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Bordeaux Index sees fine wine sales jump in 2021

Sales of fine wines and spirits rose nearly 50% in 2021, reflecting growth for the merchant’s LiveTrade platform plus a strong market driven by collectors and investors.

Bordeaux Index said its sales jumped by 47% in 2021 to reach $174m (£128m), a new record for the company.

Its results reinforce the sense of a strong 12 months for the global fine wine market, led by famous ‘blue chip’ labels in particular.

Yet the UK-based merchant also pointed to new customer sign-ups and the success of its LiveTrade trading platform as contributing to company-specific growth.

Its client base expanded by around 30% year-on-year, with trading by value on LiveTrade up by 55%.

Bordeaux Index founder and CEO Gary Boom said, ‘While activity in the wine market – just as in other luxury assets and collectibles such as art – has no doubt been high, we believe our outsized growth is a clear vindication of our strategy to improve market access and transparency alongside providing best-in-class product expertise.’

Growth mostly came from the US and Asia, but the merchant reported ‘pronounced gains’ in the UK, too.

Prestige Champagne has been a standout performer in terms of wine categories, with top Bordeaux – especially younger vintages of First Growths – and SuperTuscan wines also seeing strong demand.

Matthew O’Connell, CEO of LiveTrade who spoke to Decanter about general market trends before Christmas, also highlighted ongoing high prices for famous Burgundy wines – a feature of the wider market in 2021.

Boom said he was upbeat about the year ahead. ‘Looking ahead to 2022, there is certainly room for an optimistic outlook, with the global pool of wine collectors on a different scale to a decade ago, and also investors increasingly looking towards hard assets such as wine which deliver consistently strong performance, capital preservation and protection against inflation.’

The group said it had invested to expand its LiveTrade platform this year, to allow users ‘to trade the full spectrum of fine wines rather than the core set which LiveTrade has focused on to date’.

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