Top 5 Recent Bordeaux Vintages Worth Investing In

Fine wines are like works of art. And just like there are only a small number of truly great artists, there are only a limited number of wines worthy of being called ‘great’.

Some of the most famous of the world’s great wines are made within the Bordeaux region of France; with the Saint-Emilion, Medoc, Pomerol and Graves sub-regions producing some of the best fine wines. With more than 10,000 wine growers and 57 appellations Bordeaux has some 9,000 wine-producing chateaux which produce 660 million bottles of really excellent wine every year.

The most revered (and expensive) Bordeaux wines comprise the five “first growths”: Lafite-Rothschild, Margaux, Latour, Haut-Brion and Mouton-Rothschild as well as other top-level investment calibre wines such as Petrus and Cheval Blanc.

If you’re buying wine as an investment, it is advisable to consult a reputable advisory company. But here’s a brief summary of some of the best recent vintages of the Bordeaux sub-regions that would have historically yielded good returns:

1. 1982: Considered an “exceptional” vintage. Go for wines from St. Julien/Pauillac or Pomerol sub-regions.

2. 2005: Considered by many the vintage of a lifetime across all of Bordeaux, although Robert Parker’s scores do not necessarilty reflect that.

3. 1986: All regions had good yields.

4. 2000: St. Julien/Pauillac, Graves and St. Emillion should be considered, then Margaux and Pomerol. This was one of the best vintages in the last decade and while ready to be drunk, can improve further.

5. 2009: Three massive questions will dominate this springs Bordeaux en primeur campaign: will this turn out to be the spectacular vintage that most are predicting? With increased demand from the far East confirmed, will the Bordeaux negociants (those who set pricing) use this as an opportunity to hugely increase release prices after 2008’s (mostly sensible) pricing structure? Finally (and probably most importantly): what will the hugely influential Robert Parker think?

Generally, even among the best vintages, the prices of individual wines will rise at a different rate. Furthermore, even within a single wine, price will generally vary a great deal across vintages…

One fact remains true – the longer one is able to hold onto one’s selections, the greater the chance of a good return; most Bordeaux wines are constructed in such a way as to improve greatly over a period of time, usually up to 50 years.


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