Wine News 005

Fine wine news roundup: 29 February – 6 March



DRC smashes sales at Sotheby’s

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti was Sotheby’s leading label last year, accounting for US$27 million in sales.

With an average price of $5,855 per bottle, wines from the prestigious domain accounted for 44% of all the Burgundy offered by Sotheby’s last year, and 22% of the year’s total sales by value.

Wines from Coche-Drury amounted to $8 million, while the wines of Armand Rousseau, Leroy and Roumier were other Burgundian estates in the top 10, totalling combined sales of $12 million.

Over in Bordeaux, Mouton Rothschild lead the pack, accounting for 20% of all claret sales and worth $6 million. Meanwhile Petrus raised $4 million in sales, and Lafite $3 million.

Bordeaux sales overall were a little slower than usual, representing only 26% of total sales (down from 46% in 2018) and with prices down 36% on average. Nonetheless, Sotheby’s said it expects to see Bordeaux “reclaiming market share through increases in both price and volume over the next few years as supply of Burgundy normalises and appreciation of top quality Bordeaux gathers momentum”.


Bottle of 1920 Riesling Goldlack sells for €18,000

A bottle of 1920 Riesling Goldlack from famous Rheingau producer Schloss Johannisberg sold for €18,000 at the Kloster Eberbach wine auction last weekend.

Stefan Doktor, managing director of the estate, said: “It is the highest price that one of our wines has ever received and the second highest price in the entire history of wine auctions in the Rheingau region. The value that this record price reflects makes us extremely proud.”

Doktor described the record-setting wine as “amber-coloured, shot through with gold, and with a distinctive bouquet reminiscent of marmalade, dried apricots and fig, rounded off with Assam tea, tobacco, sage and bitter chocolate. On the palate, the Riesling presents a delicate sweetness and a fresh, zingy acidity. The wine is characterised by its impressive depth and length, carried by its citrus aromas and herbal minerality.”


Fine wine beats gold, property and FTSE 100 for investment returns

Fine wine has once again proven itself to be a solid investment choice, outperforming gold, stamps, jewellery and even the FTSE 100 over the last five years.

New research from Sourced Capital examined the returns one could expect from a £1,000 investment five years ago. Classic cars and rare coins produced average annual rates of return of 16% and 15% respectively, while fine wine placed third with 13%.

Vintage watches meanwhile, achieved an ROI of 8%, followed by jewellery and stamps at 7%, and both property and the FTSE 100 at 6%. Gold, meanwhile, achieved an ROI of just 5%.

Stephen Moss, founder and MD of Sourced Capital said: “The recent surge in the popularity of gold is likely to be short-lived and although it can bring some huge returns, these more volatile options are also prone to huge losses.

“When it comes to the more stable investment options, the classics such as cars, rare coins and fine wine bring the most consistent returns on a long term basis.”


Coronavirus impact update

As coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, many organisations within the wine industry are taking measures to mitigate its impact. Here’s the latest.

  • The Union ds Grands Crus de Bordeaux has confirmed that, for the time being, the annual primeurs will go ahead as scheduled at the end of the month.
  • The London Wine Fair will go ahead as planned, from 18-20 May. .
  • Germany’s Prowein 2020 has been postponed. New dates to be announced.
  • Vinexpo Hong Kong has been rescheduled to 8-10 July, instead of 26-28 May.
  • Industry experts have warned that the Chinese wine market could drop 20% due to the outbreak, and have called the situation “precarious”.
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