The fine wine market has stagnated in the midst of an uninspiring 2011 en primeur campaign.
The Fine Wine 100 Index created by the world’s leading fine-wine exchange, Liv-ex, fell 4 percent in May, according to its monthly Cellar Watch Market Report. It blamed a weakening economy, euro zone instability and a lackluster en primeur campaign for the decline.
May is usually a month when trading is buoyant, fueled by the launch of Bordeaux’s new releases, but the 2011 en primeur campaign has failed to attract buyers. On average, the new releases represent around one-fifth of trade on the Liv-ex exchange during May; this year they accounted for just 7 percent.
“Bordeaux misjudged the mood badly this year, turning what could have been a quick easy campaign into a long, overly complicated slog," the report noted.
The factors for the “slog” included poor value for money across the region. During the campaign, Mark Bedini, chairman of traders Fine+Rare Wines, commented that “with extraordinarily few exceptions, wines are being priced to the hilt, or ludicrously beyond! Regular customers are staying away because they have cellars full of the wondrous 2009s and '10s, let alone 'bargain' 2008s.”
Bordeaux châteaux also misjudged timing of their releases. “Half of Bordeaux releasing on the same day is not a good idea, particularly when that day is at the back end of the campaign,” the Liv-ex report assessed. In addition, Asian buyers stayed away from the release of the 2011 wines and Bordeaux failed to “re-engage with its traditional market."