Over the past 2 years the fine wine market has reached new heights. Both of the leading fine wine indices are at their highest ever levels.
But what exactly does that mean for small investors as yourself? Which top wines of the world should you buy? In what part of the world, or better yet: in what region, should you look if you want to buy top wines?
To give a better idea of the price changes in depth let’s split the main indices of Liv|Ex further down into regions. As an example: often the term “rest of the world” is used. In the table below you will now find them as California, Spain, Australia and Port. The Rhone 100 has been split into its northern and southern components, and Italy has been divided into Tuscany and Piedmont.
Since rare and pricy wines might have an impact on the average, these are also kept separate. For example, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) has been separated from red and white Burgundy and estates in the Right Bank 50 (Pétrus, Lafleur, Le Pin, Ausone and Cheval Blanc) are kept away from the other Right Bank wines.
Burgundy & Champagne on top
Burgundy and Champagne have risen the most over the last three years. The Burgundy 150 and Champagne 50 indices have been the best-performers since July 2019, rising 57% and 79% respectively. The Champagne 50 has been out-performing the Burgundy 150 since May 2021.
Cristal, Krug, Dom Pérignon and Salon, have been the main drivers behind Champagne’s rise, with the 2008, 2012 and 2014 vintages being in particularly high demand from the former three.
Meanwhile, white Burgundy’s success has been driven by demand for Montrachet and some of its adjacent appellations such as Chevalier- and Bâtard-Montrachet.
Tuscany & Northern Rhône fit the pattern
The rising price of wines from Tuscany and Northern Rhône also fits the pattern seen of recent years. Both regions find an increasingly enthusiastic audience, who appreciate what they have to offer in terms of quality and value.
The surprising addition so far up the table is Spain – represented by Vega Sicilia ‘Unico’ – which has risen 34.2% in value. All of the Unico-vintages in the Liv|ex-index “Rest of the World 60” at least held their value in July.
Back in 2019, the Californian components of the Rest of the World 60 comprised Opus One and Dominus only. Since then those wines have risen by 21.3% on average. However, Screaming Eagle was added to the index and if we include that estate then the average entry point for Californian wine rises to £14,885 (12×75).
The Bordeaux wines have seen more subdued increases in value. As noted, the region’s trade share has been in decline in recent years. Over the past three years it has accounted for 39.5% of total trade by value.
Most accessible wines
The most accessible entry points into fine wine are Sauternes and Port. They have seen the smallest positive changes to their average price since 2019 and remain under £1,000 per case on average. Likewise, both Left and Right Bank Bordeaux as well as wines from the southern Rhône continue to offer wines to potential new buyers that are, on average, under £2,000 a case.
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