Focus on: Petrus 1998

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2019-02-19


Petrus 1998


Price: £32,000 per 12

WO average score: 97

Robert Parker: 98

Neal Martin: 98+


There is a compelling case to be made for Petrus ’98. Petrus is Petrus and trades in a rarefied right bank bracket, with the only other occupant being Le Pin. Their following is immense, with prices to match yet these have now been sustained for decades. These are properly premium wines.


Petrus 1998 market price vs score


’98 was very much a right bank vintage and only 2,400 cases of Petrus were produced compared the normal 4,000. The wine is now approaching its prime and satisfies the most important of current investment criteria, namely scarcity, in spades.

Some of Neal Martin’s (admittedly more exuberant) notes:

"The 1998 Petrus is the best Right Bank of the decade and here, against the 2000 and 2001, there is no contest. The aromatics are a masterclass of control and precision, yet it is also one of the most intense bouquets that has ever been produced at the estate. This is a "complete" Petrus that is magnificent in every department."

It makes one wonder why it has not been accredited the full 100 points but maybe Neal has reverted to being more conservative in his scoring having left WA? Parker and Robinson are equally effusive about the wine at various points over the course of its development, but Martin’s notes are by far the most recent. The slightly ridiculous premium that the 2000 vintage enjoys means that Petrus ’00 currently trades at £45,000 per 12. It is interesting to note that since the summer of last year the ’98 has begun to outperform the ’00 and both the WO150 Index and the WO Bordeaux Index. We think this is set to continue.

The tasting notes and the scarcity together with the more regular analysis of MPS (market price versus score) and RVS (relative value score), as viewed in the charts above and below, further the investment case.


Petrus 1998 market price vs score


Recommendation: BUY


Focus on: Pichon Lalande 2010

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2019-02-05


Pichon Lalande 2010

WO Score: 94

Price: £1,300 per 12

Probably our most popular and current investment theme, derived from the outperformance generated by Burgundy in the last few years, is scarcity. This recommendation has not been generated as a result of scarcity, it comes from the old-fashioned premise that good old-fashioned merchants used to be famed for – this is bloody good stuff, it’s under-priced and it’s going up - trust us!


Pichon-Lalande 2010 Market price versus score

Looking at the chart below the relative value doesn’t appear out of kilter relative to its peer group but that is using a WO generated averaged score (of current ratings) of 94 points. Based on various tastings since the Wine Advocate et al rated this wine, members of the team here have consistently and with conviction rated this wine above its peer group and above its current critic scores. To be fair Mr. Parker, back in February ’13, allowed himself some room for improvement with a 95+. The WO team would apply the plus sign very happily.


Pichon-Lalande Relative value score

For the sake of argument if we were to award the Pichon Lalande a score of 97 and run that number through the relative value equation, the score would be a far more enticing 30, almost as cheap as Leoville Barton – and Pichon Lalande is never as cheap as Leoville Barton!

On top of this, 2010 is becoming widely accepted as the greatest vintage of the modern era. The five first growths from 2010 currently average £7,500 per 12 and Pichon Lalande ‘82, possibly the greatest vintage the estate has produced until this one, is £7,800 per 12, so there seems plenty of room for upside!


Market price versus score


The Great Burgundian Conundrium

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2019-02-04


As a couple of recent posts have alluded to, we think some of the really top end Burgundy has reached heights that might not be sustainable in the short to medium term. Over the last decade or so the Burgundy market has been the star performer:


Decade WO 150 Index


But in the last year it has gone into interstellar overdrive:


2018 WO 150 Index


Obviously Burgundy, and particularly the greatest names, are in short supply and the desire to have a slice of the action has had a dramatic impact on prices. But can this continue - THAT is the question!? This commentator has already sold some of the spectacularly performing big names and is reallocating the assets lower down the ladder, especially where prices are yet to move.

