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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. 

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 


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. 

Event: Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur Campaign

Date: Wednesday 21st April 2021

Time: 18.00 – 19.00

In place of our investment evenings this year, we have decided to hold an on-line Investment Webinar via Zoom.  

During the Webinar, you will receive the up to date news on the 2020 vintage, the critics opinions, anticipated release prices and the overall financial prospects for us as investors.

We will also be reviewing the performance of our investments from 2014 onwards as these are now starting to both show well and provide good returns, including for those who have elected to cash in relatively early.

To provide additional clarity from those in the know, we will be joined for the session by one of our key négociants, Max Sichel of the famous Sichel family. Sichel are one of the oldest and most reputable négociants in the world and their business started in 1883 as Négociants, long before the acquisition of one of our favourite Margaux Estates, Chateau Palmer in 1938.

We are keen to address as many of our current and regular investors as possible at the webinar. We are also opening up the session to friends of investors who you think might consider joining one of our syndicates, or indeed forming one of their own.

Everybody who confirms their attendance for the event will be forwarded a bottle of Château Argadens, one of the Bordeaux Château under the ownership of Maison Sichel and a wine we are about to list. We hope this will make the event even more enjoyable for all!

If you would like to attend, please fill the form in below – and we look forward to sending you the wine in advance of the presentation.

Opus One 2017 has been released at £1370 per 6×75, a 6.8% decrease from the 2016 opening price of £1470 per case.

During the 2017 vintage in Napa, wildfires ravaged the Northern California area affecting both the size and taste (smoke taint) of the harvest. Antonio Galloni in his first impressions on the region, stated “readers will have to be very selective”, there are “some examples where smoke taint is impossible to ignore”. However, Lisa Perrotti-Brown informed that “Opus one had picked 91% of their fruit before the fires started in 2017, and only two lots were eliminated from consideration”. Volumes released however are said to be down 27% on the previous year.

Antonio Galloni awarded the wine 95 points, saying it is “one of the most complete wines of the vintage,” and “has a distinctly red-toned fruit profile that distinguishes it from the surrounding vintages”.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown also gave the wine 95 points, the top range of her barrel score (92-95). She observed the wine as “medium bodied, the palate has a lively skip in its step, featuring bags of juicy raspberry and cassis-laced fruits and a refreshing line, supported by ripe, plush tannins, finishing long and graceful”.

Prices for Opus One are not closely correlated to critic scores, instead the vintages have appreciated in price with the passing of time. The chart above shows an 81% correlation between the price of the wine and the bottle age.

We have taken our full allocation here – so if you are interested in joining our Opus One 2017 syndicate – please do get in touch.

2018 has been described as the best vintage in the past 20 years in Chile.

Seña was created as a joint-venture between Eduardo Chadwick and Robert Mondavi back in 1995, with the dream of making a wine that would show Chile’s full potential, a wine that would be welcomed, in time, among the world’s First Growths. Modeled on a Bordeaux style, it would have a Chilean soul given by its Carmenere variety, grown under the principles of biodynamic farming in the Aconcagua Valley.

Grape varieties: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 15% Carmenere, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot

Alcohol: 14%

Ageing: 22 Months – 85% New French oak barrels 15% Foudres.

It is the highest-ever scored vintage of Seña by the Wine Advocate, beating 315 other Chilean 2018s for 98 points from Luis Gutiérrez who says,“This has to be the finest vintage of Seña to date.” It has also been awarded the perfect 100 points by James Suckling who calls it, “a very intellectual Seña, with a glamorous palate, ultra-fine tannins and toned muscles”.

We have purchased a small parcel of Seña 2018 that is available to the market at £495.00 per six IB.

If you are interested in purchasing some of this wine – please contact


This was one of the most interesting vintages to come out in the past 5 years. Following great investment years in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 – it was going to be extraordinary to have another belter… funnily enough, that is exactly what happened.

2014 – Classic vintage
2015 – Very Good vintage
2016 – Fantastic vintage
2017 – Classic vintage
2018 – Very Good / Fantastic vintage

Much of the commentary before En Primeur tastings in March and April was that 2018 was going to be up there in quality with 2015 – so therefore a Very Good vintage.

However after the critics scores came in, 2018 has suddenly gone up a level – and considered almost in line with some of the best vintages ever made – 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2016. Therefore 2018 is rated as a Very Good / Fantastic vintage.

Our Buying Strategy

Our selection and buying strategy continues to stay the same. We will only buy wines that we believe will offer our investors a return. Therefore, as the wines were considered to be nearly at the quality level of 2016, the release prices needed to reflect that.

Any wines that came out higher than the release prices of 2016, we tended not to purchase.

