Partnership with Alicante City FC

Alicante City FC are pleased to announce a partnership with leading wine and whisky investment specialists London Barrelhouse. The partnership will see London Barrelhouse’s logo adorn the new Alicante City FC football shirts ahead of their first season in 1a Regional.

London Barrelhouse are the perfect match for the club’s ethos with the two parties having a shared emphasis on a focus on a long-term goal. The company also has a collective experience of over 100 years in the asset management industry which reflects that vast wealth of experience in football that the Alicante City FC board and management all possess.

The club are delighted to be working with London Barrelhouse and are looking forward to both parties benefiting from the agreement.
As part of this partnership, we have an exclusive interview with Peter Charalambous, the Director of London Barrelhouse, who shares his views on the company’s new partnership with Alicante City FC, how the two parties can work together in the future and whether football can learn anything from the fine wine and maturing whisky sector.

Hi Peter, how did you first hear about Alicante City FC?
Peter Charalambous: Prior to founding London Barrelhouse, I was the CEO of a stockbroking company in London where the now Chairman of Alicante city fc – Elliot Livesey, was employed as an equity advisor. He moved on and founded soccer smart and my passion for football and our close friendship meant we stayed in touch.

What do you see as the main benefits of sponsoring a truly international side like Alicante City FC are?
PC: Sport can generate significant brand exposure and awareness for London Barrelhouse. Alicante being an international club represents our business perfectly as our audience of investors and collectors are international in nature. Sporting events, football in particular, can be extremely popular and attract a large international audience which reflects our current offering to our ever-growing global client base. Social media and sports are extremely compatible, hence our decision to be sponsors for this season and we hope to Increase our reach and exposure to new clients, customers and businesses.

How do you think London Barrelhouse and Alicante City FC complement each other and how do you think they can help each other going forward?
PC: We complement each other with our truly international reach and feel, along with our shared vision to become major players in our respective fields. On a personal level Elliot and I have a shared passion for competitive sport, especially football, having both played with some of the world’s most famous footballers.

London Barrelhouse encourage a longer-term approach as part of their strategy to building a portfolio which is similar to Alicante City FC’s long-term plan to reach La Liga, do you therefore think it is always important to be invested in a project for the long term?
PC: My experience over 25 years of investing has shown me the most important advantage of long-term investing is to be found in the relationship between the parties having a shared vision. Investments for longer always exhibit lower volatility than those held for shorter periods and almost always make for more rewarding and satisfying returns. The longer you invest, the more likely you will be able to weather low market periods in whatever investment you have. London Barrelhouse and Alicante City having a shared vision for the long term is important for me as like London Barrelhouse, Alicante City have a determination to grow and a business plan in place to execute it.

How important do you think it is that businesses support football clubs and other clubs which can build a community?
PC: Sport at all levels has a responsibility to inspire the next generation. Local sporting clubs are paramount in this process, in particular football clubs. Football clubs around the world can be the life and soul of the local community, offering opportunities, jobs and a community asset for all who are involved. As a result, we are delighted to be involved with Alicante City as they look to grow whilst offering Alicante everything that comes with having a local football club.

Are representatives from the company planning on visiting Alicante to see the club in action?
PC: The plan is to come out this season 100%. We are currently in the process of setting up our first international office in Singapore and this has taken up a lot of our time and resources. However, this will not deter us from coming out to several games this season as we continue to strengthen our relationship with Alicante City FC, its owners and players.

Is there anything you believe football can learn from the fine wine and maturing whisky sector?
PC: Football has become a victim of its own success and the demand for instant results has condemned a lot of clubs into administration and closure. The overriding thing that football can learn from our industry is that with fine wine and maturing whisky – “good things sometimes take time”.

Finally, why should Alicante City FC fans visit
PC: Unlike others in our industry, we offer a truly unique service with our fine and rare collection offering. This helps investors act like an expert and make what is already unique and rare, even more valuable. Alicante City fans should visit in order to see how they can benefit from tax efficient investmets that can be extremely rewarding but also helps them gain an interest and knowledge in a truly global and growing industry.

Why is fine wine easier to value than art and cars?

When it comes to investment, wine, art and cars have often been regarded as ‘pleasurable’ assets. Common perceptions exist that these tangible assets, often put under the same roof, simply serve to diversify a portfolio; they are safe yet less liquid, and if worse comes to worst, can always be enjoyed.

The notable distinctions between them, however, are rarely acknowledged. In an article published last year under the title ‘The Best Investments of 2018? Art, Wine and Cars’, the Wall Street Journal commented: “Who beat the market this year? Investors who like the finer things in life”. Financial newswires occasionally report on the performance of these alternatives through published indices, commonly citing Liv-ex with regards to fine wine and Sotheby’s Mei Moses when art is concerned.

But fine wine as an alternative asset class is not so like art and classic cars – it is easier to value accurately. The price of classic cars, for instance, is often determined by their history, prestige, condition, original features, awards and popularity: a car once driven by someone famous or with an interesting history might demand a higher price. Indices that track the classic car market are often based on auction sale results, such as the K500.

$558,000 for a single bottle of 1945 Romanée-Conti

Maybach Exelero, a one-off high performance car, costs $8 million

When it comes to art, every piece is different, and every copy is considered a replica which cannot command the same price as the original. Some argue that art, even sculptures and paintings, is ephemeral, which is part of the joy in collecting and owning it. It can also take decades for the same original piece of art to reappear on the market, making valuation challenging despite the emergence of art indices. Estimations are often the norm and can be based on the auction value of other works by the same artist, as well as demand, liquidity, activity of the art dealers and market data.