Last week we compared values of Clos de Beze 2010 from the Domaines of Rousseau, (Bruno) Clair and Drouhin-Laroze, all very closely rated, to find their respective price ratios to be 1 Rousseau for 13 Clair for 28 Drouhin-Laroze. This highlights the incredible disparity between certain growers and of course there will always be premia for certain names. However, the gaps have widened and some of the differentials are unjustified - opportunities abound, inter Burgundy and elsewhere. This quick comparison of a few random names suggests the currently less fashionable 1st Growth Bordeaux and even serious Rhone could be worth a look:

Burgundy Market versus price


Please get in touch if you would like to discuss the Burgundian Conundrium and see if we can make sense of it!?


Focus on: Chambertin, Clos de Beze 2010

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2019-01-31


Domaine Bruno Clair, Chambertin, Clos de Beze 2010

WO Score: 94

Price: £3,120 per 12

Note from Burghound (93-96 points):

A spicy, pure and admirably refined nose offers up notes of cool, layered and an impressively broad mix of wild red berries, stone and underbrush hints. The textured and almost painfully intense broad-shouldered flavors possess deep reserves of tannin-buffering dry extract as well as the same extraordinary finishing depth that the nose hints at. A knock-out but this is expressly built to age and the flavors and tannic spine are so tightly wound that it's pointless to buy this if you do not intend to age it for at least 10 to 12 years first.


Domaine Drouhin-Laroze, Chambertin, Clos de Beze 2010

WO Score 96

Price: £1,410 per 12

Note from Burghound (93-95):

A spicy, ripe, elegant and admirably pure nose offers up notes of anise, sandalwood and clove that add breadth to the floral, earth and stone-suffused aromas. There is the same superb breadth to the rich, intense and tension-filled full-bodied flavors that possess excellent power and drive on the seductively textured, muscular and classy finish.




Both the Drouhin-Laroze and the Bruno Clair expressions of Clos de Beze from the blockbuster 2010 look attractive at current levels with the less fashionable Drouhin-Laroze really standing out - there are a few cases in the market too. Both get great scores across the board from the critics and have not kept pace with the sizzling Burgundy index (Drouhin-Laroze in light blue) over the last three years:




Whilst seeking high quality wines that have lagged the Burgundy market, these two have popped up as good candidates. More and more market watchers will be searching for this type of opportunity, so some catch up is expected. Neither have hit their drinking stride yet but when the scarcity kicks in, will it be possible to source them when they do? I doubt it.

Although it is not comparing like with like, Rousseau’s take on this famous piece of dirt, (rated at 94-97) at £40,000 per 12, is probably fully valued and I for one would be making a switch! Putting it another way you can buy 28.5 bottles of the Drouhin-Laroze product for one of dear Monsieur Rousseau’s! The Clair to Rousseau ratio a more modest 1:13, but still!?


Focus on: Haut Brion 1990-2006

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2019-01-24


Haut Brion has always been referred to the connoisseur’s choice amongst the upper echelon and indeed it averages the highest scores across multiple vintages within its peer group. Yet strangely, and more often than not, it trades at a discount to its peers.

Looking at this Relative Value Score the 2006 (£3,500 per 12) stands out but good investment rationale can be argued for the ’90, ’95, ’96, and ’01 also.

The case for the ’90 (£8,900) is that it is currently trading at its widest ever discount to its chart-topping sibling of ’89 (£25,000) and the scarcity force is strong!

1995 (£4,300) because it’s getting on a bit now, is not that challenging in price terms and is drinking very nicely, as personally witnessed at Thanksgiving.

Last week the ’96 (£4,200), in my view a better wine than the ‘95, gave an effortless history lesson in classicism and has a long and charming life ahead. It was allowed five hours in the decanter which was richly rewarded and is a stupendous wine albeit not so overtly fruit driven as Mouton ’96, but that wine is £1,000 more per case at a similar rating level.

The ’01 is £3,700, so very low for a first growth and has been drinking well for some time. Its relative value score above 8 makes it look interesting.

The giants of ’05, ’09 and ’10 are exactly that and deserve to trade in another price bracket altogether. This commentator’s view, however, is that’s where they will stay for the time being and price performance in the short to medium term will evade them, as it has done in recent times:

Buy: Haut Brion ’90, ’95, ’96, ’01 and ‘06

Sell: Haut Brion ’05, ’09 and ‘10

Haut Brion 2000 will be included in a separate post.


