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Spotlight On: Bordeaux 2003

John Siudut
Posted: June 7, 2007

While the index of auction prices for Bordeaux 2003 shows a solid climb into positive territory, a closer look at the data shows that nine wines out of the 45 included in the Bordeaux index represent the driving force behind the growth: the five first-growths along with Pétrus, Ausone, Cheval-Blanc and Lafleur. Furthermore, Pétrus and Ausone have actually been the two true standouts in that group, growing in value by 135 percent in just four quarters.

Pétrus has gone from $750 on release to an average of $1,982 so far in the second quarter of 2007, a 164 percent gain. A case of Pétrus was recently sold at Acker Merrall & Condit's May 19 sale for a whopping $28,680, or $2,390 per bottle. Château Ausone has shown a similar arc, rising over 100 percent to average almost $1,600 a bottle. A recent case sold for $28,440, or an average of $2,370 a bottle, at the May 22 evening auction at Christie's.

Taking out Ausone and Pétrus from our Bordeaux 2003 index shows how potent they have been for the index as a whole. Without these two, the index would only show a 15 percent gain instead of 39 percent.

The first-growths as a group have also influenced the index, but to a lesser extent than Pétrus and Ausone, growing 44 percent in value. Château Latour and Château Lafite are the standouts in that group, rising 69 percent and 56 percent respectively. Château Margaux, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion remain relative bargains, with Château Haut-Brion rising only 14 percent over its release price of $325.

Most values are found in the rest of the pack, where Château Léoville Las Cases is selling for about $180, a discount to its $215 release price and Château Calon-Ségur is selling for an average of $77, compared to its $105 release price.

For those looking to add Bordeaux 2003 wines to their cellars, the June 15 auction at Zachy's will feature two lots of six and 12 bottles of the Mouton-Rothschild 2003 with estimates at $333 on the high end and $216 at the low end—bargains compared to the $414 current average at auction.

This data comes from the Wine Spectator Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions. The release prices have been indexed to 100. This chart plots the index value Bordeaux 2003 sold at auction in beginning in the third quarter of 2006 against the index values of the following: the average prices of Pétrus and Ausone 2003, the average prices of the first-growth Bordeaux from 2003 and the average prices of Bordeaux 2003 without Pétrus and Ausone.

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