A case of 1996 wine from Chateau Lynch-Bages, an estate on the Gironde estuary north of Bordeaux, sold for 1,155 pounds ($1,790) on Liv-ex yesterday, an eight-month high and 13 percent above its low of the past year.
The vintage fetched as much as 1,450 pounds on London-based Liv-ex in April 2011 as demand for Bordeaux wines reached a peak and dropped as low as 1,025 pounds last September after demand cooled and investors focused more on Burgundy.
The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index has risen 5 percent this year, with an 8 percent gain in the 10 weeks to mid-March pared by a 3 percent decline since then. Price cuts on Bordeaux 2012 futures over the past two months have weighed on prices of other vintages from the region.
At auction, Lynch-Bages 1996 sold for as much as 1,930 pounds in May 2011, according to data compiled by Liv-ex, a trading platform for merchants and professionals which reflects the wholesale market. Auction prices are usually higher than those on Liv-ex and include a buyer’s premium which typically ranges from 15 to 23 percent.
The 1996 vintage is the estate’s second most expensive of the past 20 years, lagging only that of 2000, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website.
The vintage was awarded a 93 rating on a 100-point scale by U.S. wine critic Robert Parker, his second-highest rating for its 10 vintages from the 1990s.
Lynch-Bages, which makes predominantly red wine, covers about 100 hectares (247 acres) in the Pauillac district and is planted with 75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 17 percent Merlot, 6 percent Cabernet Franc and 2 percent Petit Verdot, according to its website. The average age of vines is about 30 years old.
The estate, acquired by Jean-Charles Cazes in 1939 and owned by his family ever since, is run by his descendants Sylvie and Jean-Charles. It was ranked as a fifth growth in the 1855 classification of Bordeaux, drawn up for the Paris World exhibition of that year and still in use.
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