Talking Trade – a shake-up in Saint-Emilion

  • Cheval Blanc and Ausone caused a stir in Saint-Emilion by quitting the classification.
  • Bordeaux’s weekly trade share held above 50% for the second week running.
  • Several vintages of Petrus were among the most-traded wines.

The Fine Wine Market has reached the slow summer period. Between the En Primeur Releases in June and La Place releases in September, summer holidays take the place of news, but this week there was plenty of stories and analysis to keep the market entertained.

Ausone and Cheval Blanc officially withdrew from the Saint-Emilion Classification which was due to be updated in 2022. The Times and other papers reported that the two estates felt that the classification criteria had strayed from the importance of terroir, wine and history of the estate, with the evaluation now putting greater emphasis on marketing and social media presence.

Our coverage looked at the secondary market performance of these two châteaux compared to the broader market, and wines in the Right Bank 50.

Liv-ex coverage of the first half of 2021 continued with insight into market volatility and the most searched for wines from the four major trading regions. Mouton Rothschild and Lafite Rothschild led in many cases but the vintages being searched for may surprise you.

En Primeur 2020 was ripe with commemorative releases and Liv-ex put together a summary of each, with the reason why, a look at the bottle, and its price compared to 2019.

Regional trade

Bordeaux’s trade share by value held above 50% for the second week running.

The region’s July trade share now stands at 52.2%, a share last seen in March 2020. More than 50% of sub-regional trade so far in July has been from Pauillac (driven by demand for First Growths) with Pomerol and Saint-Emilion taking 13% each.

Burgundy’s trade share saw a small dip but its weekly share was still in line with its June share. Champagne share was lifted by trade in Cristal and non-vintage wines.

The USA’s share saw a big lift from the week before, and Screaming Eagle 2018 was the most traded wine from the region.

Top traded labels

When multiple vintages of Petrus are in the top five, it is a pertinent time to rehash the wine’s Fair Value chart. There’s a clear divide for “on” and “off” vintages. Prices for “off” vintages range between £22,000-£27,000 (12×75), while prices for “on” vintages start at £34,500 and go as high as £50,000. It is an interesting example of the premium that “on” vintages often command.

All scores below are from Neal Martin (Vinous) and have been given within the past five years.