Liv-ex has reported that USA fine wines have more than doubled their share of trade value on the exchange compared to 2019, with the biggest demand having been from domestic US buyers followed by the UK. A key stimulus for this is likely to be the displacement from more expensive European wines to US fine wines by North American merchants and consumers with Trump’s tariffs imposed nearly a year ago. There have also been some important US releases during summer 2020 from iconic Napa estates which have benefited from growing values as demand for these wines continue to increase from a global market.
Here are a few of the key takeaways from Liv-ex on this emerging trend:
- Distinct fine wines traded for the USA hit an all-time high in August 2020, more than doubling the month of July. From January to July growth in individual wines labels traded was 35%, in comparison; July to August rose to 121%.
- Live offers currently stand at an all-time high in September on the fine wine exchange and bids have risen 158% in the five months from April 2020.
- Napa has been the dominant region in previous years, making up roughly 90% of USA trade, but now share has fallen to 70% as the US fine wine market broadens. Smaller regions are starting to command more trade, with the Sta. Rita Hills, Sonoma County and Santa Cruz Mountains all adding labels to their totals.
- In the top estates traded, Liv-ex reports a USA/UK divide. The USA market has had a flavour for Dominus, Overture and Harlan Estate, whereas UK buyers are focused in on the area’s star band; Screaming Eagle, which makes up 45% of trade value for the region.
- The 2016 USA vintage is by far the most favoured currently, knocking the 2013 vintage from the top spot, which comes as no surprise as it is also one of the critics’ highest scored.
We cannot comment on US wines without acknowledging the horrific fire-devastation California, Oregon and Washington states are currently suffering. Sadly, the annual West Coast fire season has become more extreme in the last few years and yet again we hear of terrible losses in the blazes crossing the three states. 27 people died in California alone last week, however of the 4,200 wineries just a small number had been severely affected. 1million acres in Oregon are under fire and ten people had lost their lives when reported. Harvest is being managed and funds are now being donated to help.
Including top Napa wines in your portfolio is an important means of diversifying your collection to optimise growth.