Which are the Top 10 Wines For Investment In 2019?

Wouldn’t it be great to be given a list – these are the top ten wines for investment right now – off you go and fill your boots! As with any investment – markets are not static, demand and supply is constantly evolving which impacts on values / performance and investors have varying budgets so what suits one, will not another. That said we can provide a pointer to which are the top wines for investment in 2019 and we base this view on the following:

  1. Liv-ex measured top performers 2019 year to date
  2. a review of the Liv-ex Power 100 2018 for the most powerful fine wine brands last year
  3. Regional performance
  4. the current top performing wines on Liv-ex in 2019
  5. the Bordeaux 2018 en primeur – those wines rated by critics and the market as the top wines of the new vintage

1. The top performing wines in 2019 YTD

Let’s start with what the market has favoured so far this year – Liv-ex, the fine wine stock exchange, has analysed the wines traded on the exchange and lists the wines in Figure 1 as the top risers so far in 2019:

Figure 1: Liv-ex Top Ten Fine Wine Risers Year to Date 2019:

Rank Wine Vintage % change Country Region
1 Gaja, Barbaresco 2006 38.94% Italy Piedmont
2 Evangile 2013 37.13% France Bordeaux
3 Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf Du Pape 2008 34.55% France Rhone
4 Giacomo Conterno, Barolo Riserva Monfortino 2002 30.00% Italy Piedmont
5 Bonneau Martray, Corton Charlemagne 2005 26.80% France Burgundy
6 Opus One 2004 25.95% USA Napa
7 Gaja, Barbaresco 2012 24.42% Italy Piedmont
8 Figeac 2005 24.38% France Bordeaux
9 Ridge, Monte Bello Red 2011 23.73% USA Central Coast
10 Beaucastel, Chateauneuf Du Pape 2004 23.37% France Rhone

Source: Liv-ex.com, 22ndMay, 2019

It has to be said that this list does not represent the normal snap shot of the world’s top ten performing wines. It’s markedly shy in Burgundy and doesn’t include a Bordeaux First Growth – so as a rule this would not be our recommended top ten. It is representative perhaps of the distraction in the market in the first half of the year as a result of currency dynamics, some softening in the Burgundy market, and broadening demand for wines of other regions.

2. Liv-ex Power 100 – the world’s most powerful fine wine brands:

A quick reminder of the top ten fine wine brands of 2018, as published in Liv-ex’s Power 100 last December is set out in Figure 2 and is an important consideration. Brands were graded using the following four criteria measured over the period 1stSeptember 2017 to 31stAugust 2018:

  1. Year-on-year price performance
  2. Trading performance on Liv-ex measured by volume and value
  3. Number of unique wines traded
  4. The average price of a case of wine per brand:

Figure 2: Power 100 2018 – Top 10 most powerful fine wine brands in 2018

Wine Ranking 2018 Ranking 2017 Value traded Average trade price Price growth
Leroy 1 N/A £941,416 £1,806 58.2%
Lafite Rothschild 2 1 £4,291,972 £4,374 14.0%
DRC 3 4 £1,439,782 £30,472 33.5%
Mouton Rothschild 4 3 £2,753,790 £3,946 13.8%
Margaux 5 2 £1,876,280 £4,332 11.9%
Haut-Brion 6 9 £2,071,514 £3,358 11.5%
Armand Rousseau 7 8 £305,954 £6,420 42.7%
Petrus 8 10 £1,597,597 £23,963 15.4%
Coche Dury 9 54 £296,620 £5,384 23.6%
Latour 10 12 £1,606,409 £3,442 8.4%

Source: Liv-ex.com

The Liv-ex Power 100 2018 ranked the performance of the world’s most powerful fine wine brands and, not unsurprisingly, the top ten included the five First Growths and Petrus from Bordeaux and the remainder were wines from Burgundy. In terms of value growth, the top price performers in that 12 month period are set out in Figure 3.

Fig. 3: Top fine wine price performance during the period 1st September 2017 – 31stAugust 2018:

Wine Region Average market price growth
Leroy Burgundy 58.2%
Georges Roumier Burgundy 55.6%
Alain Voge Rhone 53.8%
Dujac Burgundy 51.1%
Comte Liger Belair Burgundy 46.8%
Armand Rousseau Burgundy 42.7%
Anne Gros Burgundy 40.7%
Louis Latour Burgundy 36.2%
Bonneau Martray Burgundy 34.0%
Foillard Burgundy 34.0%           

Source: Liv-ex Power 100, 2018

3. Regional performance and diversification

Burgundy has enjoyed strong growth over the last five years, which has broadened beyond the top DRC brands. There has been a slight softening in the prices being achieved in 2019, however they are still impressive, and some of the most valuable in the market. Our view is that, where affordable, Burgundy wines should be included in a fine wine investment portfolio.

