The 2018 Liv-ex Power 100 – analysis

CHAMPAGNE

• Value trade is up from 6% to 8% (year to date).
• In 2015 there were five wines from Champagne in the 100, now there are seven.

There has been a little bit of up and down in Champagne, with Salon and Krug taking a slight tumble in the rankings, largely because of a lack of volume, while Taittinger dropped out (to 104th), thanks to its low price performance and trade price, and also the low number of wines traded.

On the upside, Perrier-Jouët and Pol Roger both made it into the top 100 for the first time, both helped by high volumes of trade and good average trade prices – which for Pol Roger is driven by its top cuvée, Sir Winston Churchill.

Elsewhere, Moët & Chandon (fuelled by Dom Pérignon) and Roederer (Cristal) are the top movers and shakers in the fizz category, while Bollinger also came on strongly.

Gibbs notes that top Champagnes are one of the cheapest entry points into the global theatre of ‘first growths’ and, “the world is beginning to understand that. More people are buying Champagne with a purpose now – to hold on to it.” And they would be wise to, given the annual compound return of the Champagne 50 is up by 8.58%, behind the Bordeaux Legends and top-place Burgundy 150.

The merchant’s view: Tom Jenkins, Bordeaux buyer, Justerini & Brooks

Tom Jenkins, Bordeaux buyer, Justerini & Brooks

What have been the big sellers this year, and what have been the noticeable disappointments?
German trocken Rieslings, Jura, and grower Champagne have all exceeded expectations. The September releases from Bordeaux were largely disappointing.

Have you seen interest in any Bordeaux back vintages and what do you make of Bordeaux’s position in the wider world of fine wine?
Demand for drinking Bordeaux is very strong among private collectors and drinkers. Quality has never been better and compared with some Burgundy prices, there is relative value. For the restaurant business Bordeaux is still a challenge. There’s so much competition at the entry-level price point from other regions, that, coupled with the image of Bordeaux, means it isn’t properly reflected on most restaurant lists.

Which countries/regions/AOC do you see coming on strongly at present and you would expect continued interest in next year, and why?
The Swartland and Oregon. We are seeing big growth in both these regions. Also the Rhône and Germany. Southern Rhône is desperately unfashionable, but the wines are fantastic and still offer excellent value for money. We’ve been extolling the virtues of German wines for many years. The Spätburgunders offer a wonderful alternative to Burgundy, while the trockens and fruchtig styles offer something completely unique – new buyers are beginning to see the appeal.

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