We have streamlined the wines that we have purchased to just over 30 wines. We have the all of the First Growths – Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion and Margaux (Latour does not partake in En Primeur anymore). We then have a selection of the second wines from these chateaux – Carruades, Petit Mouton and Pavillion Rouge. Then other wines that also have a great track record of performing as real show stoppers and have a large demand on the secondary market; Rauzan Segla, Canon, Carmes Haut Brion, Calon Segur, Armailhac, Beychevelle, Leoville Barton, Lynch Bages and more.

Our Allocations

In this 2018 campaign, there has been a real flurry of interest in a relatively select number of wines. With volumes also down across the board, there was only a finite supply of these wines available, that have subsequently pretty much sold out. Therefore our expectation is that this is one of the drivers that will drive prices up accordingly.

It has been quite a tactical game in choosing the right wines for our customers this year. As our annual spend continues to increase year on year, our allocations of the ‘best’ wines continues to increase at the same rate.

In Conclusion

This has been a very good campaign for everyone that has invested with Waud Investment Wines – and we look forward to keeping you informed on how the wines perform over the next 5 years.

We are heading into our fifth Bordeaux En Primeur campaign and it seems we are in for another excellent year for the 2018 wines. It seems remarkable that we have had 5 very good vintages back to back.


By Charles Waud, Director, Waud Wines

2014 – Classic vintage
2015 – Very Good vintage
2016 – Fantastic vintage
2017 – Classic vintage
2018 – looks to be somewhere in between 2015 & 2016 – so Very Good / Fantastic.

There was a rainy start to the 2018 growing season, that was subsequently countered by a summer heatwave.
Certain vineyards suffered Mildew that meant there was a localised reduction in production. (Pontet Canet and Palmer that are regular buys for us were heavily hit losing around 70% of their production). A number of chateaux were equally affected by hail.

The quality across the board is exceptionally high, positioned somewhere between 2015 and 2016, (some say that it may even match 2009 and 2010) – and the wines that have been produced will be bold, tannic wines that will offer excellent longevity.


Members of our buying team spent a couple of days tasting the Left and Right banks of Bordeaux at the beginning of April so that we were able to see, hear and taste what is happening with the 2018 vintage. After hearing the hype of the wines being up there in quality of 2015 and 2016, it is pleasing to say that the wines did not disappoint. We visited 24 chateaux over 2 days and the standard was exceptionally high throughout – though it is important to note that we were only visiting chateaux that we deemed relevant for investment grade purchases.


Day 1 was spent in Margaux, Pauillac, Saint Julien and Saint-Estèphe.

The morning session at Margaux was a super start – our 9am Rauzan Segla appointment certainly was a wake up to the taste buds, but they have produced a stonker of a wine that we traditionally have good allocations of.

Chateau Palmer second up was very interesting. Rumours were rife before we arrived about their Mildew problems, and they were refreshingly honest. They received 1 years worth of rain in 6 months, the worst mildew in 50 years, their whole vineyard contaminated – and still managed to produce an excellent wine, which was very unexpected!

The standard continued to improve as we visited First Growth; Chateau Margaux. After trying their Pavillon Rouge and Blanc, we tasted the 2018 Grand Vin – this was superb and one that will undoubtedly receive rave reviews from the critics.

We had further tastings at Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Leoville Las Cases and Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande – highlights for us included Leoville Las Cases Grand Vin, Reserve de la Comtesse and the Grand Vin at Comtesse de Lalande. These are all wines that we have purchased En Primeur previously.

Pontet Canet in Pauillac was next on the schedule – and this has famously been a wine that we have purchased in good volumes. We were looking forward to trying the 2018 vintage given we had heard that they had also been struck hard by mildew. (the curse of being a biodynamic vineyard and not being able to use sprays to control disease and pests). They subsequently lost between 60 – 70% of their production. When trying the 2018 wine, we were very pleased to see that it really was a super wine. Beautiful, fruit forward and fresh. A wine the critics will love – and Justine Tesseron claims it is the best Pontet Canet they have ever made!

After lunch and sampling one of the most incredible cheese boards we have ever seen, we went straight into Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild. The unanimous decision across our tasting panel was that the second wine, Carruades de Lafite, was unbelievably good. This is a wine that is incredibly tough to get hold of – and we will try to increase our allocations year on year. At Mouton, all of their wines showed well, with the Grand Vin marked as one of the wines of the vintage for me. Petit Mouton scored highly, with Chateau d’Armailhac tasting incredibly well too.

Our last 3 tastings of the day were at Chateau Montrose, Calon Segur and Cos D’Estournel. The wines at Calon Segur were very good indeed, with the Grand Vin receiving high scores. This is not a wine we have historically purchased, but hopefully this year the release price will be more sensible and we will try and take an allocation. Cos D’Estournel performed typically well, with the Grand Vin there receiving one of the highest scores over the 2 day trip.


