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Leoville Las Cases surprised everyone this morning by releasing their 2021 vintage – and pleasingly they have released the wines at a 15% discount to their 2020 wines, priced at £975 per case of 6. For those that have been reading our other investment posts, this is promising for the rest of the campaign and we hope that others continue to follow suit.

The 2021 Léoville-Las-Cases received 94-96 points from Neal Martin (Vinous), who said it was ‘very impressive in terms of depth and backbone’ and called it a ‘cerebral Las-Cases’.   

Antonio Galloni gave it the same score, describing it as ‘classy, nuanced and so expressive’.  

William Kelley (The Wine Advocate) awarded it a slightly higher barrel range of 95-97 points and declared it ‘one of the wines of the vintage’.   

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Independent) rated it 91-93+ points, while Jane Anson awarded it a score of 94.

We have taken good allocations of this wine – as our allocations of this brilliant estate grow year on year. 

If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form.  

Cheval Blanc 2021 from the Right Bank was released today – up 2.6% on the 2020 release. This wine has been highly rated by the critics and is being offered by the international trade for £4,740 per 12×75.

Both Neal Martin and Antonio Galloni at Vinous rated the wine 95-97 points. Martin said it was ‘uncompromising’ and ‘cerebral’. He added that while it was ‘not as flattering as the 2020’ it was still one of the leading wines of the Right Bank in this vintage.

The Wine Advocate’s William Kelley scored it 95-97 points and said it was a ‘terrific achievement’, ‘built for the long haul’.

Jane Anson rated the wine 96-points and Lisa-Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Independent) 95-97 points.

The new release costs less than its immediate predecessors, the 20202019 and 2018 vintages – which makes it an attractive buy – and we have taken our full allocation here.

If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form.

A Liv-ex article published on the 18th May 2022. 

The UK Consumer Price Index (CPI) hit 9% in April, the highest level in 40 years.

The CPI reflects the prices of a basket of consumer goods and services known as ‘normal goods’, such as transportation, food, and medical treatment. According to many economists, these normal goods have no potential investment value during times of inflation. 

By contrast, several asset classes perform well in inflationary environments. For example, real estate, gold and other luxury goods are often popular inflation-hedging investments options.  

How does inflation impact fine wine?  

Luxury Goods’ are the opposite of necessity goods as they tend to be sensitive to a person’s income or wealth (as wealth rises so do purchases of luxury items). As inflation continues to rise, one would think that the performance of luxury goods would decline. However, as corporations strive to keep wages up-to-date with inflation, luxury goods are also seeing increased demand. For example, luxury group LVMH, just announced a 23% growth in Q1 2022 revenue 

Fine wine is a combination of investment and a luxury good. It has ‘an active secondary market’ and both inherent tangibility but also scarcity (especially over time). As such, it tends to perform well during times of uncertainty and inflation.  

The chart below compares fine wine, stock and housing investments to the CPI. As you can see, the performance of the Bordeaux 500 and Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 indices mirrors the pattern of CPI, rather than stocks (FTSE100) or housing (HPI).  

Fine wine would appear to be a wise investment for inflation protection. With inflation rising once more, collectors may be taking note. 

Château Pavie 2021 was released first up this morning and pleasingly the tone carries on that the wines are being released below the 2020 prices.

A 6 bottle case of the 2021 vintage was released to the UK market at £1392 underbond, where the 2020 was originally released at £1446.

Château Pavie is the largest St.Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classé, with over 35 hectares of vineyards located exclusively in St-Emilion. Pavie is situated south-east of the village of St-Emilion and its vineyards lie on a south-facing slope of the famous limestone plateau.

The wine has received very good scores throughout – Neal Martin 93-95, James Suckling 95-96, Antonio Galloni 95-97 and Jane Anson 94.

This is not a wine we typically purchase for our investment syndicates, however was interesting to note the ‘sensible’ release price.

If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form.

Carruades de Lafite, the second wine at Chateau Lafite Rothschild has been released today – and it is being offered by the international trade @ £990 per 6×75, this is nearly 6% down on the 2020 release. 

The new release is the best value Carruades on the market today – and hopefully sets the tone for a decent campaign ahead. 

Antonio Galloni (Vinous) rated the second wine 91-93, calling it a ‘serious Carruades’. William Kelley writing for the Wine Advocate said it was ‘impressively intense’ and showed the progress that had been made with the wine over the last 10-15 years. He rated it 90-92. 

Jane Anson scored it 91-points saying it was ‘very Lafite in style’ with ‘a ton of concentration and hidden power’. 

The 2021 wine is the best value vintage of Carruades de Lafite available in the market. It’s release price is 16.3% less than the current Market Price of the 2020.

If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form. 

As part of this year’s Bordeaux En Primeur campaign, Château Duhart-Milon 2021 has been released at the same level as the 2020’s opening price. This again puts the Bordeaux 2021 campaign on a positive step forward – and hopefully sets the trend for the campaign ahead. 

Chateau Duhart Milon is part of the Lafite Rothschild stable – and occasionally performs well on the secondary market.

The wine has been rated 93-points by Jane Anson, 91-93+ points by William Kelley (Wine Advocate) and 90-92 by Antonio Galloni (Vinous).  

Anson said the wine showed less of the ‘rusticity you find in older Duharts’ and Kelley thought it ‘reflects the progress this estate has been making over the last decade’. 

Galloni said it was ‘serious’ and ‘brooding’ and said: ‘Whether or not it will acquire a little more charm remains an open question’. 

If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form. 

