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Defying the odds: Champagne sales bubble along

Defying predictions that sales were to plummet by a third this year, Bordeaux Index has revealed champagne sales have broken through the £5m barrier.

During the summer the fine wine merchant predicted a record year of Champagne sales was on the cards – but continued interest in the finest fizz has seen BI achieve its annual sales target for Champagne with two months to spare.

“Our previous best in Champagne was just under £4m in 2008,” said Bordeaux Index founder and MD Gary Boom. “Even through the boom years of 2010-2011 we were only selling around £2.5m per year, so this represents a major shift in focus for our clients.”

Having already surpassed its earlier target, BI is confident the appeal of Champagne – both for consumption and as an investment – will continue to bubble along.

“As we’ve mentioned before, the current range of available vintages are exceptional,” said Gary Boom. “Our advice is that 2002 and 2004 are for keeping while the 2000 and 2003 vintages are for drinking sooner. And persistence is likely to pay off as there are still 1996s and 1999s around if you look carefully.

“Another key factor is that the market tends to consume the current available vintage, particularly through bars, nightclubs and restaurants. This means that great vintages of the most prestigious Champagnes have genuine investment potential.

“The third key factor driving sales is the relative decline of interest in Bordeaux – especially following the lacklustre 2011 en primeur campaign. Together with the sharp rise in price of leading Burgundy producers and estates, cost conscious buyers are looking for value elsewhere.

“Top Champagnes continue to represent incredible value, with considerable investment in the vineyard and winery leading to serious critical acclaim.”

Top selling Champagnes at BI this year have included:

Louis Roederer Cristal 2004
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2002
Dom Perignon 2002
Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 2002

2 October 2012 - Felicity Murray


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