The secondary fine wine market has reached new heights over the past two years but as prices of the top wines continue to rise, where should investors look when wanting to buy the top wines of the world?
Broadly speaking, the top wines of their respective regions are consistent with the wines that make up our regional indices (i.e. the components of the Liv-ex 1000 index). To give a better idea of the price changes across the secondary market, we have split many of these indices down further, as shown in the table below.
For example, the Rest of the World 60 has been split into 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.
Where wines of great rarity and price might have an impact on the average, we have also kept them separate. For example, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti has been separated from red and white Burgundy and estates in the Right Bank 50 (Pétrus, Lafleur, Le Pin, Ausone and Cheval Blanc) away from the other Right Bank wines.
The final regions can be found in the table below, which shows the average Market Price for each, both now and three years ago.
Unsurprisingly, prices of 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.
The rising price of Tuscan and Northern Rhône wines also fits the pattern seen in recent years, with both regions finding 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. As mentioned above, all of the Unico vintages in the 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.
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.
The most accessible entry points into fine wine, Sauternes and Port, have seen the smallest changes to their average price since 2019 and remain under £1,000 per case on average.
And 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.