Fine wine releases this September

La Place de Bordeaux, the historic system used to distribute the wines of Bordeaux globally, is no longer associated with the French region only. Every September, La Place releases some of the most sought-after wines from the Rhone, Italy and the Rest of the World. Here are five releases fine wine drinkers and collectors could look forward to next month.

Masseto 2016

The 2016 vintage of the Super Tuscan is “continuing the string of successes that is bringing Italy to the forefront of the wine world”, according to the Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner. Boasting a perfect 100-point score from her, a barrel range of 99-100 from James Suckling and 94-97 from Antonio Galloni (Vinous), the wine is set to be released in the first week of September. The 2015 vintage, an “identical twin” for Larner, was very active in the months following its release, with its value rising 9% from its opening price of £5,550 per 12×75.

Solaia 2016

Another upcoming release from the region is Solaia 2016, which received 100 points from James Suckling. In a futures tasting report published back in 2017, Suckling commented on the excellent quality of the vintage across the Super Tuscans. Regarding Solaia, the critic wrote in his tasting note: “Speechless here. I thought the 2015 was already perfect but this is perfect, too. But in a different way.” Production is down 20% on last year’s release which may impact its opening price.

A more detailed view of the market for Super Tuscans is coming up in September. Stay tuned.

Opus One 2016

Opus One – one of the most celebrated Californian wineries that produces one premium Bordeaux blend a year – is also set to release its 2016 vintage this September. The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW tasted the 2016 last year after its recent bottling and awarded it  97+ points. In her tasting note, she called it “a very decadent expression of Opus One with a provocatively effortless harmoniousness that is truly difficult to resist”. Suckling gave the wine the almost perfect 99 points and also praised its “drive and brightness”.

Over the past five years, the Opus One index has risen 32%, slightly underperforming the broader California 50 index (+50%).

Seña 2017

Seña 2017 is one of the wines that featured in Suckling’s report Chile’s tale of two cities and ranked among the critic’s favourities (99 points). Despite 2017 being a hot year resulting in an “arid environment”, the wine has retained its freshness and energy, “harmony and balance”, says Suckling.

Seña is often regarded as Chile’s first Icon wine. So far this year, the 2012 and 2013 have proven popular on the market; they are also among the more affordable recent vintages. The success of the new release may therefore partially lie in it commanding the right price.

 

Beaucastel Hommage J Perrin 2017

Beaucastel Hommage J Perrin is one of the components of our Rhone 100 index, which has made steady gains over the past year. The 2016 vintage was the most active Beaucastel Hommage J Perrin by both value and volume in 2018. It last traded at a small premium of 3% on its release price (£3,500 per 12×75).

In a report released last week, Jeb Dunnuck observed that “2017 has turned out to be a brilliant vintage that while not in the same league as 2010 or 2016, surpasses 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015”. Dunnuck awarded the 2017 Beaucastel Hommage J Perrin a 100 points and said that “with full-bodied richness, a stacked, opulent mid-palate, building tannins, and a sensational finish, it’s another perfect wine from this team and is unquestionably in the same realm as the 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2016”. Read Dunnuck’s latest Rhone report here.

Other wines expected to be released this September include Almaviva, Clos Apalta and Nicolas Catena Zapata. Stay tuned for the latest price analysis from Liv-ex.  

 

Bordeaux 500 sub-indices: a year’s view

The Bordeaux 500 index has dipped 0.9% in the past year while the broader market, tracked by the Liv-ex 1000, has gained 2.8%. It has been outperformed by Champagne and the Rhone, and compared to Burgundy, which has been gathering momentum in recent years, Bordeaux has lagged far behind. Time, then, to look at the performance of its sub-indices: the risers and the fallers within Bordeaux.

Over one year, the Fine Wine 50 index, which tracks the price performance of the First Growths, has fallen the most, down 2.6%. The Second Wines 50 has also dipped 0.6%. As we recently explored, the shrinking price gap between these two groups is under threat as the price rise of the latter group may have reached its peak.

The best-performing sub-index over one year is the Left Bank 200 (+0.5%), closely followed by the Right Bank 100, which has started to climb back after months of steady decline. The biggest riser on a wine level is one of its constituents: the Fleur Petrus index has risen by 9%. Figeac, Conseillante and Clos Fourtet have also seen prices rise. From the Left Bank, Pichon Lalande has been on the move, up 7.6%. The top 20 brands on the move, from the Bordeaux 500, are displayed in chart below.

Breaking records: the value of bids and offers surpasses £70million

The total value of bids and offers has reached a new high of £71million, while the number of active markets (wines with either a bid or an offer) has surpassed 14,000.

The current value represents a £20million increase since our last update in October 2018. The bid:offer ratio, an indication of the strength of the market, has also risen and now stands at 1.3. As we previously explained, a higher ratio tends to suggest price stability.

The ever-rising number of active markets does not only reflect this growing value. It is another sign of the fine wine market’s diversity – both in terms of regional trends and different wines trading.

A contributing factor to these record-breaking figures is automated trading, which has enabled members to increase their stock offering at no extra cost, and outside office hours.

Macallan 1989 Sherry Hogshead

Bowmore 1990 Hogshead