Bordeaux remains the core focus for wine investors, and whilst market share on Liv-ex for the region’s wines has reduced significantly from 90%+ in 2010 to circa 60% as a norm currently, the fact is the market in the blue-chip wines of Bordeaux is still the most liquid.  Our view is that Bordeaux’s five First Growths: Haut Brion, Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Margaux and Mouton Rothschild, the top four St Emilion Grand Cru Classe As: Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Angelus and Pavie and the iconic Petrus and Le Pin are key components of a rewarding fine wine investment portfolio. The prime vintages are likely to add a premium over time and currently the most traded are 2005, 2009, 2015 and 2016, however 2010 must also be included as second only in highest number of 100 point wines scored by Robert Parker at release.

Wine investors should also consider diversifying their portfolios with the top wines of Champagne, Rhone, Tuscany and USA (Napa).  The trend over the last two years of the wines that comprise the Liv-ex 1000 index, which provides the broadest view of the market, illustrates the importance of regional diversification, as can be seen in Figure 4. 

Figure 4: Liv-ex 1000 performance

4. The current top performing fine wines

So which are the top performing wines right now? Liv-ex’s most recent data on the major market movers during April 2019 recorded (for that month) is set out in Figure 5, with wines from the Rhone and the USA seeing the most growth in the month.

  Figure 5: Major Market Movers in April 2019

Wine Vintage March ’19 April ‘19 Change
Domaine Jean Louis Chave, Hermitage 2010 £3,533 £4,149 17.4%
Beaucastel, Hommage J Perrin 2016 £2,578 £2,912 13%
Dominus 2011 £1,035 £1,158 11.9%
Opus One 2011 £2,664 £2,970 11.5%
Beaucastel, Hommage J Perrin 2015 £2,300 £2,550 10.9%

Source: Liv-ex.com (Mid price:12 x 75)

5. Bordeaux 2018 En Primeurs

Our final consideration on the best wines for investment in 2019 is the Bordeaux 2018 vintage. Always a massive focus at this time of year – the majority of the top vineyards have yet to release their en primeur allocations. Figure 6 summarises the best wines of the vintage as ranked by James Suckling (JS), Antonio Galloni (AG) and Lisa Perrotti-Brown (LPB). The majority of these wines have yet to release and price will be key.  

Figure 6: Bordeaux 2018 – Critics’ scores for the top wines of the vintage:

WINE JS Score WINE AG Score WINE LPB Score
Lafleur 100 Ausone 97-100 Ausone 98-100
Mouton Rothschild 100 Cheval Blanc 97-100 Lafite Rothschild 98-100
Petrus 100 Cos d’Estournel 97-100 Latour 98-100
Angelus 99-100 Lafleur 97-100 Leoville Las cases 98-100
Ausone 99-100 Petrus 97-100 La Mission Haut Brion 98-100
Beausejour Duffau 99-100 Rauzan Segla 97-100 Petrus 98-100
Domaine Chevalier 99-100 Calon Segur 96-99 Angelus 97-100
Eglise Clinet 99-100 Figeac 96-99 Cos d’Estournel 97-100
Lafite Rothschild 99-100 Latour 96-99 Lafleur 97-100
Latour 99-100 Pontet Canet 96-99 Margaux 97-100
Leoville Las Cases 99-100 Trotanoy 96-99 Pavie 97-100
Margaux 99-100     Vieux Ch. Certan 97-100
Rauzan Segla 99-100        
Vieux Chateau Certan 99-100        

Source: Liv-ex.com

So, with all of the aforementioned to consider – can we simply list you the top ten investment wines for 2019? No – of course not – we will look at your requirements, the amount of capital you wish to invest, over what period of time, any particular preference you may have and then we will work with you to create a rewarding portfolio comprising the best investment wines which offer the optimum opportunity for growth available at the time you wish to start investing. Call us now for more information on 0203 384 2262 and download our Guide to Fine Wine Investment.