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Champagne prices up

Published:  18 January, 2007

Vintage Champagne has become increasingly lucrative and is providing better returns than Bordeaux's first growths in the past year, according to the fine wine market index Liv-ex.

The Liv-ex 100 index, which consists of 100 of the most sought- after fine wines -mainly from Bordeaux -has seen prices rise 8.5%. Champagne prices on the index have risen 25%.

Top Champagnes from the 1996 vintage have seen particularly steep rises. Krug has jumped 56% from 1,500 to 2,350 per case, excluding duty and VAT, while Louis Roederer's Cristal brand has seen prices grow by 43%.

James Miles, founding director of Liv-ex, said: "The market has shown us that it is not just fine Bordeaux red wines that can generate strong returns. The performance of Champagne suggests that investors should take it just as seriously when they are considering an investment in wine."

While buying the most highly rated first-growths has been a sound investment strategy in recent years, Liv-ex has also warned that the market is changing and investors will have to "work a bit harder, and buy a bit cleverer to see such gains repeated" in the future.

Despite tougher economic conditions, trade was up 117% compared with last June and the Liv-ex market was up 2.2% month on month. The largest share of June's trade was 2005 Bordeaux.