Find out which of the world’s most powerful fine wine brands you should own in 2020

Which are the most powerful fine wine brands in the world right now and which wines should we be investing in this year? Liv-ex’s Power 100 2019 Report, just published in association with The Drinks Business, ranks the top wines and points to potential opportunities for growth in 2020 – see our thoughts for 2020 below.

The first annual ranking of the top fine wine brands traded on Liv-ex was published in 2005 and 14 years on, in 2019 we see the first shift from dominance by the First Growths in the top ten wines of the ranking, with only Latour listed as joint tenth in 2019.

Liv-ex Power 100 top 10 fine wine brands 2019:

Fine Wine Brand 2019 2018 Liv-ex Trade % share (£) Average price Av price growth No. of unique wines traded
Armand Rousseau 1 7 2.5 % £13,185 20.8% 146
DRC 2 3 5.53 % £42,437 9.5 % 94
Leroy 3 1 1.57% £1,423 14.0% 64
Krug 4 30 0.82% £2,423 9.3% 24
Louis Roederer 5 20 2.67% £1,740 7.2% 97
Prieuré Roch 6 N/A 0.32% £7,223 51.0% 27
Sassicaia 7 29 2.39% £1,382 10.6% 20
Comte Vogüé 8 24 0.73% £5,718 5.4% 58
Moet & Chandon 9 12 2.09% £1,427 5.2% 42
Joseph Drouhin 10 67 0.62% £1,658 5.9% 61
Latour 10 10 3.46% £4,516 0.1% 44

Source: Liv-ex Power 100 Report, 2019

It’s important to note that this is a ranking of the wines traded on Liv-ex only, during the period the 1st September 2018 to the 31st August 2019 and is based on year on year price performance, the total number of wines traded per brand, the volume and value of wines traded. In order to qualify, brands must have at least three wines or vintages traded on Liv-ex with a total trade value of £10,000 or more. In the period reviewed the number of wines traded on the exchange at 6,367 wines has nearly doubled compared to over 3,000 in 2015.

The 2018 report recorded the radical emergence of Burgundy brands  into the Power 100 that year with 14 of the top 20 labels from the region. In 2019 we see the overall ranking broaden further, with the First Growth labels making way for iconic Champagne and Super Tuscan brands in the top ten. Krug, Louis Roederer, Moet & Chandon and Sassicaia achieve these dizzy heights for the first time, illustrating the growing demand and trade in the secondary market of the top wines of these great labels.

The table below  illustrates the dominance of the Bordeaux First Growths over the top 5 in the Power 100 in the last five years and the changed landscape recorded in the 2019 report.

Liv-ex Power 100 – top 5 evolution since 2015:

Rank 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
1 Lafite Rothschild Lafite Rothschild Lafite Rothschild Leroy Armand Rousseau
2 Mouton Rothschild Mouton Rothschild Margaux Lafite R. DRC
3 Margaux Margaux Mouton R. DRC Leroy
4 Angelus Haut Brion DRC Mouton R. Krug
5 Pavie Latour Angelus Margaux Louis Roederer

Source: Liv-ex.com, Liv-ex Power 100 Reports 2015 – 2019

Remarkably, 2019 is the first year where we see the overall ranking measure, an average of all four criteria, with only one First Growth label represented in the top ten, and that also being the only Bordeaux brand at that level. However, on the key measures of the volume and value of trade on the exchange, the First Growths still feature highly – particularly in value where they account for the top 6 brands with just the addition of DRC.

Liv-ex Power 100 2019 –  top five brands for value traded on Liv-ex

Rank Fine Wine Brand Liv-ex value share Average trade price
1 Lafite Rothschild 8.24% £5,182
2 Mouton Rothschild 5.9% £4,656
3 DRC 5.53% £42,437
4 Margaux 3.78% £4,422
5 Latour 3.46% £4,516
6 Haut Brion 3.46% £3,913

Source: Liv-ex Power 100, 2019

With an average trade price of £42,437, you can see how DRC trades do not have to account for too many units sold to rack up some impressive trade share numbers, and of course we are used to seeing six-figure sums achieved in rare vintage auction sales. The average First Growth prices are driven by significantly higher levels of supply than the equivalent top Burgundy brands. This supply drives an active secondary market, and despite changing positions in the Power 100 ranking, the First Growths deliver important liquidity to a wine investment portfolio, the investor will recognise that now is the time to hold onto these important Bordeaux brands as price performance will not do justice to exit in the current environment.

We talk about liquidity and the other key criteria which has shaped the ranking is the percentage share of volume traded on the exchange, the top five by this measure are set out below and again we see regional diversification strongly present.

Liv-ex Power 100 2018 – top five brands by volume traded on Liv-ex

Rank Fine Wine Brand Liv-ex volume share Average trade price
1 Sassicaia 2.75% £1,382
2 Pontet Canet 2.65% £1,094
3 Lafite Rothschild 2.54% £5,182
4 Louis Roederer 2.45% £1,740
5 Moet & Chandon 2.34% £1,427

Source: Liv-ex Power 100, 2019

Thoughts for 2020

Regional diversification in portfolio planning is now not just a ‘nice to have’ it’s an important component of planning for growth. 2019 threw up a number of challenges for the fine wine investment market, we have discussed these previously including the US tariffs on fine wine, Brexit effect on Sterling and wine trade confidence, and continued global geo-political dynamics – all of these issues prevail at the start of 2020.

You can see from the data presented by Liv-ex that there are still significant opportunities for growth and selecting wines with potential to deliver good returns to outperform current market trends is key to our decisions when sourcing wine for our clients.

In particular, we will be looking at top wine brands from Italy and Champagne as they:

  1. are exempt from the new US tariffs on European wines imposed in October by President Trump
  2. offer quality at a highly affordable price
  3. are enjoying increasing liquidity in the secondary market
  4. delivering strong price performance
  5. provide the opportunity to diversify your fine wine collection

We will expand on the latest Power 100 Ranking and our tips for investing in fine wine this year in our first Market Report of 2020, in the meantime please contact the Vin-X team for more information on the best investment wine in 2020 on 0203 384 2262.