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Spotlight On: Bordeaux First-Growths 2000 Vintage

John Siudut
Posted: April 12, 2007

High futures prices for 2005 Bordeaux have drawn howls of protest from veteran Bordeaux buyers, but a look at the evolution of first-growth prices for 2000—one of the last vintages to be priced in the ballpark of the 2005s—may help put prices for the 2005s in perspective. Many people balked at the average $424 release price for the 2000s. But today, the average auction price for these five wines is $704. And the three that earned 100-point ratings from Wine Spectator (Lafite, Latour and Margaux) now average $793 per bottle, nearly doubling since the second quarter of 2005.

It may be disheartening that the futures prices for 2005s are at the same level as the current prices for the 2000. Keep in mind, though, that the 2005 vintage was superb. There are more than forty potentially classic-scoring wines according to barrel tastings conducted by James Suckling.

While there is no guarantee that the 2005s will have the same track record at auction as the 2000s, buyers in the market for 2005s should note that the first-growths from 2000 traded sideways for nearly two years after release before gaining momentum and climbing dramatically in price. This stall gave auctiongoers a grace period to snap up the wines at, or below, release prices.

Advice to those looking for more down to earth prices: There are plenty of outstanding wines from the 2000 Bordeaux vintage still trading well below their release price. Look for Château Clinet (96, release price: $125; current auction average: $83), La Mondotte (95, release price: $520; current auction average: $257), Château Léoville-Barton (97, release price: $150; current auction average: $139), Vieux-Château-Certan (95, release price: $155; current auction average: $118) and Château Rauzan-Ségla (95, release price: $105; current auction average: $59).

This data comes from the Wine Spectator Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions. The prices in this chart are indexed to 100 beginning in the first quarter of 2003. This chart plots the index value of the five first-growth Bordeauxs from 2000 (Mouton, Margaux, Latour, Lafite and Haut-Brion) against the Wine Spectator Auction Index.

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