Focus on: Haut Brion 2006

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2019-01-23


WO Score: 96

Price: £3,500 per 12

Haut Brion 2006 is cheap, working relatively on a vertical basis by comparing it to other similarly rated vintages of Haut Brion and also on a horizontal basis, comparing it to its first growth peers. Its absolute relative score of very close to 10 is a leading indicator - anything in double figures for a first growth positively screams a buy. This falls marginally short of that magical figure but its consistent notes and firm scoring of 96 gives it a buy recommendation.


Focus on: Bordeaux legends from the 80s and 1990

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2019-01-21


Latour ’82, Mouton Rothschild ’82, Mouton Rothschild ’82, ’86, Haut Brion ’89, La Mission Haut Brion ’89, Margaux ’90, Cheval Blanc ’90 and Pichon Baron ‘90

When managing two wine investment funds (2006-2016) we referred to this subsection of the portfolio as ‘the legends‘. They all received cast iron reviews from all the major critics and rock solid and multiple 100s from Big Bob. Cheval Blanc ’90 “unequivocally a brilliant wine” (Neal Martin) has slipped a little to a 98+, but otherwise these wines are confirmed as truly great – legendary in fact! As such, they don’t come cheap (prices in GBP per bottle in graphic below).

Latour and Mouton ’82, +46% and 38% in 2018 respectively, Haut Brion and La Mission ’89 +35% and +52% respectively and Margaux ’90 +35% have all broken out and have massively outperformed the index in the last few months. I believe they can continue to yield positive returns.




Scarcity has been the big driver of price rises in the last couple of years as demonstrated most ably by Burgundy (WO Burgundy Index +33% for 2018, +16% in 2017). This is a prime example of how the principle of good demand versus limited supply in the wine market can work. As a region Burgundy has thrashed others as production is so much smaller, especially with Bordeaux in comparison. Where Bordeaux has been able to compete is in these older vintages of legendary wines, where consumption has driven a scarcity of supply. Each case that is now opened will have a direct impact on that side of the equation.




Cheval ’90 has been volatile but is generally on the up and is well worth considering. I have included Pichon Baron ’90, only a 98+ according to Neal Martin but a Steven Spurrier legend, as it is so relatively cheap and has not broken out at all, so watch this space. The really obvious choice, however, is Mouton ’86. This wine at 32+ years is still a baby in terms of maturity but has an exciting life ahead. Its backwardness has had an impact on the wine’s supply but that will change. As ever good provenance is extremely important and as this is a wine that has been traded more than most so beware - we have seen many examples of poor condition. If this can be found in good nick, do not hesitate in acquiring it - it’s a legend!

Recommendation

Buy: Mouton ’86, Cheval Blanc ’90, Pichon Baron ‘90

Hold: if it’s a legend, continue to hold, for now at least…

N.B. Petrus ’89 and ’90 fall into the ‘legend’ definition but they are so expensive (c.£45,000 per 12) and rare, they have been excluded here.

Miles Davis - professional wine consultant working in the fine wine market. He has been a wine collector for thirty years and managed wine investment funds between 2006-17 for Wine Asset Managers LLP.


Focus on: Margaux 1989

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2019-01-15


Chateau Margaux - ©Wine Owners Ltd.


WO Score: 95

Price: £4,675 per 12

Margaux ’89 has never received great scores from Robert Parker, with five tasting notes at either 89 or 90 points. His last post on the subject, however, was recorded in 2003. Neal Martin has always been more generous, rating the wine between 92 and 95, the last note dated 2010 – so, again, some time ago. In 2008 Jancis Robinson rewarded the wine with a generous 19 points which, as we know, is a high score from her.

The relatively low (and now aged) scores from Parker have probably always depressed the price performance of Margaux ’89. A more recent note from another critic a bit closer to home, from a dinner only a few months ago, yielded this review: “The generosity of the vintage is evident on the nose, yet the accomplishments of this wine are still hidden, and there’s a sense of more to come. That grainy texture and gorgeous spiced finish are surely harbingers of great things in store for future drinking. As a result, a decent investment to boot for a 10-year view: 94+.”

