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Investing in Spanish wine: a market waiting in the wings

There’s good action among collectors, but the investment focus remains on the two Ribera del Duero big-hitters .

Spain flies below the radar in a fine wine market dominated by famous French and Italian labels, but there is still plenty for investors and collectors to consider.

Vega Sicilia’s Unico, a flagship investment grade Ribera del Duero wine, has appeared solid but not stellar on the market of late. ‘Vega underperformed the wider wine market last year,’ said Matthew O’Connell, CEO of LiveTrade and head of investment at Bordeaux Index. ‘An index of seven vintages of Unico on LiveTrade implies price growth of only 6%,’ he told Decanter.

The Bordeaux Index view

Fine wine & spirits specialist Bordeaux Index kindly sponsors this section of Decanter, and provides its view on the market here. It can be found at bordeauxindex.com Spain was certainly one of the less eventful segments of the wine market in 2021, with the two most significant blue-chip wines – Vega Sicilia and Pingus – registering mid single-digit type returns, figures which do not compare well to the broader wine market.

Demand remains on an upwards trajectory but somewhat staccato, not gathering the momentum which regions such as Tuscany have achieved in recent years. Nevertheless, we see both Vega Sicilia and Pingus as wines which merit a place in a diversified wine portfolio, just not as top-priority items.

There continues to be outsized demand for certain wines such as López de Heredia Rioja, though ongoing secondary market availability restricts the investment relevance of such names even if the underlying numbers are interesting. Certainly there is old-fashioned financial merit (ie, ‘buy two, sell one in a few years, drink the other for free’) in Rioja – something to be welcomed by collectors.

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