Fine wine predictions for 2016

California’s growth continues unabated – outpacing the struggling Rhône

California Golden GateIn 2011, California represented just 0.14% of the Liv-ex marketplace by value. Last year it reached 2.1%, just behind the Rhône’s 2.3%.

Dominus and Opus One are consistently the best performers in Liv-ex’s ‘Rest of the World 50’ sub-index and though volumes available to merchants remain small the consensus is attitudes towards California are evolving positively.

Armit held a California offering late last year which it said was well received, consumers buying up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (reflecting its “Burgundy-focused customers’ tastes” it added), while its Diamond Creek allocation “sold out within minutes”. California’s mounting popularity was explored recently by the drinks business here along with the warning that prices at the very top end were straying into previously uncharted territory, which may eventually be cause for concern.

It may require another full year to ensure it’s not just a passing fad or to avoid a possible collapse in price but the region has the combination of just enough volume verging on ‘rarity’ in places, good critical opinion and the virtue of being different and interesting to keep on rolling. Even another 0.5% growth in value while the increasingly lame duck Rhône index continues to abate would see California very much rise up to join the vaunted European Olympians.

3 Responses to “Fine wine predictions for 2016”

  1. Great article, but with LMHB and Haut Brion itself at 5 year lows relative to scores and their Pauillac peers i’m struggling to find “the growing dominance of Pessac-Léognan over Pauillac on the Left Bank of the Gironde” referred to in your introduction. Can you elaborate please ?

    • Rupert Millar says:


      Apologies for not replying to you sooner. There’s no denying that the Pauillac first growths, especially Lafite and Latour, are still very much at the top of the pile and their prices significantly outweight those of Haut-Brion and (despite it not being a first growth) LMHB. Nonetheless, as was laid out in this article it’s hard not to feel that a lot of châteaux in Pessac are gaining momentum and their relatively low prices when compared to those from Pauillac yet similar or even superior scores will lend weight to this trend.

      H-B was the top-scoring wine from the Left Bank in Parker’s 2005 retrospective, indeed only it and LMHB were given 100 points and both were among the highest scoring wines of the 2012 vintage, HB actually being the highest scored wine overall. Haut-Bailly is likewise building a strong following, helped by the 100 points its 2010 vintage (or perhaps 2009, I forget) was awarded in 2014.

      Hope that provides some explanation.



  2. Paco says:

    Hi, is there any news about Barbaresco Price increase on 2014 vintage?
    Thanks and kindest regards,

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