Bordeaux ranking | First-half review 2020

We are continuing our biannual wine analysis, this time of the iconic Bordeaux region. We’ll go through two rankings – top sales and top bottles, before discussing some general take-aways for this recently poured six-month period.

Please note that in order to analyse the top sales and top bottles from the auctions of the first half of 2020 (so that they best reflect the variety of wines presented for sale), we have used just one wine sale per property, the sale of the highest value.

Rank Lot description Colour Price incl VAT Price per unit
1 12 Bouteille Château Lafite Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé 1986 Rouge 9 517 € 793 €
2 9 Bouteille Caisse Collection Duclot 1 Petrus – 1 Cheval Blanc – 1 La Mission Haut Brion – 1 Haut Brion – 1 Margaux – 1 Lafite Rothschild – 1 Latour – 1 Yquem – 1 Mouton Rothschild 2010 Rouge 9 456 € 1 051 €
3 12 Bouteille Château Trotanoy 1971 Rouge 8 805 € 734 €
4 1 Magnum Petrus 2000 Rouge 8 228 € 8 228 €
5 12 Bouteille Château Margaux 1er Grand Cru Classé 1996 Rouge 6 336 € 528 €
6 1 Magnum Château Latour 1er Grand Cru Classé 1949 Rouge 6 017 € 6 017 €
7 12 Bouteille Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2ème Grand Cru Classé 1982 Rouge 5 458 € 455 €
8 2 Bouteille Château Le Pin 2015 Rouge 5 403 € 2 702 €
9 1 Bouteille Château d’Yquem 1er Cru Classé Supérieur 1921 Blanc Liquoreux 5 133 € 5 133 €
10 12 Bouteille Château Mouton Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé 2003 Rouge 4 814 € 401 €
11 3 Bouteille Château Haut Brion 1er Grand Cru Classé 1989 Rouge 4 421 € 1 474 €
12 6 Bouteille Château Cheval Blanc 1er Grand Cru Classé A 2009 Rouge 4 421 € 737 €
13 6 Bouteille Château La Mission Haut-Brion Cru Classé de Graves 1990 Rouge 3 242 € 540 €
14 3 Bouteille Château Lafleur 1989 Rouge 2 861 € 954 €
15 6 Bouteille Château Angélus 1er Grand Cru Classé A 2005 Rouge 2 800 € 467 €
16 6 Bouteille Château Ausone 1er Grand Cru Classé A 1996 Rouge 2 174 € 362 €
17 6 Magnum Château Pichon Longueville Baron 2ème Grand Cru Classé 2000 Rouge 2 124 € 354 €
18 3 Magnum Château la Fleur Petrus 2010 Rouge 1 750 € 583 €
19 1 Magnum Château Talbot 4ème Grand Cru Classé 1945 Rouge 1 596 € 1 596 €
20 3 Bouteille Château Clinet 1989 Rouge 1 535 € 512 €

 

Let’s start by analysing the top 20 lots sold at auction for the first half of 2020. Top of the list is a 12-bottle case of 1986 Château Lafite Rothschild, which went under the hammer for €9,517. This was closely followed by the famous « Collection » case consisting of, in the 2010 vintage 9 bottles of the best Bordeaux properties (Petrus, Cheval Blanc, Mission Haut Brion, etc.); and in third position, a rare collection containing 12 bottles of Château Trotanoy, in the 1971 vintage.

Once again in our analysis of the Bordeaux region, we can see a preference for older vintages. Wine-lovers know that most Bordeaux wines age well, but collectors appreciate that also takes time for these bottles to inrease in value: 1921, 1949, 1971, 1986, 1989… The older vintages can either turn out to be part of an exceptional year, for example : the 1921 vintage of Château d’Yquem, the lot of 12 bottles of the 1986 vintage of Château Lafite Rothschild, or even 12 bottles of 1982 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande – one of the greatest vintages of this Pauillac Deuxième Cru Classé. There are also some great vintages in this leaderboard from important years in history, like the 1945 magnum of Château Talbot.

