Rate of inflation in fine wine prices

How fast do fine wine prices rise ? Presumably above the rate of inflation, making them worthy of investment. My analysis suggests they are rising at far above the (US) inflation rate.

I found an old indent offer for 1982 Bordeaux, apparently published around late 1984. I entered the prices (which included tax and duty) for several wines for which I also had pre-arrival prices from the 2000 vintage. Both vintages were hot, with high demand so seemed fair comparisons.

The wines were:
Chateau Palmer
Leoville Poyferre
Haut Bailly
Chasse Spleen
Haut Bages Averous

The combined 1982 vintage prices (in 1984) were A$228. The combined 2000 vintage prices were A$1767.

Adjusted for inflation (1984 – 2003) the same bundle of wines in 2003 should have cost only $400 !

In other words they should cost about double what a similar group of young wines should have cost in 1984, but they actually cost about 8 times as much.

Now this seems ridiculous. Perhaps the 2000 prices were just absurdly high, even compared to 1982. So with a different bundle of wines I compared 1982 to 2004 (2004 had prices way down on 2000). The wines were:
Leoville Poyferre
Haut Brion
Pichon Baron

The 1982 bundle was $527, and the 2004 bundle was $1410. Inflation adjusted the 1982 vintage bundle should cost only $975 in 2005. Again fine wine price rises way above inflation.

And is it really fair to compare the stellar 1982 vintage with the fairly good value vintage of 2004 ?

Also I’m using prices in Australia (which are subject to changes in Australian tax and some local costs) but a US inflation adjustment. I found an Australian inflation adjustor and while it gives a higher current value of the 1982 bundle of $1200 there seems little doubt that fine wine prices are outpacing inflation.

PS the Australian inflation adjustor says the first 1982 bundle should cost less than $500 in 2003 (not the $1700 that the 2000 vintage wines actually sold for).


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