Bordeaux 2014


Each year Liv-ex surveys the international wine trade upon their return from tasting the new Bordeaux vintage. The survey is designed to track the consensus of opinion amongst the best professional tasters of young Bordeaux. Liv-ex’s membership numbers more than 440 of the world’s biggest buyers and sellers of fine wine. This year we had a record number of respondents to the survey, surpassing even the responses for Bordeaux 2010, suggesting deep interest in the campaign ahead of us.


In summary, as voted by the Liv-ex Membership:
  • Vieux Chateau Certan is the wine of the vintage.
  • Grand Puy Lacoste tops the value for money category for the fifth year in a row
  • For the first time in 12 years of the survey, there was no wine that was evidently viewed as the most disappointing.
  • The vintage scored 92 overall; higher than 2007 (88), 2008 (91), 2011 (91), 2012 (91) and 2013 (88). It was lower than 2009 and 2010 (both 96).
  • Over two thirds of merchants are expecting more demand than for the 2013s.
  • Euro release prices are predicted to be 9% higher than last year, on average.


So, to the results:


1. List in order of preference your top ten wines from Bordeaux 2014.
   1. Vieux Chateau Certan     6. Montrose
   2. Latour     7. Mouton Rothschild
   3. Cheval Blanc     =8. Lafite Rothschild
   =4. Haut Brion     =8. Le Pin
   =4. Margaux    10. Ausone

The results above show the top ten wines of the vintage according to the experts irrespective of price. Wines ranked number one by respondents were awarded ten points, second were given five points, third three, fourth two and fifth one. Vieux Chateau Certan was unquestionably the wine of the vintage, appearing in almost half of all respondents’ top five. While all First Growths appeared in the table, Latour was the favourite, climbing from eighth place last year to second place this year. Cheval Blanc has not been in the top ten since the 2011 vintage but made a comeback this year in third place, with almost a third of all respondents citing it as one of their favourites.


2. List in order of preference your top ten value wines from 2014 (value wines are wines with an expected release price of less than £500 per case)
   1. Grand Puy Lacoste     6. Talbot
   2. Calon Segur     7. Beychevelle
   =3. Dom. de Chevalier Rouge     =8. Clerc Milon
   =3. Leoville Poyferre     =8. Figeac
   5. Reserve de Comtesse   10.  Rauzan Segla

The wines expected to be released at under £500 per case were ranked as above. Interestingly the top three remained exactly the same as last year, with Grand Puy Lacoste taking the top spot for the fifth year in a row. Calon Segur, ranked as one of the most disappointing wines in 2012, took second place. In third once again, Domaine de Chevalier was this year joined by Leoville Poyferre, which was seventh value wine of 2013.


3. List your ten most disappointing wines of the vintage with the most disappointing first.

The trade was heavily divided on which wines were the most disappointing in 2014. There was a vast 122 different wines listed in this category, with only a handful appearing more than once or twice. This highlights a disparate vintage, and consequently for the first time in twelve years we have not included a top ten.


4. Using the Parker scoring model, what score would you give to the 2014 vintage overall?

92 points (average out of 100)

The Liv-ex membership awarded the 2014 vintage 92 points, higher than for the 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The 2009 and 2010 both scored 96 points.


5. Does it compare to any previous vintage you have tasted?

   1. 2008

   2. 2006

   3. 2001

Comparisons with the 2008 were overwhelming, although several respondents clarified that 2014 was a “better” 2008 “with more flesh”. A handful of respondents equally described it as a “better 2012”. A quarter of all respondents said it was unlike any other vintage they had tasted, while other comparisons included 1996 and 2004.


6. Considering only the first growths, please rank 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 in terms of quality (first being the best).

  1. 2010
  =2. 2006
  =2. 2014
  4. 2008
  5. 2012

There was a clear winner here: 97% of respondents put 2010 as their best quality vintage. The remaining vintages were more equally split, although with 80% of people putting the 2012 in fourth or fifth place it was the clear loser of the table.

There was a split with 2006 and 2014: while 42% of people put 2006 in second place – compared to 29% for the 2014 – almost a quarter of respondents also labelled 2006 their least favourite vintage. When scored using the same methodology as for the top wines (ten points for first, five for second, three for third, two four fourth and one for fifth) the vintages were equal.




7. At this early stage, what level of demand (by volume) are you expecting for the 2014 campaign?

     More than last year:                68.8%
     The same as last year:          20.8%
     0-20% Less than last year:   3.9%
     >20% Less than last year:     6.5%

For the first time in four years, merchants are anticipating more demand for the vintage than for the previous campaign: over two thirds anticipated an uptick in demand. This is unsurprising; as one merchant remarked, “last year was horrific”. Many people noted that it would not be difficult to improve on 2013, and yet a third of respondents did not expect demand to improve on last year. One merchant opined that "people have no demand for En Primeur." A good proportion of merchants cited price as a vital factor in the campaign, while a couple speculated on the strong pound as a factor to bring the buyers back.


8. At what prices, in Euros per bottle, ex-negociant, do you expect (not want!) the following wines to be released in Bordeaux?
  2014 average price prediction (€) 2014 predictions range (€) Versus 2013 actual release Versus 2012 actual release
Cos d'Estournel 86.7 60-125 6.4% 4.8%
Pontet Canet 62.9 50-90 4.8% 4.8%
Montrose 62.7 50-95 8.9% 8.9%
Mouton Rothschild 243.7 150-390 12.8% 1.5%
Pichon Lalande 61.3 50-85 6.4% 6.4%
Leoville Las Cases 84.5 50-130 7.0% 7.0%
Talbot  27.6 20-40 4.5% 4.5%
Cheval Blanc 334.3 225-500 11.4% -4.5%
Pavie 179.2 85-350 8.6% -0.4%
Mission Haut Brion 142.5 100-250 18.8% -5.0%
Total Basket 1,285.4 840-2,055 9.0% -0.3%

To keep our members focused we are offering a magnum of Francois Lamarche, Vosne Romanee Malconsorts 2009 to the individual who comes closest to estimating the correct opening prices for the basket of wines listed above – which we keep the same from year to year. Based on their expectations, wines will be 9% higher than for the 2013s, and on average 2.1% higher than for the 2012s. The biggest risers are expected for Mouton Rothschild, Cheval Blanc and Mission Haut Brion.


9. Briefly, how would you describe Bordeaux 2014 ?

The trade’s general view is that 2014 is not exceptional, but a good to very good vintage. Fresh and fruity were the most commonly used descriptions, with many others praising the balance and elegance of the wines. It was viewed as a vintage that at times lacked mid-palate breadth but would on the whole be appealing for the consumer; as one merchant noted, “wines that I would like to drink”.

Respondents agreed broadly with the critics’ view that this is a northern Medoc vintage, noting that there were some exceptional wines. The Right Bank was considered less consistent, although as one merchant noted it did produce some “belters”, largely those with a high percentage of Cabernet Franc – and two Right Bank wines were in the top three favourites. Sauternes, meanwhile, divided respondents: several were impressed by the sweet whites but some considered them a little weak.

Unsurprisingly there were many references to price. A few respondents expressed the view that quality is no longer as important; one noted that it is “completely secondary to the politics and economics of the day”. Most others were simply concerned that prices would not drop low enough to tempt the end consumer. In the words of one respondent, 2014 is “a vintage that, as merchants, we are desperate to get behind but can only do so if the prices offer a customer a real reason to buy.”