In this first ranking, the Right Bank of the Bordeaux region stands out, occupying 12 out of 19 places (the « Collection » case takes the 20th spot). Note that there are seven Pomerol Crus in this category. On the Left Bank, the Médoc wines particularly stand out, especially Pauillac, Margaux or Saint-Julien.

Rank Lot description Colour Price incl VAT Price per unit
1 1 Magnum Château Latour 1er Grand Cru Classé 1949 Rouge 6 017 € 6 017 €
2 1 Bouteille Château d’Yquem 1er Cru Classé Supérieur 1921 Blanc Liquoreux 5 133 € 5 133 €
3 1 Jeroboam Château Mouton Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé 1994 Rouge 3 500 € 3 500 €
4 1 Bouteille Château Le Pin 2000 Rouge 3 438 € 3 438 €
5 1 Bouteille Château Lafite Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé 1982 Rouge 2 824 € 2 824 €
6 1 Bouteille Château Haut Brion 1er Grand Cru Classé 1945 Rouge 2 456 € 2 456 €
7 1 Magnum Château Talbot 4ème Grand Cru Classé 1945 Rouge 1 596 € 1 596 €
8 1 Magnum Château Brane Cantenac 2ème Grand Cru Classé 1918 Rouge 1 449 € 1 449 €
9 2 Bouteille Château La Mission Haut-Brion Cru Classé de Graves 1953 Rouge 2 579 € 1 289 €
10 1 Bouteille Château Margaux 1er Grand Cru Classé 2015 Rouge 1 289 € 1 289 €
11 1 Bouteille Château Lafleur 2005 Rouge 1 289 € 1 289 €
12 1 Bouteille Château Cheval Blanc 1er Grand Cru Classé A 2010 Rouge 1 167 € 1 167 €
13 1 Bouteille Château Ausone 1er Grand Cru Classé A 2005 Rouge 1 105 € 1 105 €
14 1 Double-magnum Château Pontet Canet 5ème Grand Cru Classé 2009 Rouge 921 € 921 €
15 1 Magnum Château Angélus 1er Grand Cru Classé A 2000 Rouge 878 € 878 €
16 1 Bouteille Château de Rayne Vigneau 1er Grand Cru Classé Crème de Tête 1929 Blanc Liquoreux 817 € 817 €
17 12 Bouteille Château Trotanoy 1971 Rouge 8 805 € 734 €
18 1 Bouteille Cos d’Estournel 2ème Grand Cru Classé 1928 Rouge 718 € 718 €
19 1 Jeroboam Château Léoville Las Cases 2ème Grand Cru Classé 1979 Rouge 675 € 675 €
20 1 Magnum Château Beauséjour (Duffau-Lagarrosse) 1er Grand Cru Classé B 2009 Rouge 651 € 651 €

Moving on to the Top 20 most expensive bottles of the six-month period. The top three is made up of Château Latour, Château d’Yquem and Château Mouton Rothschild. The auction price reached €6,017 for the first, for a 1949 Château Latour magnum (one of the great 20th-century vintages). Interestingly, these three add up to more than the “collector » years : Latour 1949, Yquem 1921, Talbot 1945, Brane-Cantenac 1918, Rayne-Vigneau 1929 (also an excellent vintage in Sauternes). This shows that it is both possible to trace important years in history through this leaderboard, and that these historically pivotal years attract collectors.

The 1929 vintage means Château Rayne Vigneau have the honour of being the second of just two white wines on this list, which is traditionnally dominated by the great reds. It goes almost without saying that historically, Château d’Yquem is THE most famous dessert white wine in this region. Therefore this white often and consistently has the honor being the only one to make it to our charts.

Sometimes certain wines are less sought-after, but the generous size of the bottle makes them rare. Take for example, the case of Château Mouton Rothschild 1994, not a great vintage but its jeroboam size is quite unusual. This is also the case for the jeroboam of 1979 Château Léoville Las Cases.

In this top 20, the spots occupied by right and left banks of Bordeaux are pretty balanced, with four Pomerol properties and four Saint-Emilion vintages out of the 20 places. From the left bank, the Médoc always has been and still is the premiere wine-growing area, providing eight bottles out of the 20, with an emphasis still on the iconic areas of Margaux and Saint-Julien.

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