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Bordeaux prices collapse in 2011

Industry's leading benchmark Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 declared that fine wine prices fell by 15% in 2011. During the first half of the year, prices for top Bordeaux had risen rapidly - eventually reaching a peak in June. However, since the beginning of July demand for the Bordeaux First Growths has softened and the index has fallen 21 per cent.

This is the biggest fall since the beginning of the recession nearly four years ago and it is top Bordeaux that is falling fastest, Liv-ex director Justin Gibbs said. Another index, the Live-ex Claret Chip, which consists only of Bordeaux first growths in top vintages going back to the mid-1980s, showed an even steeper decline, dropping 26% in the second half of 2011. But the greatest loser was Chateau Lafite 2008, which peaked in January 2011 at £14,043 a case and whose last average trade price, this month, was £8,108, a fall of some 45%.

But not everyone has lost as traders looked elsewhere to lower-priced labels ,many so-called Super Seconds labels such as Leoville Las Cases and Cos d'Estournel and Burgundy's leading wine Romanee Conti are now outperforming the falling sector.