To understand which wines have historically produced consistent and competitive growth you need look no further than the Bordeaux Big 8.
These eight finest Chateaux in Bordeaux are emblems of exceptional quality wine making and their wines tend to command the highest prices on the global wine market. They 'slow release' their vintages to manipulate supply and then drive demand. The Plateau of maturity is usually 8-30 years however spectacular vintages can be drunk 60/70 years old.
One of the best pieces of advice you can stick to as a wine investor is to buy the best that you can afford and they don't come any better than the Bordeaux Big 8. So let's take a look at them!
Grape Variety: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Annual Production: 30,000 Bottles -2,500 cases
This tiny château was named after Saint Peter and is located in Pomerol. It is known for commanding some of the highest prices due to its extreme scarcity.
In 2010, Gordon Ramsey opened his restaurant named Pétrus; it is situated in Knightsbridge, London. Enthusiasts can enjoy Michelin star food and drink Pétrus from £4,900.00 - £39,000.00 per bottle!
Grape Variety: Cabernet Franc, 50% Merlot
Annual Production: 23,000 Bottles -1,916 cases
From the town of Saint-Èmilion, Château Ausone is smallest producer of the Bordeaux Big 8. It is known for its historical and medieval significance.
The success of the wine produced at Ausone is attributed to a combination of exposure and the soil, a mixture of sand and clay on limestone unique to the district
Château Cheval Blanc
Grape Variety: 58% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot,
Annual Production: 100,000 Bottles -8,333 cases
The ‘white horse castle’ or more commonly known as Cheval Blanc is located in the north-west of the St. Emilion appellation, bordering Pomerol.
Controversially it is said that the château owner had his dogs attack Robert Park Jnr. When he came back to the Château to re-taste a wine that he had given a bad score.
Château Lafite Rothschild
Grape Variety: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Vardot
Annual Production: 210,000 Bottles -17,500 cases
The 1st Château owned by the banking family is generally the most expensive of the Bordeaux Big 8 outside of Pétrus. This famous Château was once owned by Thomas Jefferson (US President).
They produce wines that are loved by the Chinese and have achieved auction sales where an undrinkable single bottle of 1787 fetched £96,000.00.
Grape Variety: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Vardot
Annual Production: 175,000 Bottles -14,600 cases
Currently owned by billionaire entrepreneur Frances Pinault, this Château has deep historical roots dating back to the 14th century.
In 2011 the Château announced its departure from the en primeur system stating that it would only sell its wine when they are ready to drink.
Grape Variety: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc/Petit Vardot
Annual Production: 200,000 Bottles -16,666 cases
One of the grandest, most imposing buildings amongst the Médoc, Château Margaux is renowned for its perfumed elegance.
In 1973 Château Margaux was nearly acquired the by Coca-Cola company however the French government intervened stating it is a national treasure.
Château Mouton Rothschild
Grape Variety: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Vardot
Annual Production: 300,000 Bottles - 25,000 cases
The 2nd Château under the Rothschild administration has the highest production of the Bordeaux Big 8. Situated in the Pauillac region, the Château add an excellent collectable feature to their wine. Every year a famous artist of the time will design a custom label.
Previous artists have been Jeff Koons (2010) Xu Lei (2008) Lucian Freud (2006) Prince Charles (2004) Gu Gin (1996) Francis Bacon (1990), Andy Warhol (1975) Pablo Picasso (1973) Salvador Dalí (1958).
Château Haut Brion
Grape Variety:45% Cabernet Franc, 37% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc
Annual Production: 132,000 Bottles - 11,500 cases
Produced in Pessac just outside the city of Bordeaux. It is known that the Château utilise a very old technique of harvesting by hand. Haut Brion also make sure that each parcel is worked by the same team of workers to increase the teams' familiarity with the individual vines.
It is a wine that seems to favour the American pallet, the 100pt scoring 1989 vintage is also said to be Robert Parkers favourite wine. He previously describes the vintage as “one of the immortal wines and one of the greatest young Bordeaux wines of the last half-century ... a seamless, majestic classic’