Liv-ex 2019 Classification of the Top Traded Global Fine Wines – Burgundy dominates

Liv-ex has just published its 2019 Classification of the top wines traded on the exchange and we see in sharp focus the ‘Burgundy effect’ on the market over the last two years. In 2009 Liv-ex first published its ranking of the most valuable fine wines traded on the exchange, adopting a similar approach to the original 1855 Classification of Medoc and Graves. Liv-ex has adopted a global perspective, rather than just Bordeaux focused and ranks the wines on the actual trade data of the largest pool of fine wine merchants which reflects the changing buying patterns of the fine wine market today.

Since 2009, Liv-ex has updated its classification every two years and in 2017 they extended the ranking beyond Bordeaux to include the top red wines from around the world. Liv-ex’s 2019 edition has extended the review further to include the very best white wines creating a truly global categorisation.

The increasingly diverse secondary market in fine wine is represented in the increase in the number of wines traded. In 2016, there were 4,389 unique wines (including vintage) trades on Liv-ex and this number grew to 6,012 in 2018. Bordeaux still remains the most important regional category and the data from Bordeaux acts as a benchmark with the trading data from the wines of this region acting as a key measure against which others are rated.

In 2009, ninety per cent of the wines traded on Liv-ex were produced in Bordeaux, ten years later, Bordeaux wines make up an average of 55 per cent of trade on the exchange and 37 per cent of the 2019 Classification.

The 2019 Liv-ex Classification

The 2019 Liv-ex Classification ranked a total of 349 qualifying wines from all of the regions between tiers 1 – 5, with Bordeaux still the most prolific. The table below sets out the summary detail of the regional demand:

Liv-ex Classification – Regional representation:

Region Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5 TOTAL
Bordeaux R 12 47 21 18 18 116
Bordeaux W 2 5 3 3 1 14
Burgundy R 37 33 5 1 76
Burgundy W 7 14 3 1 1 26
Champagne 7 11 18
Italy 3 23 8 3 2 39
Rhone 2 14 6 3 25
USA 4 6 10
Australia 2 3 3 2 10
Spain 1 2 1 4
Alsace 1 1
Argentina 1 1
Chile 1 1
Germany 1 1
Loire 1 1
Portugal 3 3 6
TOTAL 77 161 50 37 24 349

 Source: Liv-ex Classification 2019

Burgundy has a staggering proportion of the highest values of the first tier of the Liv-ex 2019 Classification in terms of value, Bordeaux’s First Growths and other top wines will always have vastly higher volumes traded. DRC, Romanée Conti tops the price table with an average price recorded in the period of £235,734.

There was also a significant number of wines making their debut to the Classification in 2019 with Burgundy seeing 84 wines making the grade for the first time, out of a total 102 wines from the region (including white). This illustrates the increasing demand for the wines of the region which has resulted in a broadening of focus into other labels. Bordeaux also had 50 new entrants to the Classification. Only a very small number of wines increased their ranking to higher tiers from 2017, and of those that elevated to the first tier, two were from Burgundy – Armand Rousseaux, Clos Roche and Comte Vogue, Bonnes Mares.

Liv-ex Classification First Tier – Top Ten:

Wine Region 2019 2017 Av. value
DRC, Romanée-Conti Burgundy 1stTier 1stTier £235,734
Domaine Leroy, Musigny Burgundy 1stTier £123,754
DRC, Tache Burgundy 1stTier 1stTier £46,120
Domaine Leroy, Latricieres Chambertin Burgundy 1stTier £32,590
DRC, Richebourg Burgundy 1stTier 1stTier £29,085
Georges Roumier, Chambolle Musigny Amoureuses Burgundy 1stTier £28,833
Le Pin Bordeaux 1stTier 1stTier £27,174
Petrus Bordeaux 1stTier 1stTier £26,431
Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvigon USA 1stTier 1stTier £26,147
DRC, Romanée Saint Vivant Burgundy 1stTier 1stTier £23,314

Source: Liv-ex Classification 2019

Bordeaux’s top Pomerol wines, Le Pin and Petrus were the only two to achieve anything like Burgundy’s prices at averages of £27,174 and £26,431 respectively in this period on the exchange. California’s Screaming Eagle also benefits from the extreme rarity generated by similarly low production levels of all of these top performing wines on price, its average being quoted at £26,147.

Krug, Clos Ambonnay was the top first tier Champagne (£19,260) and Bordeaux’s First Growths which enjoy the most significant volumes of trade were ranked first tier in Liv-ex’s ranking with average prices stated as Lafite Rothschild £6,492, Latour £6,272, Margaux £6,162, Mouton Rothschild £4,875 and Haut Brion £5,650. Interestingly Chateau Haut Brion Blanc was ranked with an average price of £6,903.

The Classification will be covered in more detail in our Summer Market Report and Special Report on Burgundy due to be published very soon. For more information contact the Vin-X team on 0203 384 2262 or email