Fine wine news roundup: 8-14 December

Fine wine more stable than gold

Fine wine more stable than gold
Source: Harpers

Liv-ex has released its annual summary of the wine market, and has described 2018 as a “record breaking year”. The report reveals that Bordeaux has been “steady, consolidating after two years of strong gains”, while Burgundy has emerged as the star performer.

According to the platform, the Liv-ex 100 gained a modest 0.22% in value, but it traded within a narrow 2% range, “making it even more stable than gold” over the course of the year. The broadest measure of the market, the Liv-ex 1000, rose 10.2% over the year.

Looking ahead to 2019, the report described the fine wine market as being in “good health, offering steady returns and low volatility compared with other mainstream assets”, and predicted that the Bordeaux En Primeur campaign for the well-received 2018 vintage would be a success.

However, it did caution that Brexit uncertainty will “likely affect the price of fine wine because currency volatility influences the levels of interest from non-Sterling buyers. However, this might be less of an issue for regions with high demand and relative scarcity such as Burgundy and Piedmont.”


Cristal is 2018’s top traded wine on Liv-ex

Cristal is 2018's top traded wine on Liv-ex
Source: Liv-ex

Liv-ex has revealed its top 10 most traded wines of 2018. Almost all come from Bordeaux, with the exception of two from Champagne and one from Italy.

Louis Roederer Cristal 2008, released in May and earning 98+ points from Antonio Galloni, took the top spot. Galloni described the wine, which last traded for £1,850 per case of 12, as one “that takes over all the senses and never lets up”.

Wine Spectator’s wine of the year, Sassicaia 2015, ranked second, with the highly-coveted Margaux 2015 in third place. Lafite Rothschild, however, dominated trade, with four vintages – the 2009, 2015, 2014 and 2005 – featuring in the top 10.

Overall, Haut Brion 1989, fourth on the list, was the most expensive wine in the top 10. It traded at £25,000 per 12×75 in June this year, an all-time high for the wine. It is currently up 38% for the year.


Mouton releases 2016 vintage label

Mouton releases 2016 vintage label
Source: The Drinks Business

Chateau Mouton Rothschild has revealed the label for its 2016 vintage. ‘The Triumphs of Bacchus’, by South African artist William Ketridge, illustrates a procession of dancing silhouettes – a nod to classical descriptions of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, and a scene prominent in paintings throughout history.

According to Mouton, the design underlines “the truth that a great wine, although first and foremost a pleasure, is also inseparable from a cultural tradition which demands respect”.

Kentridge is the first artist from the African continent to contribute a design for Mouton Rothschild’s Grand Vin. Previous label artists have included Richter, Hockney, Picasso, Dali and Miro.


HK$50 million auction helps Zachys smash 2017 total

HK$50 million auction helps Zachys smash 2017 total
Source: The Drinks Business

Auction house Zachys is on track to beat its 2017 sales figures after its latest Hong Kong auction realised HK$50 million.

The top lot from the recent two-day sale was a six-litre bottle of 1985 La Tache from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti which realised HK$543,400, followed by a three-litre bottle of the 1971 at HK$518,700.

Other highlights included 1998 Petrus, 2007 Chambertin from Leroy and 2009 Mazis Chambertin from Domaine d’Auvernay.

Terrence Tang, head of Zachys Auctions, Hong Kong, said: “We are extremely honoured and excited to open the 2019 auction season with not one, but two prestigious single-owner collections, The Platinum Collection and The Ruby Collection, which will take place on 18 and 19 January in Hong Kong.”


Wine the most popular Christmas gift… for regifting

Wine the most popular Christmas gift… for regifting
Source: The Drinks Business

If you’re thinking about giving the gift of wine this year, you might want to consider keeping it for yourself instead. According to a survey by Bordeaux Wines, 59% of Brits say wine is their first choice for taking to a Christmas party, but a third of recipients admit they usually end up regifting the wine to someone else.

The survey revealed that the average Brit receives four bottles of wine throughout the festive period, but three in ten will end up giving that wine away. Meanwhile, when it comes to purchasing wine as a gift, just over a fifth said they buy whatever’s on special offer.

On the upside, shoppers are more likely to ‘trade up’ at this time of year. Compared to the usual £5-£6 spent on a bottle outside the festive period, Christmas sees shoppers spend an average of £8.67 on a bottle of wine for themselves and £10.64 on a bottle of wine for others. So the chances are, if someone regifts a bottle your way it’ll be slightly better than your average plonk.

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