The forgotten 08s

By November 17, 2010Bordeaux, En Primeur, Regions, Releases

With the prices of the 2008 vintages of Mouton and Lafite continuing their swift ascent, and Latour already bid at £7,200 per case, one wonders whether the forgotten First Growths are also in line for some of the 08 magic. Neither Margaux nor Haut Brion are due to release their 08s with a Chinese label or a Chinese figure eight; however, both vintages now appear inordinately cheap in comparison with their peers.

Margaux 2008, which scores 95-97 points from Parker, is available at £4,400 per case, whilst Haut Brion 08 (RP 95-97) offers particularly good value at £3,500 - less than half of the price of Mouton. A look at the price of Haut Brion 08 relative to the same vintage of Lafite reveals it is now trading at a ratio of 4:1 – making it the joint-cheapest Haut Brion in the market in comparison with its fellow First Growth (an honour it shares with the 2003 vintage). Should the 2008 price momentum that we have seen for Lafite and Mouton extend to the rest of the Premier Crus, then both of these wines currently represent excellent value.

The chart below shows the market value of the First Growths' 2008 vintages.

 Haut Brion 08 vs the other First Growths

A comparison between the price of Clarence Haut Brion and its grand vin also highlights value in 2008. Clarence Haut Brion, which has replaced Bahans since 2007, has seen prices go only one way in recent months, with vintages 2007-2009 having increased in value by an average of 68% since June. The 2008, which is offered on the exchange at £900 per case, has more than doubled in value over the same period. As a result, whilst Haut Brion 09 is 6.9 times the price of Clarence 09, the 08 vintage of the grand vin is just 3.9 times the price of its Clarence equivalent. Time to play catch up?