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Can't Beat Bordeaux as Pricing Experts Call 2019 Vintage an Excellent Investment Option

The authors from Syracuse University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute developed a price algorithm that provides the most accurate valuation for Bordeaux’s wine futures contracts both academically and in practice.

Syracuse, New York, July 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Researchers at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) Lally School of Management are out with their yearly assessment of wine futures and have determined the 2019 Bordeaux vintage to be an excellent investment option.

“Futures came out below their real values, meaning chateaus are selling at significantly reduced prices,” said Syracuse University’s  Burak Kazaz, who along with Rensselaer’s M. Hakan Hekimoğlu released a report that identifies the “best buys” for the 2019 vintage Bordeaux wine futures known as en primeur.

The authors developed a price algorithm that provides the most accurate valuation for Bordeaux’s wine futures contracts both academically and in practice. The model specification relies on big data and is selected from more than 8.5 billion alternative models. It uses local climatic information, i.e., temperatures and precipitation, market fluctuations reflected by the Liv-ex 100 index which tracks the prices for the 100 most sought-after wines, and scores assigned by three influential tastings experts: Neal Martin of Vinous, Lisa Perrotti-Brown of Wine Advocate and, and James Suckling of

The report identifies 15 chateau’s wine futures as “strong buy” meaning that they present excellent deals. An additional seven chateaus received “buy” recommendations.

“The 2019 vintage is an excellent vintage to invest in,” said Dr. Kazaz. “Haut Brion, Pontet Canet, Mouton Rothschild, La Mission Haut Brion and Figeac are released more than 30% below their realistic values and we classify them as “fantastic buys” for the 2019 vintage. Together, these 2019 en primeur prices are undoubtedly the best release prices in a long time.”

“We observe that when a wine is released at a price below our realistic price point,” said Dr. Hekimoğlu, “its price tends to increase in the following year, thus, it generates a positive gain to its buyer,”

The report cites three main reasons for the chateau’s decisions to reduce prices substantially. COVID-19 did not allow tasting experts to visit chateaus in the spring and the chateaus had to ship bottle samples to the tasting experts several months after the usual time. Brexit is causing uncertainty at the biggest hub for fine wine trade in London. Potential tariffs can make the bottom-line prices higher for consumers. The 25% US tariffs for wines with less than 14% alcohol can also create additional expenses for US consumers. In sum, these uncertainties caused chateaus and négociants to establish attractive release prices for the 2019 vintage.

The report provides detailed information on the impact of various factors influencing the valuation of wine futures. On average, the lower temperatures during the summer of 2019 caused a decrease of 1% approximately for chateaus located in the Left Bank and 2% for those chateaus located in the Right Bank. Higher precipitation in the Left Bank reduces prices by approximately 2.5% but a lower precipitation in the Right Bank helps increase prices by 0.2%. The decline in the Liv-ex 100 index results in approximately another 2.3% decrease in realistic prices. The increase in Neal Martin’s and Lisa Perrotti-Brown’s overall scores leads to an average of 4.32% and 0.98% increase in prices, respectively. James Suckling’s slightly lower scores leads to a decrease of 0.42% on average in realistic prices. 


The detailed realistic price report can be found here

Learn more about wine futures here

Tonya R Charles
Syracuse University