Margaux ‘89 has always been dwarfed by its much acclaimed sister from the ’90 vintage which currently trades at £13,000 per 12. 1989 and 1990 are often coupled for comparative purposes and have thrown up some intriguing pairs, both for tasting and trading purposes, Haut Brion and Petrus being the most fabled.

As the chart below demonstrates, the prices of Margaux ’89 and ’90 started diverging six months ago and the differential has never been wider. This, coupled with our own notes above, gives us good reason to recommend a purchase.


___ 1989
___ 1990

Recommendation: Buy.


WO Exchange Top 20 – Best deals against Market Value

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2015-03-11


A week into March, activity on the fine wine exchange has been steady off the back of record highs in January and February. The focus has clustered around older vintages of Bordeaux, in line with market expectations which indicate that apart from ‘perfect’ wines there is as yet modest appetite for 2009 and 2010, let alone more recent vintages.

In vintages which are attracting more favour, however, successful bids have been closer than ever to market price, and seem to indicate the beginnings of wider price improvement.

The WO First Growth Index shows improvement still from December, though shedding a point from early February’s level, perhaps following a slight trading lull post Chinese New Year.

First Growth Index


With that in mind, worth noting that there are still many offers that are below either market level, or best UK market price, and by no means are these all Bordeaux. In fact, a ‘best 20’ offers includes extraordinary variety at best-in-market prices: Insignia 1996, Grange 2009, Rousseau Clos des Ruchottes 2000, and big bottles of Ausone 2005 and La Mission 2001.

Wine Pack size Cases In Bond Pack Price Current market price
Joseph Phelps Winery Insignia - 1996 12x75 1 IB £1,100.00 £1539.24
Chateau Ausone - 2005 1x300 2 IB £3,000.00 £3424.2
Chateau Angelus - 2005 6x150 1 IB £2,200.00 £2556.72
Penfolds Wines Grange Bin 95 Shiraz - 2009 6x75 10 IB £1,550.00 £1879.92
Chateau l'Evangile - 2005 6x150 1 IB £1,250.00 £1565.76
Domaine Meo-Camuzet Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Boudots - 1996 12x75 1 IB £2,250.00 £2496
Chateau de Valandraud - 2005 12x75 2 IB £1,400.00 £1638.6
Frederic Magnien Chambertin Clos de Beze - 2009 12x75 1 IB £1,000.00 £1236.36
Roberto Voerzio La Serra Barolo - 1998 12x75 3 IB £900.00 £1107
Jean Chauvenet Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes - 2004 12x75 1 IB £250.00 £456
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion - 2001 3x300 1 IB £1,195.00 £1400.04
Roberto Voerzio Brunate Barolo - 1998 12x75 2 IB £800.00 £993.72
Chateau Moulin Saint-Georges - 2005 12x75 1 IB £310.00 £483.24
Chateau Clinet - 2009 12x75 1 IB £1,875.00 £2040.36
Paul Jaboulet Aine La Chapelle Hermitage - 2006 6x75 1 IB £310.00 £429.06
Falletto di Bruno Giacosa Falletto Barolo Riserva - 2001 6x75 1 IB £1,250.00 £1366.14
Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos des Ruchottes Monopole - 2000 12x75 1 IB £3,190.00 £3305.28
Les Forts de Latour - 2004 12x75 1 IB £1,175.00 £1289.88
Domaine Henri Bonneau Cuvee Speciale Chateauneuf du Pape - 1998 6x75 1 IB £1,900.00 £2012.22
Roberto Voerzio Cerequio Barolo - 1998 12x75 2 IB £850.00 £952.92
Domaine Alain Hudelot Noellat Chambolle-Musigny - 2007 12x75 1 DP £300.00 £401.16


WINE PICK: 2006 Mouton Rothschild

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-10-13


2006 Mouton Rothschild


11 records

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