Author Archive

Pontet-Canet is one of the most iconic estates of Bordeaux. It is one of the pioneers of environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture in Bordeaux. A philosophy that advocates the free expression of the terroir and the transcription of its character to the wines. It is a 5th Grand Crus Classé, representing 81 hectares of some of the best terroir in AOC Pauillac. The vineyard is planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot.

History of the Estate

In 1757, Jean-François De Pontet, Governor of the Médoc, acquired land in Pauillac and in the area known as Canet. As was customary, he gave his name to the Château: Château Pontet-Canet. Henri Herman Cruse, an established wine merchant in Bordeaux, bought the estate in 1865. He revolutionised the château and built up the reputation of its wines. In 1975, the estate was bought by Guy Tesseron, a Cognac winemaker and merchant who also owned Château Lafon Rochet in Saint-Estephe. His son, Alfred Tesseron, took over in 1994. Straight away, in 1995, the first steps were taken towards organic farming and a rethink of production methods.

In 2004, Château Pontet-Canet made a long-term commitment to convert its entire vineyard to biodynamic viticulture – the first of the Médoc Grand Cru Classé.

A few years later, in 2010, the Château’s wines were certified organic and biodynamic. Becoming the first Grand Cru Classé in the Médoc to obtain double certification for its entire vineyard.

The Terroir

The heart of the Pontet-Canet terroir, the ‘Plateau’, is a ridge of Günz gravel from the Garonne (dating from the first ice age of the Quaternary era between -1.3 and -1.1 million years ago), resting on a limestone bedrock. This fine, well-draining soil is reputed to suit the character of the great Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which account for over 60% of the grand vin.

The other part of the vineyard is located near the river, not far from the village of Pouyalet, an area that is clearly more chalky. In some plots, the limestone is more present, while in others the clay rises to the surface.

These cooler, richer soils are ideal for Merlot, producing more structured, fleshy wines. To reconnect with the past, four plots on the edge of the vineyard have been planted with Petit Verdot, which brings spicy aromas to the great wine of Pontet-Canet.

The Vineyard

In order to avoid the soil being compacted by heavy tractors and to preserve the old vines, the estate decided to use draught horses in 2008. Today, a dozen or so Percheron horses work half the vineyard‘95% of our work takes place in the vineyards.’ – Mathieu Bessonnet, Technical Director

In keeping with the desire to regulate the soil naturally and remain true to the essence of the terroir, a room has been set up to produce all the biodynamic preparations, herbal teas, decoctions, washes and sulphur- and copper-based sprays.

The Wine

Vinification takes place in the Château’s three vats: the historic wooden vat dating back to the 19th century, the concrete vats inaugurated in 2005 and the latest amphora vats, which was completed in 2017 and is the only one of its kind, designed without electricity.

Around half the production is matured in new barrels, 10-15% in ‘one-wine’ barrels and, since 2012, 30-40% in Dolia (concrete amphorae). The ageing period varies from 16 to 18 months, depending on the type of wine.

Some much needed positive news for wine enthusiasts and investors alike, the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index rose by 0.4% in March, marking its first positive movement since March 2023. This uptick signals a potential reversal of the downward trend that has plagued the market over the past year.

While the broader Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 index experienced a slight decline of 0.6%, it was a significantly milder drop compared to the previous month, hinting at a potential stabilisation of prices.

Despite some fluctuations, individual wines showcased notable resilience. Among the top performers were two Napa Valley wines, Promontory 2018 and Dominus 2019, both experiencing substantial price increases. Additionally, wines like Sassicaia from various vintages continued to demonstrate strong performance, underscoring enduring demand for quality labels.

The positive momentum extended beyond price movements. March witnessed an increase in exposure on the Liv-ex exchange, indicating growing interest and activity within the market. While there was a slight decrease in the number of brands and individual wines traded compared to February, the uptick in exposure suggests renewed confidence among traders and collectors.

It’s not just about prices and trading volumes; the wine market’s resilience is also reflected in the stories behind the bottles. Iconic producers like Paul Jaboulet Aine and Chateau Rayas saw impressive price rises, showcasing the enduring allure of timeless classics.

