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INVESTMENTS
Can wine be a
good investment?
by MARTIN FLAGEUL,
MANAGING DIRECTOR,
Victor Hugo Limited Investment in wine is not as simple
as it may initially appear
There is no doubt it can be very worthwhile. A friend 1995 Chateau Palmer was offered ‘en primeur’ at
of mine once purchased three cases of Chateau £216 per case
Mouton-Rothschild at the opening price – ‘en primeur’ 1995 Chateau Palmer is currently fetching
– and within five years he had sold two cases for the £900 per case
price he had paid for the three; thus enabling him to 2005 Chateau Palmer was offered ‘en primeur’ at £1,250
enjoy the balance of twelve bottles at no other cost than per case
having his cash tied up for that period of time.
1995 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild was offered ‘en
This is not always the case and as the 2005 ‘en primeur’ at £435 per case
primeur’ price for Mouton was offered at £3,750 per 1995 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild is currently fetching
case in the spring of this year and it is unlikely to fetch £2,400 per case
£5,625 per case in 2009, chances of making an early 2005 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild was offered ‘en
fortune are probably remote but who knows? primeur’ at £3,750 per case
Firstly, before you even contemplate buying wine for In addition to wine investment, it is also quite
investment, make sure you can store it correctly or get interesting to note how other drinks have increased in
your supplier to store it for you; there will be a charge price, sometimes due to duty rates and other changes
for this but it is well worth it. If it is your intention to over the years.
re-sell the wine at a later date, it will have to be in
excellent condition. Generally speaking Claret and For example a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut
Vintage port are the safest buys as they are usually was £6.75 twenty five years ago and five years later
packed in wooden cases. A few examples of what has £12.95 – today’s price £34.95.However it is not advisable
happened to wine prices over the years are as follows:- to buy this or any other champagne for long term
keeping. Whisky itself has not increased dramatically in
Chateau Margaux, 1st growth Bordeaux 1986 vintage price over the years but duty rates have risen
was offered for sale in May 1987 ‘en primeur’ – that is considerably. In 1980 a bottle of The Famous Grouse
before the wine is even bottled – at £360 per case and Scotch Whisky sold at £2.90 and today’s price is around
today would fetch £4,000 – not a bad return in 19 £12.90. Glenmorangie 10 year Malt Whisky available in
years. 1980 at £4.50 per bottle is today selling at £23.75.
Taylor’s 1970 Vintage Port, I am reliably informed, was For those looking for a wine bargain…..on the 28th
available from their Port Lodge in September 1972 at September this year a 12 bottle case of Chateau Mouton-
£9.00 per case of 12 bottles. The same port was Rothschild 1945 was sold for a record breaking 290,000
available in 1980 in Jersey with shipping and duty dollars which was followed by a second record breaking
charges included at £72 per case. I managed to acquire 6 magnums of Mouton 1945 for 345,000 dollars – that is
a bottle recently at a similar price PER BOTTLE and over £30,000 per magnum!
that is a bargain price!!!
1945 Mouton-Rothschild was hailed as the ‘greatest
There is no doubt that the 2005 Vintage in Bordeaux claret of the 20th century’ by Michael Broadbent and in
has produced some outstanding wines but some Decanter Magazine in 2004 it was voted ‘one of the 100
comparisons with opening prices (en primeur) of ten wines to try before you die’ – Sadly I haven’t yet had
years ago for the 1995 vintage, also a great year, make my invitation from the anonymous bidder at Christie’s
me wonder if the same profit can be made by the Auction in Beverley Hills to even get a taste of the wine,
investor. which works out at about £1,000 per sip!
20/20 twenty six
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