Regional Buying – At What Cost?
Unlike the recently released Liv-ex Classification, which ranks the wines of the world purely on the basis of their average trade prices in the past year, our indices better reflect liquidity and long-term market trends e.g. volume and value traded, merchants’ list prices and live bids and offers.
The table below displays the average Market Price of the top wines of each region, both now and two years ago. Sauternes continues to offer the cheapest entry-point into the fine wine market, becoming 11% less expensive over this period. The category has not been helped by declining interest in sweet wines and unsold volumes of back vintages available on the secondary market. The Sauternes 50 has continued to underperform its parent index, the Bordeaux 500.
Meanwhile, red Burgundy wines continue to command the highest prices on the market. They have leapt an impressive 43% in two years. The staggering regional performance is also reflected in the Burgundy 150, which is up 36%. Burgundy dominated the top tier in the Liv-ex Classification, doubling the number of wines that qualified in 2017, and raising the question of the sustainability of current prices, yet again.
White Burgundy has also climbed 25% but remains a more affordable alternative for those looking to invest in the top wines of the region. It is also cheaper than Bordeaux, which has shown a smaller return on investment over a two-year period. The top wines from the Right Bank—Angélus, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Pavie, Petrus and Le Pin—comprise the second-most expensive group in the fine wine market, costing more than twice the First Growths from the Left Bank.
From the Rest of the World, California stands out (+25%)—wines such as Screaming Eagle, Opus One, Dominus and Harlan Estate have continued to appreciate in value. Their price tags place them firmly, and closer than ever, to the stars from the Right Bank.
In the fine wine world, perceived value is not always synonymous with low prices. The most expensive wines of two years ago have just gotten more expensive. Still, regions such as the Rhône and Italy continue to offer some of the cheapest entries into the market, as well as comparable quality, making them interesting to watch as buyers spread their interests further afield.
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 the wine trade. They have over 440 members from start-ups to established merchants and supply them with the data, trading and logistics services they need to price, source and sell wine more efficiently. 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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The Fine Wine Market in 2019
From Wine Journal
The post below is a summary of Liv-ex's recent report, The Fine Wine Market in 2019.