Despite challenges such as the Champagne 50 index experiencing a notable decline driven by big brands trading below release prices, the overall narrative suggests a market poised for recovery. Even amidst declines over the past year, the long-term trajectory of Liv-ex indices remains a testament to the enduring value and appeal of fine wines.

Economic Overview

The year 2023 has proven to be challenging not only for the fine wine market but also for global financial markets and consumers. The IMF’s projections indicate a slowing world economic growth trajectory, impacted by the lingering effects of the pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and conflicts in Israel and Palestine. While inflation is gradually receding from the peaks of 2022, core inflation remains high, leading to multiple interest rate hikes globally.

In the UK, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) showed a 4.6% rise in the 12 months to October 2023, reflecting a decrease from previous months. However, energy prices, though lower than their peaks, still contribute to the overall higher cost of living.

On a global scale, emerging and developing economies demonstrate more resilience, except for China, where economic growth forecasts for 2023 have been lowered to 5%, primarily due to challenges in the real estate sector.

The overall economic landscape translates into reduced consumer spending power, increased costs, and a slow recovery, likely peaking in 2024. This has a direct impact on the fine wine market, with buyers becoming more cautious and unwilling to spend as much as in previous years.

Fine Wine Market

The fine wine market in 2023 faced continued challenges, contrasting sharply with the two halves of 2022, where rapid growth in the first half gave way to a downturn. Major Liv-ex indices, including the Fine Wine 100, Fine Wine 50, and Fine Wine 1000*, retraced most of the gains from the previous two years, with declines ranging from 13.0% to 13.4% year-to-date.

Comparing 2022, when fine wine outperformed other financial indices, to 2023, a shift is evident. Equities markets like the S&P 500 and gold have rebounded, while fine wine indices exhibit less buoyancy but remain at comparable levels.















Despite a unique En Primeur 2022 campaign where release prices were considerably higher than previous years, Bordeaux remains a safe haven for collectors. In contrast, Burgundy’s share declines due to increased risk aversion, impacting prices and trade numbers for newer, less-established brands.

The overall assessment by The Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index paints a more optimistic picture of the market and its trends in the past year. It indicates that challenges in the luxury market were primarily influenced by the underperformance of Burgundy and the substantial impact of high inflation. These factors might influence the pricing strategy for next year’s releases, with producers potentially needing to offer discounts to encourage consumers to opt for their products instead of holding cash.

While wearable investments like watches and jewelry showed satisfactory performance, the luxury market exhibited mixed results. Notably, whisky, often compared to wine, faced a decline despite its strong performance over the last decade.


In the current fine wine market downturn, there’s a noticeable shift toward safer assets like older Bordeaux vintages, reflecting a broader trend favouring quality and established brands. However, brands that surged in 2021/2022, like Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux and Château Lafite, are now seeing significant declines.

Anticipations of upcoming high-yielding vintages raise concerns about the market’s capacity for expensive wines. Campaigns like Burgundy and Bordeaux En Primeur in 2024 become crucial, requiring strategic pricing. The fine wine market is in a familiar standoff observed in bear markets, where buyers resist current prices, sellers hesitate to lower them, and accumulating stock poses challenges. Until there’s an improvement in the macroeconomic landscape and a decline in interest rates, finding a compromise between buyers and sellers remains essential.

The Market Going Forwards

Whilst nobody possesses a crystal ball, gaining insights into the future often involves reflecting on the past. Drawing parallels with history, the closest economic analogy to our current situation lies in the 2008/09 financial crisis. Although the circumstances differ, the end result mirrors an economic downturn. During that period, the price of wine dipped as consumer demand for fine wine waned—an inevitable consequence of basic supply and demand dynamics.

For present-day investors, there’s solace in the fact that the market experienced a highly profitable period from 2009 to 2011. However, the current ongoing price correction has yet to reignite buyer interest, indicating that prices may continue to face downward pressure in the short term. The suspense now hinges on whether the market will rebound in 2024, echoing the recovery witnessed in 2009.

