Champagne and Burgundy Continue to Surge

The Champagne category performed well in the first quarter of 2017, as indicated by prices for 1996 Krug Clos de Mesnil, +43.8% over 8 trades in the first quarter.  Prices for the regular 1996 Krug Brut  and the 1990 Dom Perignon were up more modestly at +7.3% and +11.1% on a broader base.

Top Bordeaux wines were flat or down moderately in the period: ’89 Haut-Brion was -0.9%, ’82 Lafite was +1.3% and 1990 Cheval was +3.8%, while 2000 Petrus was -9.2% and ’89 Lynch Bages was -13.9%

Growth continued for many Burgundy wines.  The biggest gainer was ’93 Leroy Musigny at +52.5%, but there was only one trade during the period (in the Acker Grunewald sale), although other vintages of the same wine also showed sharp growth and Leroy generally has been very buoyant in spite of fairly high prices.  1990 Rousseau Chambertin continued to show good growth at +31.9%, and even younger vintages, such as the 2010 Liger-Belair La Romanee was +9.4%.  Some of the less well-known wines showed slower growth however: no ’09 Cathiard Malconsorts came to market, but the ’05 vintage was +3.7% in the period, and the ’05 Fourrier Clos Saint-Jacques was +0.9%.

Results were mixed for white Burgundy.  1996 Coche Corton Charlemagne showed comparatively modest growth at +2.9%, but 2005 DRC Montrachet was +57.5% over 11 bottles trading hands, with 9 of them at Acker’s Chinese New Year sale.

Elsewhere, prices were generally higher for Rhone wines.  ’90 Rayas was +14.5%, and ’98 Bonneau Celestins showed the most growth of any indicator in the period at +62.8%.  Others, however, had dropped: ’78 La Chapelle was -1.4% (no ’61 traded hands), and the ’99 La Mouline was -17.7% with 50 bottles trading hands.  Italian wine drooped slightly: ’07 Masseto was -6.5% in spite of a strong showing at the Sotheby’s New York sale, and ’90 Monfortino was -4.9%.

New World wines were mixed.  ’01 Grange was +4.3%, but ’97 Screaming Eagle was -3.8%, and ’94 Dominus was -5.7%, while Port continued to show modest growth, with ’63 Nacional +7.6% and ’77 Taylor’s at +4.0%.

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