Top 10 Most Powerful Fine Wine Brands

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Taken from the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100 list, this top 10 tracks the value share of the most powerful brands traded on the stock exchange in the 12 months to August 31, 2014.

“The fact that there is nothing on the list apart from Bordeaux is worth noting,” said Liv-ex manager Anthony Maxwell. “This reflects the size of the properties in Bordeaux. That’s where there’s volume, quality, and price, and that’s what people can get. All the Premier Grands Crus are there, and these are the most sought after wines reflected in the value of the total trade.

Bordeaux Index’s Gary Boom MD called it “a true reflection of the market and what people are buying,” but insisted they weren’t necessarily the most popular wines. “I suspect the top five will always be on this list, but the bottom five will always change. But you have to see which ones have been on the list consistently for three years. Those who have – that’s brand power.

Joss Fowler, director of fine wines at Fine & Rare, said the list raised more questions than it answered. “It’s hard to read into it without knowing more numbers.” In particular, he wanted to know the volumes and which vintages were being negotiated. Quoting Chateau Mouton Rotheschild, he said: “If it’s 2000, I’d say everything was going to Macau to be drunk. If it’s 2005, people are buying speculatively.

Describing the performance of the premier crus as: “a money-losing exercise for retailers and consumers”, the purchasing director of Berry Bros. & Rudd, Max Lalondrell, felt the list was: “more a reflection of dumping than brand power. Yes, they were traded but at a significant loss. He also mentioned the growth of other regions over the of the period “For us, wines outside Bordeaux are up 54%.”

Click to see the most traded wines by value on Liv-ex during the year through August 31.

10. Chateau Lynch-Bages – 2.5% trade share (value)

Class 42nd in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

lynch-bages

“Lynch Bages is one of the strongest brands in Bordeaux,” said Joss Fowler. “They haven’t made bad wine in 30 to 40 years, and that’s also helped by the fact that we can all pronounce it. This is a reference quality Bordeaux.

9. Château Pontet-Canet – 2.6% trade share (value)

Class 33rd in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

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“It’s thanks to the investment in Pontet-Canet since 2003,” said Fowler. « The Tesseron [the family behind the Château] having invested a lot of time and money to make it the best non-premier cru in Pauillac.”

8. Pavia Castle – 2.6% trade share (value)

Class 1st in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

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At Fine & Rare, Joss Fowler feels there is a lot of snobbery around Château Pavie linked to its high Parker scores and accusations of being over-mined. “But people like it, and if you like the style, it’s very well executed.”

7. Chateau Pétrus – 3.1% trade share (value)

Class 6th in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

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If you’re looking for value, you don’t need to trade a lot of Castle Petrus to make an impact. Its average price per Liv-ex case over the period was £20,000, which in turn reflects its lack of volume.

6. White Horse Castle – 3.2% trade share (value)

Class 2nd in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

White horse

It may have come second in the overall Liv-ex Power 100 list, but Gary Boom didn’t expect to see it among the top ten marketed wines by value. “I’m surprised Cheval is in there because there’s not a lot of volume traded to be honest. I am also surprised that La Mission, Léoville-Lascases and Montrose are not there.

5.Château Haut Brion – 4.3% trade share (value)

Class 5th in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

Haut-Brion-1997

The first of the Premier Crus to make the list – a reflection on its relatively low average price of £2,800 over the period, and lacking the volume of some of its rivals.

4. Chateau Margaux – 4.8% trade share (value)

Class 12th in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

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If this other wine starting with ‘M’ stole the show among the first growths, it is not a reflection on the power of Château Margaux, believes Garry Boom. “Our biggest seller last year was Margaux ’96, and we sold 1.3 million books of it.”

3. Chateau Latour – 6.8% trade share (value)

Class 9th in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

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Château Latour is there in the middle, slightly ahead of its great rival Margaux, probably due to its average price of £3,950 over the period, or 45% more.

2. Chateau Mouton-Rothschild – 9% trade share (value)

Class 7th in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

Mouton%20Rothschild%20bottle%202010

The mighty ram is on the rise, and not just because it’s the symbol of the Chinese New Year. “Mouton recently moved from fourth to second, and it’s a solid second that challenges Lafite,” said Gary Boom. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see it number one next year, but remember Lafite is still trading at around a 20% premium to the market.”

1. Chateau Lafite Rothschild – 15.8% trade share (value)

Class 18th in the Liv-ex Power 100 2014

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Number one… but for how much longer. “The Lafite brand isn’t what it used to be,” said Fine & Rare’s Joss Fowler. “And Mounton’s has been climbing for a long time, with the quality of the wine getting better and better since 2004.”

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Jean H. Vannatta