Talking Trade – new releases gain momentum

January proved to be a strong start to the year for Fine Wine. Bordeaux 2018 started to become physical while both Bolgheri and Napa Valley saw the vintage find favour in the secondary market. During the month, over 1,200 different wines changed hands. That is nearly double the 2019 average and just shy of the record set in November of last year.

More reviews of Bordeaux 2018 in bottle emerged with roughly 100 notes added by Jancis Robinson. Notably, Chateau Lafleur 2018 surpassed Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2018 (18) with a score of 18.5++, to become her highest awarded wine of the vintage so far. Chateau Lafleur’s second wine, Pensees de Lafleur, also stood tall in the charts with a score of 17.5+.

Bordeaux trade share held above 30% for the second week as the newly physical 2018’s found a market. Trade for physical Bordeaux 2018 has now surpassed that seen during the En Primeur release. Activity however remains focussed on 2016, 2015, and 2009 (Year of the Ox wines).

Burgundy once again narrowed the gap on Bordeaux, taking 24.7% of trade by value. The 2018 and 2017 took the lion’s share, but there was plenty of action in older vintages too.

The Rhone saw a small jump up from its historic average (3.0% to 3.5%). The region has been one of the best performing Liv-ex 1000 sub-indices over the past year.

Chateau Margaux 2018 was the top traded by value of the week. The wine released in 2019 at £5,112 per 12×75. It briefly traded above that level but has since drifted. It’s been the most popular 2018 First Growth of 2021 so far but including last year’s trade Lafite Rothschild 2018 marginally edges it out.

Sassicaia saw significant activity across all vintages, but it was the 2016 vintage that led trade. The wine has increased 19.2% over the past year. The 2018 vintage is beginning to gather interest with the UK release expected this month. The 2017 vintage was released in the first week of February last year at £1,700 per 12×75.

Liv-ex Indices in January

Both major Liv-ex indices made gains in January. The Liv-ex 100 rose 0.59% while the Liv-ex 1000 added 0.77%. The Liv-ex 1000 index was also updated in January. Along with annual vintage progression (removing ’07 or ’08 and adding ’17 or ’18), changes were made to some individual sub-indices driven by liquidity considerations.