Demand for top Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux, as well as famous labels from other regions, have driven the fine wine market to new heights in 2021, says a new Liv-ex report.
Prices in the fine wine market have been increasing across all major regions in 2021, according to a new report by Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the trade. Its Liv-ex 1000 index, tracking some of the world’s most sought-after wines, rose by 2.4% in November to reach a new all-time high. The index, seen as an important bellwether for secondary market trading, has been rising consistently for about 18 months.
‘All previous records set in 2020 have been broken and surpassed in 2021, marking the most successful year ever for the secondary fine wine market,’ Liv-ex said in its fine wine market review.
‘Over the last year, fine wine (as measured by the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index) has been a better investment than several traditional equity markets, including the FTSE 100, Dow Jones and gold,’ it said.
Prestige Champagne, blue chip Burgundy and first growth Bordeaux have been particularly strong drivers of the market this year, suggesting buyers have returned to ‘the classics’, said Liv-ex.
It said the Champagne 50 was the best performing Liv-ex 1000 sub-index, and it highlighted strong gains for a number of rosé Champagnes, too, including Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2008.
Its data reinforces reports from other merchants and analysts, and adds to evidence that new collectors have come into the sector over the past year. UK-based merchant Bordeaux Index also recently reported a spike in Champagne prices, for example.
Liv-ex data showed the five wines with the biggest price rises on its marketplace from January 2021 to the end of November 2021 were:
- Champagne Salon 2002 – up 80.1% to £10,000 (12x75cl in bond, Liv-ex Mid-Price)
- Domaine Armand Rousseau, Chambertin Grand Cru 2012 – up 73.6% to £29,700
- Domaine Georges Roumier, Bonne Mares Grand Cru 2013 – up 69.1% to £13,630
- Domaine Leflaive, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2013 – up 66.6% to £5,850
- JL Chave, Hermitage 2008 – up 66.3% to £2,695
‘We’re seeing transactions in top Burgundy at eye-watering levels,’ Liv-ex cofounder Justin Gibbs told Decanter last week, prior to the report being published.
Liv-ex said the return to classic wines has not halted a longer-term trend for the secondary market to broaden, with an ever-growing list of wines traded.
Bordeaux’s share of total trades on Liv-ex looked set to hit a new low in 2021, after coming in at 38.8% for the first 11 months of the year. It was 42% in 2020.
This continues a long-term trend, suggesting collectors’ cellars have become more diverse. Yet a number of merchants and analysts also report that Bordeaux has enjoyed resurgent demand on the market in the past 18 months or so.
‘Overall, the First Growths have had their best year since 2018, especially Château Lafite Rothschild, which has been in high demand,’ Liv-ex said.
Lafite 2018 has been the most traded wine on Liv-ex this year, followed by Sassicaia 2018 – showing how SuperTuscan wines have also continued their momentum. Lafite 2017 was third, with California’s Screaming Eagle 2018 in fourth place.
Looking ahead, Liv-ex said the macro-economic picture might yet affect the market’s momentum.
Fine wine demand has been boosted by low interest rates and people seeking alternative ways to invest their savings, it said, but added, ‘It remains to be seen if this bullishness will survive the likely return of tighter fiscal and monetary conditions’.
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