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Champagne still fizzing on fine wine market in 2022

Strong buyer demand for prestige cuvée Champagne has continued in the early months of 2022, with more price rises for top labels on the secondary market, say merchants and analysts.

Champagne prices jumped on vintages of several prestige cuvée labels in 2021 and the sector’s momentum on the fine wine market continued to appear strong in the first quarter of 2022.

Louis Roederer’s Cristal has been particularly in demand and its newly released Cristal 2014 vintage was ‘selling like hot cakes’, according to a Bordeaux Index report on Champagne’s market performance published last month.

Bollinger’s La Grande Année 2014 has also sold quickly on release, said Goedhuis & Co in a market report covering the first quarter of the year.

Salon 2012, meanwhile, has ‘sold out completely’, Goedhuis said.

‘Much like Burgundy, Champagne continues to be a sell-out sector,’ its report stated, although it noted that the volume of new-vintage releases was down on last year.

On the secondary market, the Bordeaux Index reiterated its view that prices and demand at for top-end Champagnes were being driven by ultra-high net worth individuals buying wines to drink and for investment.

Following ‘staggering’ increases in 2021, Champagne prices on the fine wine market have continued going up in 2022, it said at the beginning of April.

‘Champagne’s momentum from 2021 is likely to continue across the year, with prices already up another 15%,’ said Matthew O’Connell, CEO of the merchant’s LiveTrade platform, in the group’s special report on the category.

The group’s report said that Louis Roederer accounted for more than $6m-worth of total Champagne trades on LiveTrade last year, thanks to Cristal.

Dom Pérignon, owned by LVMH, accounted for $4m of trades, with Bollinger, Krug and Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the wine trade, also highlighted Champagne’s ongoing strong performance in its report on the first quarter of 2022.

Champagne and Burgundy have been top performing sub-indices within the Liv-ex 1000 index over the past year, as the blue and dark grey lines show on the chart below.

liv-ex 1000 index april 2022

Champagne has been a top performer among the Liv-ex 1000 sub-indices over the past 12 months. Chart source: Liv-ex Q1 2022 report.

Cristal 2008 was the top-traded wine by value on Liv-ex in the first three months of the year, followed by Dom Pérignon 2012.

Cristal 2014 and 2013 also featured in the list of the top six most traded wines, in value terms, alongside California’s Screaming Eagle 2018 and Petrus 2000 from Bordeaux.

Liv-ex also highlighted wider economic uncertainty on global markets in the early months of 2022. ‘For now, at least, fine wine seems immune,’ its Q1 report said.

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