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:
- Liv-ex measured top performers 2019 year to date
- a review of the Liv-ex Power 100 2018 for the most powerful fine wine brands last year
- Regional performance
- the current top performing wines on Liv-ex in 2019
- 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:
|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|
|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:
- Year-on-year price performance
- Trading performance on Liv-ex measured by volume and value
- Number of unique wines traded
- 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|
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|
|Comte Liger Belair||Burgundy||46.8%|
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%|
|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|
|Mouton Rothschild||100||Cheval Blanc||97-100||Lafite Rothschild||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|
|Leoville Las Cases||99-100||Trotanoy||96-99||Pavie||97-100|
|Margaux||99-100||Vieux Ch. Certan||97-100|
|Vieux Chateau Certan||99-100|
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.