said was priced at 5,275 pounds per three-bottle case in bond. It described the wine as a blend of 76 percent cabernet sauvignon, 13 percent merlot and 11 percent cabernet franc, all grapes typical of Bordeaux.