This article depicts some of our own views, top and tailed with a few extracts from Liv-ex article: Bordeaux 2021: Another chance to energise the market. 

We are coming off the back of another great trilogy of Bordeaux vintages with 2018, 2019 and 2020 all up there as very good or excellent vintages. With 2021 deemed as a challenging vintage for most, there is then plenty of potential for 2021 to be a very interesting investment opportunity.

The headline news of the 2021 vintage is as follows:

  • A cool climate vintage – that has a larger than normal drinking window (can be enjoyed early, with an ability to age well)
  • Wines produced are precise, well balanced, low alcohol with good freshness
  • Volumes are down – somewhere between 20-30%
  • It is a heterogenous vintage – some chateaux produced very good wines, others not so
  • An opportunity for Chateaux to release with attractive pricing to re-energise the market.

2021 Vintage summary

The picture that emerges is of a small, heterogenous vintage, with what are likely to be substantial peaks and troughs in quality from appellation to appellation and estate to estate.

A difficult and heterogenous vintage does not automatically equate to universally poor wines. This is especially true of a region such as Bordeaux, where investment in winemaking equipment and extremely sophisticated levels of viticultural knowledge and expertise has greatly softened the bumps that come with awkward growing seasons.

Looked at through a glass half full and on the basis of available data, one might say that the best wines will offer 2014 and the better-end-of-2017 levels of quality, with coolness and leafy freshness, that are good for early drinking.

From our seven Bordeaux campaigns, 2014 is up there with 2019 as the most successful vintage in regards to return on investment. If the Bordelaise decide to release at a sensible pricing for the 2021 campaign, this will encourage buyers to pile into Bordeaux Primeur and the 2021 campaign will once again provide an interesting vintage and interesting investment opportunity.

As you will see with many of the wines that we purchase – there is a reason why the best wines are the best year on year. They have the best plots, the best situation, they have incredible fire power to purchase the most expensive tech and machinery so they can ensure they are making the very best wines. These wines include Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Ch Canon, Rauzan Segla, Pontet Canet, Leoville Barton, Ch Margaux, Ch Palmer, Cheval Blanc, Angelus, Figeac and many more.

We will continue to take our full allocation of these, subject to sensible and expected release pricing – and with such low volumes available, it should be another interesting investment opportunity.

With frost savaging the 2022 vintage already, 2021 could be another important vintage for the Bordelaise to price correctly.

The iconic investment grade wine from California was released today – it is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%), Petit Verdot (6%), Merlot (5%), Cabernet Franc (4%), and Malbec (1%), spent 17 months in new French oak. The joint Rothschild/Mondavi project was one of the earliest adopters of La Place, all the way back in 2004.  

Critical Acclaim

This is our 4th Opus One vintage and this super wine has received improved scores on last year.

Antonio Galloni at Vinous rated the 2018 Opus One a score of 95-points. In his tasting note, Galloni observed: “Silky tannins and lifted, perfumed aromatics add to an impression of finesse that distinguishes the 2018 from some of the preceding vintages in a pretty big way”. 

Lisa Perrotti-Brown at the Wine Advocate awarded it 98-points, and said that, “the 2018 Opus One soars out of the glass with bright, bold boysenberries, warm cassis and ripe, juicy black plums notes, plus emerging nuances of lilacs, oolong tea, cinnamon stick, tilled soil and black truffles”. 

James Suckling gave it 99-points, noting that this “lasts for minutes”. “So wonderful to taste now, but better after 2026”, he added. The wine also received 97-points from Jeb Dunnuck 

Performance

Prices for Opus One tend to move with time rather than being influenced by critic scores. As can be seen in the chart below, older vintages command steadily higher prices.

If you are interested in discussing your investment wine options – please follow this link and fill in the form. 

The 2020 Château Figeac has been released for £1,872 per 12×75, 25.1% less than the current Market Price of the 2019. In the context of rising prices, the 2020 Figeac looks to offer good value at release.

Critical Opinion

Today’s release received 96-98 points from Neal Martin (Vinous), who called it “a magnificent Figeac”.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Advocate) also rated it 96-98+ and said that “far more cerebral and quietly introspective than it is hedonic, this could only be Figeac”.

Antonio Galloni awarded 95-97 points, noting that, “the château has made a number of tremendous wines in recent vintages, but I don’t remember a Figeac with this much saline-drenched intensity and mineral drive”. “Superb,” he said.

James Suckling gave it 97-98 and described it as “a really sophisticated young wine”.

Jeff Leve (The Wine Cellar Insider) awarded one of the highest score brackets, 97-99 points.

Summary

The 2020 Figeac offers good value for money. It is priced below the similarly scored 20182015 and 2010 vintages.

This is considered one of the best releases of the 2020 campaign.

Château Mouton Rothschild 2020 has been released En Primeur for £5,196 per case, 6% more than the current Market Price of the 2019.

Critical opinion

The wine has been highly praised by critics. Neal Martin rated it 96-98 points, noting it was a, “less exuberant and lavish Mouton Rothschild” than it used to be in the 1990s. “As smooth as Snoop Dogg’s flow, this is a marvelous Mouton,” he concluded.

Antonio Galloni also rated it 96-98, saying it was, “a wine of unreal elegance and finesse”.

“It’s this gently teasing, achingly beautiful restraint that collectors are not going to want to miss,” noted Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (97-99), while Jane Anson (98-points) said it was a wine she could see being elevated to 100-points “after ageing”.

Summary

Although the 2020 is above our expected release price – however the positive appraisal of the First Growths this vintage means that there will undoubtedly be interest in this release.