All statistical information is from Liv-Ex

What are the Liv-Ex Indices?

  • The Liv-Ex Fine Wine 100 index is the industry leading benchmark. It represents the price movement of 100 of the most sought-after fine wines.
  • The Liv-Ex Fine Wine 1000 is the broadest index. It represents the price movement of 1000 of the most sought-after fine wines.
  • The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index tracks the price movements of the Bordeaux First Growths. It includes the ten most recent vintages of Lafite Rothschild, Margaux, Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion and Latour.


By Edward Stevens

A big release from Pomerol today in the form of Château La Conseillante. It is being offered by the international trade for £2,652 per 12×75, up 40.8% on the 2021’s opening price (£1,884 per 12×75). Although the 40.8% price increase is a lot, this wine still offers fantastic value compared to previous (lower scored) vintages of this wine on the secondary market. This is a testament to how it performs as an investment year on year. We have taken our full allocation here.

Neal Martin (Vinous) gave the wine a barrel score of 97-99 points. He mentions in his tasting note that ‘Marielle Cazaux has crafted one of the most intellectual La Conseillante wines in recent years’.

William Kelley (Wine Advocate) awarded the wine a barrel range of 97-100 points. He said that ‘the 2022 La Conseillante is a remarkable wine that has the potential to emerge as one of the wines of the vintage’. He went on to say ‘congratulations to winemaker Marielle Cazaux, consulting oenologist Thomas Duclos, the Nicolas family led by Jean-Valmy, and all the team at La Conseillante who have firmly established this estate at the very top of Pomerol’s qualitative hierarchy in recent vintages’.

James Suckling agreed that ‘this is sensational’ and commented on its ‘silky, silky, silky. Creamy texture’. He awarded it 98-99 points.


If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form


Next up is Vieux Château Certan. It is being offered by the international trade for £3,300 per 12×75, up 20.6% on the 2021s opening price (£2,736 per 12×75). Some older vintages of this wine have started to increase in value more recently according to Liv-Ex data, this could suggest that this could be a wine to hold on to.


Neal Martin (Vinous) gave the wine a barrel range of 97-99 points, calling it ‘very expressive this year’. He mentions that ‘while it is a real Left Bank/Right Bank hybrid’ it is ‘quintessentially Pomerol’.

Jane Anson (Inside Bordeaux) awarded the wine a score of 96 points, noting the ‘exuberance of the vintage’ and mentioning that the wine ‘will no doubt increase with age’.

James Suckling gave the wine a barrel range of 98-99 points and noted the wines ‘excellent length’.


If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form


The final first growth available to buy en primeur has been released. It is being offered by the international trade for £6,180 per 12×75, a 21.2% increase on the 2021’s opening price (£5,100 a case).

Neal Martin (Vinous) awarded it a barrel range of 96-98 points, praising its medium-bodied palate that is ‘blessed with unerring symmetry’. He noted the 2022 Haut-Brion’s ‘bewitching’ texture and a finish that is ‘almost pixelated’. In his words: ‘magnificent, but not necessarily the best wine that Delmas oversaw in this vintage’.

‘A classic, breath-taking expression of Haut-Brion’, noted Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Independent) who rated it at 97-99+ points. After the first ten years in the bottle, she expects to ‘watch it soar’.

James Suckling scored the wine at 98-99 points, underscoring the ‘fascinating aromas’ of currants and cedar with sandalwood and peaches. He highlights the ‘interesting’ merlot majority in this year’s blend (53.6%), an anomaly for Haut-Brion.


Another hugely exciting release this week as Canon’s opening price is announced. It is being offered by the international trade for £1,440 per 12×75, up 33.3% on the 2021’s opening price (£1,080 per 12×75).  Although it is a fair bit more expensive than the 2021 vintage, it gets a better score from Neal Martin and is still priced favourably compared to the 2015 and 2020 vintages. This means of the three 97 point wines of the last 10 years, the 2021 vintage is at the lowest price.