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1500) is the most expensive painting ever sold as of 2019 for $450.3 million

Wine is a very distinctive category in that sense. Each year, producers make many bottles of the same wine. Some, like top Bordeaux, is made in significant quantities. Even the smallest producers will make several hundred cases of the same wine each year. As a result, the same products are often available simultaneously from retailers around the world, and change hands frequently. Rare old bottles such as Romanée Conti 1945, which broke a record in October becoming the most expensive wine in the world, are the exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of fine wine – collectible bottles that are built to age – is far easier to value than ‘unicorn’ bottles like these.

The chart below shows trading activity for Lafite Rothschild 2006 over five years. The red markers represent trades of the wine on Liv-ex. The dark blue line is its Market Price, which is widely used for valuations. As you can see, it tracks transaction prices very closely.

These factors – production volumes, multiple traders, availability and data – make it much easier to arrive at accurate valuations for fine wine than art or classic cars.


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.

Liv-ex most wanted: top 10 wines by merchant location

The most wanted wines this year – based on visits to individual wine pages (IWPs) from January to July – differ depending on Liv-ex members’ location.

On a brand level (LWIN7*), Lafite Rothschild is the most popular wine among merchants in the UK, Europe and Asia. The latter has historically led demand for the label.

Another First Growth is the most viewed wine by US merchants – Margaux, which has moved up since last year’s rankings and taken the top spot from Pontet Canet.

Similar to last year, Europe remains the only region to include the Right Bank’s Figeac and Angelus in its most visited IWP. For the first time, a Champagne – Louis Roederer, Cristal – also makes up the region’s rankings.

As the table below shows, another Champagne, Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon, has taken the third spot in the UK’s most viewed wines.

On a vintage level (LWIN11), however, Dom Perignon 2008 leads the UK rankings. Lafite Rothschild 2016 (JS 100, JD 100) tops the most viewed wines in both Asia and Europe, while Pontet Canet 2010 (RP 100) is the most viewed wine in the USA once again.

Sassicaia 2015, Wine Spectator’s wine of 2018, continues to be the only Italian wine in the ten most visited IWPs, driven by interest from European merchants.

In line with rising Burgundy trade, Domaine Ponsot, Clos Roche Vv 2016 is among the most viewed wines in the UK. Mouton Rothschild 2016, which received the perfect 100 points from a number of critics including Neal Martin, Jeb Dunnuck, James Suckling and Lisa Perrotti-Brown has also been very popular in both Europe and the UK.

* LWIN is a universal wine identifier that corresponds to details of a selected wine. For example, LWIN7 is a seven-digit number that correlates to a wine name, e.g. Lafite Rothschild. LWIN11 is an 11-digit number that considers both the wine name and the vintage, e.g. Mouton Rothschild 2014. For more information on LWIN, please click here.

Top 10 traded wines by value in 2019: Cristal 2006 leads

Louis Roederer Cristal 2006 has been the top traded wine so far this year, accounting for 1.6% of the total trade value. The Champagne house was also the top traded wine label in 2018, with its 2008 vintage being the most traded wine on Liv-ex overall that year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of wines in the table are also from the 2016 Bordeaux vintage that became physical earlier this year. Two 2016 First Growths placed in the top ten: Mouton Rothschild 2016 ranked in second place, while Lafite Rothschild 2016 came in fourth.

Mouton Rothschild was the only wine from the 2016 vintage that was awarded 100 points by five leading critics (Jeb Dunnuck, James Suckling, Neal Martin, Antonio Galloni and Lisa Perrotti-Brown). In their tasting notes, Suckling said that it was “one of the most powerful Moutons ever for me”, while Dunnuck added that it is a “truly profound, magical, blockbuster wine in every sense”.

In third place was another 2016: Cos d’Estournel. The wine was one of six to receive a perfect 100 points from Neal Martin back in January. At the time, we reported that in light of Neal Martin’s score, the wine was significantly below the price implied by our ‘Fair Value’ methodology.

Shortly after his scores were published, the wine saw a flurry of activity on Liv-ex and went on to trade at an all-time high of £1,847 per 12×75. It last traded at £1,676 per 12×75, up 19.7% on its release price (£1,400).

In fifth place was the “fabulous” Dom Perignon 2008. The Champagne was released back in January and instantly saw demand on Liv-ex: it traded at £1,400 per 12×75, before settling back to its opening level of £1,240.

Other than Champagne and Bordeaux, the only other region to feature in the top ten was Burgundy – Domaine Ponsot Clos Roche Vv 2016 placed sixth.

A selection of Bordeaux wines from ‘great’ vintages (2000, 2005, and 2010) also made the top ten.


Jane Anson’s Bordeaux 2018 En Primeur Report Published

Jane Anson, a recognised expert on fine wine,who has lived in the Bordeaux region since 2003, has released her 2018BordeauxEn Primeur report and her top scoring wines from the vintage. Anson has identified seven potentially perfect wines, to which she has awarded a score of 98-100, and which she intends to reassess after bottling towards the end of 2020.

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Bonhams Fine & Rare Wine And Whisky Sale To Be Held on 17 May 2019

International auction house, Bonhams, has announced that it will be holding asale of fine and rare wine and whisky on 17 May in Hong Kong, where 450 lots of whisky and 350 lots of wine will be offered to the market, with a total sale value estimated at HK$28 million (c.£2.75 million). Headlining the Scotch whisky session are 25 lots from the late Italian iconic bottler, Silvano Samaroli,

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Macallan 1989 Sherry Hogshead

Bowmore 1990 Hogshead