Fine wine and Art ‘Treasure Assets’ are making headlines again in May 2021. The recent private sale of a single bottle of Petrus with a price tag of US$1million and auction of a Picasso for US$103.4million (more than £73M including fees) yesterday illustrates the extraordinary values extremely rare luxury investments can achieve.
Picasso’s ‘Woman Sitting Near a Window (Marie-Therese)’ was sold at Christies NY in less than 20 minutes at nearly double the pre-sale estimate of US$55M. The painting of Picasso’s young mistress had previously sold for £28.6M (c. $44.8M) just eight years ago. Extremely rare masterpieces are notoriously hard to value and the exciting dynamic of a live auction can also push prices further. A stunning investment for the former owner, this latest is the fifth Picasso to be sold for more than US$100M and the first to exceed this level in two years.
Rare, iconic fine wines can deliver similar spectacular returns but the price points are much more accessible. Christies also announced on the 4th May 2021, the private sale of a bottle of Chateau Petrus 2000 (75cl), which had been one of a case of twelve stored on the International Space Station for 400 days as part of a privately funded research project by Space Cargo Unlimited.
Petrus was an excellent candidate for the project because of its very significant potential for ageing and three of the space-aged Petrus bottles were tasted alongside control samples of earth-bound Petrus 2000 recently. Bordeaux specialist, Jane Anson was lucky to be one of the tasting team and commented that “… this particular bottle seems more evolved than I would expect from a 21-year old bottle of Petrus 2000. …. It is beautiful and nuanced, with fine tannins and a sense of energy, but has a clear difference in expression from the [earth] wine.” Anson rated both the terrestrial and ‘out of this world’ versions at 98 points!
With a guide price of US$1M one bottle of the space-aged Petrus 2000 encased in a special trunk designed by Les Ateliers Victor of Paris with a second land-locked bottle, decanter, glasses and a corkscrew made from meteorite has created a unique collector’s item, which Christies put up for private sale on the 4th May.
Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report published in March reported a 23% global average increase in Ultra High Net Worth Investors (UHNWI) acquiring tangible investments of passion such as art, fine wine and classic cars during the pandemic. Australasia accounted for the highest regional growth at 35%. The image shows the top performing passion assets recorded in Knight Frank’s Luxury investment Index (KFLII) in the 12 months to Q4 2020. Art returned the least over that period, fine wine ranked second to luxury handbags during the pandemic. For more details see our earlier blog on the Knight Frank 2021 Report.
Fine wine as the most reliable in terms of market transparency and liquidity is also priced to often be one of the most accessible treasure assets. Right now, Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur campaign offers the opportunity to invest at first release and to enjoy the long-term investment potential. St Emilion icon, Chateau Cheval Blanc is the first of the Grand Cru to release the latest vintage getting the campaign of to a very speedy start with some key critics still to publish their scores. For more information on investing in Treasure Assets and En Primeur Wine contact the Vin-X Team on 0203 384 2262.