After four consecutive years of price declines, the fine wine market is at a low ebb. Falling prices have largely been a problem for Bordeaux wines. Wine prices in many other regions such as Burgundy, Champagne, Italy and the New World are at or close to record highs. Indeed, within Bordeaux itself, price deflation has been particularly evident for the First Growths and their second wines which gained most in the China-led boom. Many other wines on both left and right banks are above levels achieved at the peak. These trends are reflected in market activity, where First Growths have lost market share to lower priced rivals and Bordeaux has lost share to other regions.
The market for En Primeur has been particularly weak. Customers have lost money for the last five vintages. Between the release of the 2008 and 2010 vintages, ex-chateaux prices increased 250% at a time when secondary market values increased by only 53%. Since then, new release prices have been slow to adjust to the changing market reality. This may explain the sharp drop in En Primeur trade on Liv-ex, which was down 97% on 2009 levels in last year’s campaign.