Cellars When it comes to collecting, oenophiles know not every fine wine is worth a spot in their cellar. Here’s a look at some of the blue-chip bottles that are always in demand. By Mark Spivak
“Cream always rises to the top,” noted wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. once observed. He was referring to Bordeaux’s Château Latour, but the adage could be applied to most of the world’s blue-chip wines: the Bordeaux First Growths (Latour, Lafite, Mouton, Margaux and Haut-Brion), Château Pétrus, a handful of white and red Burgundies led by the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, a few Italian reds and a cluster of cult Cabernets from California. Over the past few decades, prices for these wines have outperformed almost every stock market on the planet. Consider Château Mouton-Rothschild from the legendary 1982 vintage. When the wine was first released, it sold in the neighborhood of $400 per case. By March 1994, according to Decanter magazine’s Fine Wine Tracker, it had risen to $1,375; in November 2005, it was $6,670. The same case is now worth around $12,000. The explanation for these skyrocketing prices can be found in the timeless law of supply and demand. Production at the First Growth estates rarely exceeds 20,000 cases annually; each time a locus of new wealth develops around the world, those fledgling millionaires and billionaires seek the same wines as badges of honor. In the case of Château Pétrus, where output seldom exceeds 4,000 cases, competition and prices are higher still. By the time you get to Romanée-Conti, the flagship wine from the Burgundy estate of the same name, only 450 cases are available in an average vintage.
3/27/15 9:46 AM
The propriertary lifestyle magazine of ONE Sotheby's International Realty.