The under-shared Bordeaux
If you're running out of Bordeaux in your cellar, then you're not alone.
Bordeaux remains the cornerstone of the world of fine wine, yet 50.5% of Bordeaux wines had been traded so far in 2020, compared to 96% in 2010.
Sotheby's also said that the share of Bordeaux wines and spirits in its global wine and spirits auctions and retail sales fell to 26% in 2019. However, as buyers begin to see the value of some wines, it expects that percentage to rise again. Jamie Ritchie, head of Sotheby's global wine business, said in an upcoming article in Decanter magazine, "The price of good quality is a bit off."
Burgundy, Champagne, Piedmont, Tuscany, Rhône Valley, and California wines have all seen significant growth over the past decade. Rare whiskey is also a big hit at auction.
Italy on the rise, Barolo's excitement for 2016 grows.
Piedmont has always received a lot of attention. Several wines from top wineries such as Gaja, Giacomo Conterno, and Bruno Giacosa are already relatively high in price. However, "the majority of the region's wines still represent extraordinary value for money," said Ella Lister, co-founder of analyst firm Wine Lister, in a recent report released for its members.
As described by Decanter expert Stephen Brook in a recent review posted for Decanter Premium users, Barolo 2016 promises to be another highly sought-after year, following an extraordinary year for Nebbiolo.
Will Hargrove, senior wine director at Corney & Barrow, told Decanter magazine in February that customers have been paying as much attention to Piedmont producers as they have to Burgundy.
Italy avoids the 25% import tariffs in the US, making its wines more attractive to US buyers.
Mature Bordeaux vs. Young Bordeaux
With the coronavirus crisis, the 2019 en primeur tasting was understandably postponed. While the numbers vary from winery to winery, Liv-ex said in a new report released on April 2 that more than half of all activity since 2005 - investing in wines already on the market - has resulted in more returns than en primeur purchases.
The company also said that stocks of younger vintages remain relatively high unless you want to buy scarce Pomerol wines like Petrus or Lafleur, which also hampers prices on the secondary market.
Liv-ex says several of its top wines from the 2009 and 2010 vintages are still priced below London release prices - despite the initial high prices, Liv-ex says recent deals on its platform have focused on vintages 2010, 2009 and 2016.
Some analysts suggest looking for value in excellent old Bordeaux vintages that are drinkable.
You can read a more in-depth analysis of the Bordeaux market over the past two decades in an upcoming feature in Decanter magazine.
Top Burgundy wines have peaked?
Sotheby's sold $25 million worth of Romani-Conti wines in 2019, setting a record for its global wine and spirits auction division in 2019.
This doesn't exactly indicate that people are tired of Burgundy Grand Cru wines; however, prices at the top estates have weakened over the past 15 months or so.
Liv-ex reports that the collectors' interest in Burgundy has expanded. It has seen a 48% increase in the number of Burgundy wines traded on its platform in 2019, although it questions whether the demand for all these wines on the secondary market will continue.
The immediate priority is, of course, the health of the world's people, as Governments seek to limit the movement of people and prevent health services from being overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases.
This crisis has naturally brought uncertainty and disruption to all parts of the wine industry. Before the arrival of Covid-19, there was also uncertainty in the high-end wine market.
The price fluctuations in top Burgundy can be seen on some of Bordeaux's top wines, including five first-class Left Bank châteaux, including Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Margaux, Haut-Brion, and Latour.
Liv-ex said in a recent report. "Fine wine’s long-term fundamentals remain intact – arguably supply is diminishing at a faster rate than ever – but with so much uncertainty still at play, few are prepared to call the market’s direction from here."
If you're buying wine with only future financial returns in mind, then remember that it's best to do it as a long-term endeavor, combined with professional knowledge.