Day 2 was the turn of the Right bank to impress, visiting Pomerol and Saint Emilion. After travelling around the flat and expansive left bank the day before, it was a treat to see some far prettier views here.

We were looking forward to returning to Chateau Canon as our first tasting of the morning, for a wine that has a cult following. It seems to do very well on the investment side of things as the release price has tended to be relatively low in comparison to many other wines of similar quality. There is also scarcity of this wine, so sells out incredibly quickly! The 2018 Canon was excellent and we will try to get our hands on as much as possible here.

Next up was Chateau Ausone where we were pleased to try a large selection of wines. Fonbel, Simard, Moulin Saint Georges and La Clotte were all pretty impressive, but the Ausone wines really stood out.

We then arrived at Pavie. I had heard this was a challenging wine to taste En Primeur, but I was really surprised just how hard it was! This was a real tannin fest – so you can see how their wines have such good ageing potential.

Troplong Mondot was next up on the itinerary – trying their Mondot and Grand Vin – these wines really did impress and are wines that we have in other vintages across our various syndicates.

Last up before lunch was Chateau Figeac. After arriving in the pouring rain, we managed to get inside before getting very wet! This wine was worth the trip – beautiful, vibrant, fresh, balanced with round delicate tannins – this is a wine we hope to buy this year before it moves to ‘Premiers Grand Crus Classes A’ in a couple of years time.

After lunch, it was the turn of Vieux Chateau Certan (VCC). We only tried one wine here, but it was certainly worth it. Another purist’s wine that will age beautifully – a wine that we will want in our allocation.

Our final three tastings of the day were at La Conseillante, Cheval Blanc and Angelus. All super wines, with the Cheval Blanc Grand Vin being the wine of the trip for me. A wine that we previously haven’t purchased, but we will be keeping an eye on it for 2018.


As you have seen from my match report from the two days in Bordeaux, the standard of wines were really quite excellent, a noticeable step up on the 2017 wines from last years trip. The critics will shortly be publishing their scores, but I would expect some pretty high scores across the board for the investment grade wines that we concentrate on.


  1. Cheval Blanc (Right Bank, Saint-Émilion)
  2. Mouton Rothschild (Left Bank, Pauillac)
  3. Figeac (Right Bank, Saint-Émilion)
  4. Margaux (Left Bank, Margaux)
  5. Rauzan Segla (Left Bank, Margaux)
  6. Chateau d’Armailhac (Left Bank, Pauillac)
  7. Petit Mouton (Left Bank, Pauillac)
  8. Canon (Right Bank, Saint-Émilion)
  9. Calon Segur (Left Bank, Saint-Estèphe)
  10. Carruades de Lafite (Left Bank, Pauillac)


Brexit has obviously been at the forefront of everyone’s minds and following the EU’s decision on the 10th April to push back the exit date to the 31st October 2019, we can now enjoy a period of stability for the 2018 campaign.

Our strategy for wine purchases will however remain the same. We will continue to only purchase wines for our clients that we expect to offer good returns. This is primarily going to be with Bordeaux 2018 EP wines – however if we see other opportunities with other investment grade wines, such as Opus One from California and Sassicaia, Solaia and Masseto from Italy, we will look to add these to your portfolio.

Our intention is to provide our investors with a sound investment return over five years – at which point they can hold, sell or start to drink the wines as they wish – a nice problem to have for these great wines from Bordeaux!

Fine wine sales of Bordeaux investment grade wines have being going on for centuries, so we have every confidence that Brexit will not affect the value of our wine investments in the long run.


If you are interested in investing in the 2018 campaign, or would like more information, please contact or call the office on +44 20 7940 5516 to speak to one of the team.

Last night we had the last in our series of three investment wine evenings discussing the upcoming 2018 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign. With 45 guests attending, we started with our traditional Mas de Daumas Gassac Rose Frizant, before sitting down for the investment presentation. After a welcome from our UBS host, Nick Williams, Jeremy and Charles Waud talked the group through the investment wine concept, what En Primeur is all about, a review of how some of our portfolios are performing and explaining our buying strategy for our individual investors and syndicates.


Following the presentation we enjoyed Pontet Canet from three different vintages – 2015, 2014 and 2006. All fabulous wines from the left bank in Bordeaux.

For those that stayed for the long haul, we once again opened up our ‘Club Claret’ from Montagne-St-Emilion, Vieux Chateau Saint Andre 2014 (the owner of this vineyard was the head winemaker from famed Petrus) that went down incredibly well.

Many thanks to our host company UBS for inviting us to present at their fabulous offices – we look forward to returning in the future.

If you are interested in receiving more information about the Bordeaux 2018 En Primeur campaign, please do get in touch with Blakely Hehir on +44 207 940 5516 or by emailing