Liv-ex Power 100 brands of 2020 will guide fine wine investors in 2021

Liv-ex’s Power 100 2020 Report, published in association with The Drinks Business, reviews the performance of fine wines traded on Liv-ex, and ranks the most powerful fine wine brands on Liv-ex. The report provides a valuable indicator for fine wine investors on which labels they should be acquiring for growth in 2021.

This year’s Power 100 reflects a broader and more efficient market in terms of connectivity and liquidity. At this point in January 2020 (BC – Before Covid), we pointed to growth for the year coming from Italy and Champagne in particular and so it proved to be with the former responsible for some of the most impressive leaps up the 2020 ranking and four labels in the top ten most powerful fine wine brands last year.

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

Fine Wine Brand Region 2020 2019 Liv-ex Trade % share (£) Av price growth No. of wines traded
Leroy Burgundy 1 3 0.39% 8.68%  
Leflaive Burgundy 2 41  % 5.99%  
Gaja Italy Piedmt. 3 34 % 7.02%  
Sassicaia Italy Tuscan 4 7 % 9.31%  
Penfolds Australia 5 30 % 3.27%  
Ornellaia Italy Tuscan 6 91 % 9.56%  
M&C Dom Perignon Champagne 7 9 % 3.73%  
Ch. Haut Brion Bordeaux 8 16 % 1.34%  
Masseto Italy Tuscan 9 72 % 5.71%  
Louis Roederer Champagne 10 5 % 2.21%  

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

It’s important to note that this is a ranking of the wines traded on Liv-ex only, during the period the 1st October 2019 to the 30th September 2020 and is based on year on year price performance, the total number of wines traded per brand and the volume and value of wines traded. In order to qualify for the ranking brands must have had at least three wines or vintages traded on Liv-ex with a total trade value of £10,000 or more. In the period more than 8,700 different wines / vintages were traded on Liv-ex which were grouped into 1,420 brands, of which 325 qualified for the ranking.

2020 continued the broadening of the market recorded in the 2019 report when  First Growth labels made way for iconic Champagne and Super Tuscan brands in the top ten. Bordeaux First Growths lost their stranglehold over the overall ranking to big Burgundy but further broadening of the market in the last year has seen the emergence of Italy in the Power 100, now with four labels in the top ten, reflecting the changing market landscape.

Liv-ex Power 100 – top brands in last 5 years: 

Rank 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
1 Lafite R. Lafite R. Leroy Armand Rousseau Leroy
2 Mouton R. Margaux Lafite R. DRC Leflaive
3 Margaux Mouton R. DRC Leroy Gaja
4 Haut Brion DRC Mouton R. Krug Sassicaia
5 Latour Angelus Margaux Louis Roederer Penfolds

Source: Liv-ex.com, Liv-ex Power 100 Reports 2016 – 2020

Keen investors will look to see where value was derived and the top price performers in the 2020 ranking recorded price growth between 12% and nearly 30% in the period under review.

Liv-ex Power 100 2020 – Top 10 Price Performance:

Price perf. Rank Brand Region Av market price growth
1 Ca’ Nova Piedmont – Ialy 28.09%
2 Dal Forno Romano Veneto – Italy 19.47%
3 Henri Giraud Champagne 18.29%
4 G.B. Burlotto Piedmont – Italy 15.81%
5 William Fevre Burgundy 15.07%
6 Solaia (Antinori) Tuscany – Italy 14.98%
7 Bonneau du Martray Burgundy 14.41%
8 Rene Engel Burgundy 13.12%
9 Conti Costanti Tuscany – Italy 12.98%
10 Arnoux-Lachaux Burgundy 12.82%

Source: Liv-ex.com, Liv-ex Power 100 Report 2020

The 2020 Power 100 Ranking has seen the most regionally diverse top ten recorded and indeed the largest pool of research material due to market growth with the number of wines traded on Liv-ex up on the previous period of review by 37.2% to 8,734, and the number of individual brands increased by 42% on 2019 to 1,420. The number of brands that qualified increased 12.8% to 325 in the total measure.

Power 100 – Top five brands for value traded on Liv-ex: 

Rank Fine Wine Brand Liv-ex value share Average trade price
1 Lafite Rothschild 6.39% £4,671
2 Mouton Rothschild 4.21% £4,075
3 DRC 2.85% £39,934
4 Margaux 3.78% £4,422
5 Petrus 2.74% £26,127
6 Haut Brion 2.48% £3,796

Source: Liv-ex Power 100, 2020

When you drill down into the detail, Bordeaux still dominates value traded on Liv-ex and three first growths and the iconic Right Bank Petrus head the ranking on total value traded on the exchange. 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 portfolio and some are now available at prices that offer growth potential in 2021.

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. Sassicaia and Pontet-Canet also led this measure in the 2019 report and the average prices recorded in the top five were slightly lower in 2020 than 2019 except for Dom Perignon, which saw its average trade price increase.

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

Rank Fine Wine Brand Liv-ex volume share Average trade price
1 Sassicaia 2.04% £1,305
2 Pontet Canet 2.65% £994
3 Leoville Poyferre 1.88% £664
4 Lafite Rothschild 1.82% £4,671
5 Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon 1.72% £1,601

Source: Liv-ex Power 100, 2020

Thoughts for 2021

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 market which continued into 2020. On top of US tariffs on fine wine, Brexit effect on Sterling and continued global geo-political dynamics, the fine wine market also had to weather the effect of a global pandemic. With the backdrop of the economic impact of Covid-19 fine wine demonstrated its value to investors providing stability and growth as equities saw significant losses and financial markets became increasingly volatile.

The Liv-ex data shows the potential to add significantly more value than trend through individual wine performance – the top performing investment wines seeing growth approaching 30% and at accessible price points too. 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 2021.

In particular we will continue to monitor top wine brands from Italy and Champagne as they:

  1. are still exempt from the US tariffs on European wines imposed by President Trump
  2. offer quality at prices offering scope for growth
  3. have solidified their positions in the secondary market as brands for the long term with increasing liquidity
  4. deliver strong price performance as demonstrated by their improved rankings in the Power 100
  5. provide the opportunity to diversify your fine wine collection at a reasonable price point

We will continue to monitor emerging markets and developments within the growing interest in US, Rhone, Spanish and German wines.

We will expand on the latest Power 100 Ranking in our first Market Report of 2021, in the meantime please contact the Vin-X team for more information on the best wines for investment in 2021 on 0203 384 2262.