Fine Wine ‘Italian Job’ led by Sassicaia in Q1 2021

Liv-ex labelled its 2020 Power 100 Report; ‘The Italian Job’ describing the surge in demand and trade on the secondary market in Italy’s top wines last year. Four of Italy’s leading wine estates were ranked in the top ten most powerful fine wine brands of 2020. Sassicaia, perhaps The Godfather, led the way, listed first for the volume of trade on Liv-ex amongst the 325 labels that qualified for the overall ranking, between 1st October 2019 and 30th September 2020.

Liv-ex Power 100 top 10 fine wine brands 2020:

Fine Wine Brand Region 2020 2019 Av price growth in 12 months No. of wines traded
Leroy Burgundy 1 3 8.68% 55
Leflaive Burgundy 2 41 5.99% 81
Gaja Italy Piedmt. 3 34 7.02% 65
Sassicaia Italy Tuscany 4 7 9.31% 32
Penfolds Australia 5 30 3.27% 57
Ornellaia Italy Tuscany 6 91 9.56% 34
M&C Dom Perignon Champagne 7 9 3.73% 56
Ch. Haut Brion Bordeaux 8 16 1.34% 52
Masseto Italy Tuscany 9 72 5.71% 23
Louis Roederer Champagne 10 5 2.21% 37

Source: Liv-ex Power 100 Report, 2020 (published January 2021)

Piedmont’s Gaja and Super Tuscan Sassicaia were rated as third and fourth respectively in the 2020 Power 100, with Ornellaia sixth and Masseto ninth. Given the usual dominance of French wine brands, and in particular Burgundy and Bordeaux First Growths, the shift to Italy has been one of the most significant developments in the fine wine market and one that has been building over the last decade.

This demand for Italian wine has been influenced more recently by the US Tariffs but there is no doubt that the breadth and depth of Italy’s hold over the market is established and here to stay. The 2020 Power 100 clearly illustrates the increasing demand for the key wines and new labels in a global market and where new opportunities are emerging.

Top Italian brands in Liv-ex’s Power 100, 2020:

Fine Wine Brand Italy 2020 rank 2019 rank Av price growth in 12 months No. of wines traded
Gaja Piedmont. 3 34 7.02% 65
Sassicaia Tuscany 4 7 9.31% 32
Ornellaia Tuscany 6 91 9.56% 34
Masseto Tuscany 9 72 5.71% 23
Giacomo Conterno Piedmont 51 102 -2.13% 25
Bartolo Mascarello Piedmont 63 157 5.04% 18
Poggio di Sotto Tuscany 74 110 11.51% 15
Vietti Piedmont 76 120 -0.13% 31

Source: Liv-ex Power 100 Report, 2020 (published January 2021)

Liv-ex lists the highest risers in the ranking this year, measured by increase in value and volume traded on the exchange, and seven out of the top ten wines were from Italy.

 The top ten biggest risers in the Top 100 brands 2019 – 2020

No. Wine 2020 2019 Region Places up
1 Luciano Sandrone 62 277 Piedmont 215
2 Biondi-Santi 55 219 Tuscany 164
3 Tua Rita 88 241 Tuscany 153
4 Quintarelli Giuseppe 95 206 Veneto 111
5 Caymus 100 204 USA 104
6 Bartolo Mascarello 63 157 Piedmont 94
7 L’Evangile 37 127 Bordeaux 90
8 Casanova di Neri 67 155 Tuscany 88
9 Ornellaia 6 91 Tuscany 85
10 Keller 66 149 Rheinhessen 83

Source: Liv-ex Power 100 Report, 2020 (published January 2021)

By volume traded, Sassicaia is the lead player, with 2.04% of market share in the period under review, overtaking the traditional Bordeaux First Growth lead of Lafite Rothschild, which accounted for 1.82% of volume and ranked fourth in 2020.

Sassicaia released its 2018 vintage in the UK (also its fiftieth vintage) in early February 2021 with prices rising quickly above issue price on the exchange. The key critics including James Suckling, Antonio Galloni and Monica Larner (The Wine Advocate), have all scored it an excellent 97 points and we see it as a superb addition to fine wine portfolios in Q1 2021 – one of the must have Italians at a price now offering great potential for growth and value compared to similarly scored 2015 and 2013 vintages.

So if you’re looking for wines to “blow the bloody doors off” with a profitable return  – including Italy in your collection is a good strategy. For more information on adding Italian Power brands to your fine wine portfolio, contact our expert fine wine investment team on 0203 384 2262.