California (50 Index), Here We Come

  • Anthony Maxwell, Liv-ex Director

  • 03 Oct 2018 | News & Views

Back in July, we noted that Dominus 2014 was the top traded U.S. wine by value in 2018 so far. Keeping with this U.S. trend, Liv-ex has created the California 50 index, which tracks the price performance of the last 10 physical vintages of the five most actively traded Californian wines: Screaming Eagle, Opus One, Dominus, Harlan Estate and Ridge Monte Bello.

As the chart below shows, the California 50 index has made steady gains since December 2003. Over the index’s history, the California 50 has returned 207%. This is slightly lower than Liv-ex’s Bordeaux based indices; the Liv-ex 100 (+214%), Bordeaux 500 (+220%) and the Liv-ex 50 (+264%) have all performed better over the long term.

However, unlike these indices, the California 50 has seen little volatility. Over the past 14 years, just three have been negative for the index. By comparison, the Bordeaux 500 has had six negative years over the same period.

California’s short term performance has also been promising. Over a one-year period, the California 50 has significantly outperformed the other Liv-ex indices. Since July 2017 the index is up 15.8%. The second-best performer, the Liv-ex 50, is up just 5.2% over the same period.

Readers should take note that the views of this author represent those of a company with an interest in the wine trade. Liv-ex operates the global marketplace for fine wine. It offers trading, data and settlement services to professional buyers and sellers of fine wine. Private collectors can view Liv-ex prices and value their portfolios using Cellar Watch and find regular market analysis on the blog. The opinions of Liv-ex are their own and do not represent those of Robert Parker Wine Advocate or Wine Journal. Liv-ex contributes articles to Wine Journal that we feel are of market relevance to readers, but we do not specifically endorse this company.

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