Liv-ex’s top ten performing wines of 2019 have delivered up to 75% growth

Liv-ex’s top ten performing wines have delivered returns any investor would be delighted with in 2019, despite the general market trend being suppressed by Brexit and US tariffs. Piedmont burst onto the scene and a Giacomo Conterno Barolo was the leading price riser with a 75% uplift across the year. The top ten ranked wines by Liv-ex in terms of growth in price in 2019 reflected the growing demand for wines from Italy, Champagne and Rhone.

The top ten price performers in 2019 are set out in the table below:

No. Wine Vintage Region Jan 2019 Dec 2019 Growth
1 Giacomo Conterno, Barolo Reserva Monfortino 2002 Italy £5,940 £10,390 75%
2 Chapoutier, Ermitage Pavillon 2007 Rhone £850 £1,300 53%
3 Bollinger, Grande Annee 2004 Champagne £600 £820 37%
4 Auguste Clape, Cornas 2011 Rhone £800 £1,080 35%
5 Gaja, Barbaresco 2007 Italy £1,300 £1,750 35%
6 Gaja, Barbaresco 2011 Italy £990 £1,300 31%
7 Louis Roederer, Cristal Rose 2009 Champagne £3,032 £3,750 24%
8 Vieux Telegraphe, Chateau Neuf Du Pape 2008 Rhone £330 £408 24%
9 Bonneau Martrey, Corton Charlemagne 2007 Burgundy (white) £1,459 £1,800 23%
10 Salon, Le Mesnil 2002 Champagne £4,700 £5,782 23%

Source: 19th December 2019

Italy has been nipping on the coat tails of Burgundy and Bordeaux over the last few years in terms of levels of market interest with the top wines of Tuscany and Piedmont certainly enjoying similar quality levels, critical review and press interest. Celebrity followers of Super Tuscan Tignanello, such as Boris Johnson and the Duchess of Sussex, have helped raise profiles but also great Italians continue to offer value for investors as Burgundy prices reached dizzying heights at the end of 2018.

Piedmont, in particular, has been on the rise in 2019 and this year’s Liv-ex top growth wine hails from the region. Giacomo Conterno, Barolo Reserva Monfortino 2002 rose a staggering 75% across the year and we are seeing more labels from Piedmont traded on Liv-ex.

Increased demand and price performance of top Italians in the latter half of 2019 will have been influenced by the new US Tariffs imposed on European wines in October. Italian and sparkling wines, Champagne being the key focus for investors, are exempt from the new tax and this has certainly benefited the regions’ wines. We can expect to see more demand for the wines of Piedmont and Tuscany in 2020.Ornellaia Wine Bottles

Throughout 2019 there have been increased trade levels in the top wines of the Rhone, which enjoy similar quality scores to the very best of Bordeaux and Burgundy and yet do not benefit from the same brand recognition or secondary market. As a result top Rhone wines still offer serious value for money and three of the highest growth wines in terms of price performance are from the region. Chapoutier Ermitage Pavillon 2007 saw an impressive price rise of 53%, Auguste Clape 2011 lifted 35% and Vieux Telegraphe CNDP, whilst not on the investment radar, gained 24% – definitely a glass to be savoured.

Champagne has also benefited from the fact that sparkling wines are exempt from the new US Tariffs. A very affordable Bollinger saw a 37% price increase, Louis Roederer’s Cristal Rose 2009 saw increased trade in 2019 and a lift in price by 24% to £3,750 and an exquisite Salon, Le Mesnil made the top ten.

2019 has generally been a challenging year for the fine wine market with prevailing Brexit uncertainty suppressing prices generally, this further exacerbated by Trump’s tax this Autumn. That said there have been some great individual performances and identifying these next year is every investor’s goal. With talk of the US slapping 100% tariffs on EU wines at the minute it is difficult to predict the market for 2020, that said with Trump impeached overnight predicting anything right now seems impossible! Boris’ recent success points to Brexit progress at least, but adding Champagne and Italian wines will be an important strategy, along with looking at emerging new markets in wines of the Rhone to add value, diversify and strengthen a wine portfolio in 2020.

We will provide more detail on our thoughts for the year ahead soon. For more information on the fine wine market and investing in fine wine download our Guide to Collecting and Investing in Fine Wine.