Neal Martin (Vinous) awarded the wine a barrel range of 96-98 points, highlighting the ‘beautifully-defined bouquet’ on the nose as a ‘triumph’ amidst 2022’s hot growing season. In his words: ‘one of the more intellectual and saline Canon wines in recent years’.

William Kelley (Wine Advocate) gave it a barrel range of 99-100 points. In his tasting note, he said: ‘From an estate that is delivering its greatest run of vintages since the superb Post War series that preceded the frosts of 1956, the 2022 Canon is a magical wine that will be worth every effort to track down’.

Jean-Marc Quarin scored it 98 points. He noted that ‘the wine melts and above all perfumes the mouth like never before, with less corpulence than in other vintages’ and added that it has ‘a taste profile without comparison in Bordeaux revealed by this very special vintage’.


If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form


Ducru-Beaucaillou was released this week. It is being offered by the international trade for £2,244 per 12×75, up 17.6% on the 2021’s opening price (£1,908 per 12×75). It has been a trend this campaign that prices have been up compared to the 2021 vintage. Ducru-Beaucaillou is a wine that performs well on the secondary market and one that we will be taking our allocation of.

Neal Martin (Vinous) awarded the wine a barrel range of 95-97 points, calling it ‘one of the most dense and muscular’ of the Château’s history. He added that the 2022 Ducru-Beaucaillou ‘threatens to overwhelm the senses’ while still young, noting that the bottle tasting will be particularly important.

William Kelley (Wine Advocate) assigned it a score of 94-96 points, deeming it a ‘punchy, modern Saint-Julien reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of the 2018 and 2020’.

James Suckling gave the wine a barrel range of 97-98 points, calling it ‘full-bodied with powerful tannins, yet fine and layered’.


If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form

The second wine of Mouton Rothschild was released yesterday. It is being offered by the international trade for £2,196 per 12×75, a 7.7% increase on the 2021’s opening price (£2,040 a case). Petit Mouton’s price increase of just 7.7% makes it one of the smallest increases amongst ‘investable wines’ on the 2021 price. This wine tends to do very well on the secondary market. In fact the 2022 vintage is the second cheapest on the market as seen below.

Interestingly, Petit Mouton prices on Liv-ex are most heavily correlated with age rather than score. In fact every vintage from the last 10 years has gone up in value considerably. we will be taking our full allocation of this fantastic wine.

Neal Martin (Vinous) scored the wine 92-94 points. In his tasting notes, he describes how “it opens extremely confidently in the glass” and goes on to call it “an outstanding Le Petit Mouton.”

Lisa Perrotti-Brown (The Wine Independent) gave it a barrel range of 92-94+ points and mentions in her tasting note that the wine ‘needs considerable swirling to unlock notes of creme de cassis, stewed plums, and black cherries, with hints of charcoal, wood smoke, black olives, and tar’.

Jane Anson awarded it a score of 95 points and said it is ‘one of the first wines that made me see the potential greatness of the vintage’.


If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form


Château Mouton Rothschild was released this morning. It is being offered by the international trade for £6,216 per 12×75, a 21.9% increase on the 2021’s opening price (£5,100 a case). Another wine that we always take our full allocation of given it’s long history of success on the secondary market.

Neal Martin (Vinous) awarded the wine a barrel range of 96-98, calling it ‘a Mouton-Rothschild determined to make a statement’. He makes note of the ‘powerful, almost burly’ profile, saying it ‘feels a bit like tasting Thor’s hammer at the moment’. He is overall optimistic, though: ‘It is, perhaps, how the 1986 tasted in its youth’.

‘A legend in the making’, writes Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Independent) who scored the wine at 98-100 points. She highlights its ‘explosive, intense’ flavours, adding that ‘it is amazing how classical this Mouton is.

Jane Anson (Inside Bordeaux) gave the wine a score of 98 points, recommending that the wine ‘needs a long time before approaching’, but is a ‘thoroughly enjoyable experience’.

‘In a word: magnificent’, says Antonio Galloni (Vinous) who rated it at a range of 96-98 points.

f you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form