The world will watch probably the most potent formal handover over of US Presidential power at Joe Biden’s inauguration this Wednesday 21st January. Today’s 35th anniversary celebration of the life and legacy of Dr Martin Luther King adds extra clout to this period in its marking of a highly emotive period in US history. On his first night in The White House will an American icon be the official toast?
There is great hope that the new President Biden will address many of the major issues that came to a head during the Trump term, including the needs raised by the Black Lives Matter movement, re-engagement with the Paris Climate Accord and international trade disputes.
US tariffs imposed on EU goods have been a significant influencing factor over price performance and demand for certain European wines since 2019. An additional 25% margin on a case of Chateau Lafite Rothschild at an average trade price of £4,700 last year, for example, is not insignificant to a US buyer. Exempt wines from Italy and Champagne enjoyed significant growth in demand in 2020 but the hope is that Biden will open a dialogue with the EU and address the levies in the near future.
UK buyers in particular have driven growth in demand for US wines during 2020 and the top wines of Napa and Sonoma now account for an average 10% of trade share on Liv-ex.
The iconic Opus One and Screaming Eagle were the top two US brands ranked in the 2020 Power 100 just published by Liv-ex. Screaming Eagle soared up the rankings 65 places from the 2019 report to the 49th most powerful fine wine brand in the world in 2020. For an estate that produces just 500 cases a year on average with incredibly tight supply and long wait lists this is a phenomenal achievement.
Screaming Eagle is the stand-out iconic Californian ‘cult’ wine producing consistently high-quality vintages and championed by Robert Parker from the estate’s infancy. Parker awarded a number of vintages in the estate’s first decade the coveted perfect 100-point score and today Screaming Eagle’s Cabernet Sauvignon wines continue to be some of the most highly critically acclaimed in the world. With such rare supply Screaming Eagle has achieved record prices at auction; the standout sale being a 6-litre bottle of the first 1992 vintage which raised US$500,000 at the Napa Valley charity auction in 2000.
Liv-ex data over recent vintage releases 2012 – 2015 saw all deliver over 20% growth in their first two years of trading in the secondary market. The 2018 vintage has been scored 100 points by the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perroti-Brown and will be a keen target for investors.
Recent Screaming Eagle Price Performance:
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It would seem right that the advent of President Biden’s era will be celebrated with a US icon and most fittingly a Screaming Eagle in the raised glasses in the White House this Wednesday.
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