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Monday, December 21, 2015

How to Buy Bordeaux as an Investment

Wine as an investment? Liquid assets? Yes, wine is very similar to the stock market in the way certain wines appreciate in value over the years. Bordeaux in particular has always been the wine speculated upon each vintage and the prices heavily dictated by consumer demand brought forth by the wine press and the manner in which they deem each vintages' quality.


Purchasing wine as purely an investment is rather tricky however. Which wines can you be sure will appreciate over time with the proper provenance and storing conditions? Will the initial pricing or future pricing be inflated in a mutually determined "fantastic" vintage and slowly decline in value as the next best thing emerges? How can one be sure that what they're purchasing will ultimately stand the test of time and increase in value on the collector market? The following are points to consider and study before jumping in head first:

1 - 1st growth Bordeaux (Latour, Lafite, Mouton, Haut-Brion, Margaux) are blue chip wine investments that will almost always increase in value as long as you don't purchase them at an inflated futures price.

2 - Creating verticals of wine can be very attractive to buyers and can increase your lot price at auction when you provide sound provenance

3 - Large format bottles are hard to acquire at relevant pricing, but if you can secure these rare gems they have the potential of being very valuable to collectors as they tend to age more gracefully than standard sized bottles

4 - Stay away from 375ml bottles....they don't age very well and can decrease in value over time

5 - There are other wines besides first growth in Bordeaux that are amazing investments too. The following are just a few examples of other collectibles:

-Chateau d'Yquem
-Chateau Petrus
-Chateau Cheval Blanc
-Chateau Le Pin
-Chateau Ausone
-Chateau Angelus
-Chateau Rieussec
-Chateau Leoville Las Cases

6 - Buying Bordeaux in off vintages can also pay off if the price of entry is low enough. I would suggest searching for the colder vintages that offer wines with bracing acidity. No, you don't necessarily want a terrible rainy vintage wine that lacks color and power, but wines with good firm acid tend to age gracefully and have great aromatic qualities even though they don't score high in the press upon release. Coincidentally those high acid vintages often turn out to be the most collectible in Napa Valley after decades of aging.

7 - Before starting to collect consider very carefully your methods of storage. It's vital that your wine maintains a strong provenance of storage conditions. It's also very important that your wine maintains a perfect and brand new looking label.

8 - Document the provenance....never buy an investment wine from a retailer that has faulty storage conditions. Keep the receipts and maintain a log.

These are just a few of the things to consider when thinking about collecting Bordeaux for an investment. Hopefully you choose to be patient in the endeavor because it takes time and a lot of will power not to open these bottles and drink them. As a long term investment wine can prove to be very valuable and sometimes double and triple in value. Just ensure out think about these things carefully before diving right in.


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