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Bordeaux '17 Pricing Causes Backlog of Wine Stocks, Liv-ex Says

  • Margins squeezed for Bordeaux merchants buying wine futures
  • Bordeaux 2017 vintage hit by worst frosts in quarter century
Harvest in the Bordeaux region.
Harvest in the Bordeaux region.Photographer: Bob Edme/AP

High prices for Bordeaux 2017 compared with similar prior vintages, and restrained demand from buyers focusing on a few top labels, is leading to wine stocks backing up at merchants in the French port and a squeeze on margins through the supply chain, according to London-based online wine market Liv-ex.

Average 2017 prices for wines in the Liv-ex Bordeaux 500 Fine Wine Index, comprising the last 10 physically-available vintages from 50 top wine estates, were down just 11.5 percent from the higher quality 2016 vintage. The average 2017 price in the index was 124 euros ($146) a bottle in bond, only 2 euros cheaper than the more critically-acclaimed 2015 vintage and almost 20 percent more than Liv-ex’s suggested fair-value level. The 2017 season was marked in some regions by the worst spring frosts in a quarter century.