Marking important milestones with special bottles or unique labels has become an increasingly popular trend in Bordeaux – Mouton Rothschild’s 2000 “Augsburg Ram” being one of the most famous examples.
Just before En Primeur 2020, we analysed the market performance of several of these commemorative bottles from vintages past.
Our analysis found that the unique bottles do help influence the secondary market, but only up to a certain point.
During this year’s En Primeur campaign the Bordelais found multiple reasons to celebrate and a number of châteaux announced changes to their traditional bottlings, ranging from unique labels to entire packaging changes, which we have summarized below.
Léoville Poyferré 2020 – commemorating the Cuvelier family’s 100th vintage as owners.
Released at £854 per 12×75 – 23% more than the then Market Price of the 2019.
Cos d’Estournel 2020 – celebrating owner Michel Reybier’s 20th vintage at the helm of the property.
Released at £1,800 per 12×75, 31.6% more than the then Market Price of the 2019.
Smith Haut Lafitte 2020 – 30th year of ownership by the Cathiard Family.
Released at £1,152 per 12×75, 41.7% more than the then Market Price of the 2019.
Lynch Bages 2020 – marking the inauguration of its new winery.
Released at £1,040 per 12×75, 15.5% more than the then Market Price of the 2019.
Ducru Beaucaillou 2020 – celebrating Ducru-Beaucaillou’s 300th vintage.
Released at £1,920 per 12×75, 19.8% more than the then Market Price of the 2019.
Petit Village 2020 – the first vintage made under the estate’s new owners, the Moulin family which owns Groupe Galeries Lafayette
Released at £1,080 per 12×75, 46% more than the then Market Price of the 2019.
Malartic-Lagraviere 2020 – embossed ship added to the bottle of both the red and white.
Released at £347 per 12×75, 5.5% more than the then Market Price of the 2019.
The 2020 commemorative releases also benefit from including some of the critics’ favourite wines from the vintage, picking up high scores in many instances.
In the past, news of a special bottle or label has usually been announced after the En Primeur campaign. As our previous analysis showed, this often leads to a jump in demand and price on the secondary market.
The announcements of these unique bottlings coming during En Primeur, suggesting that many are already “priced in” and may not see the sort of quick post-primeur rises other special bottlings have enjoyed.
We will leave you with this question, will there ever be another special bottle performance quite like the “Augsburg Ram”?
For those investing, the fundamentals of fine wine investment are still at play: buy wine when it is young, then sell it once it’s more valuable.
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