It’s too soon to judge the whole Burgundy 2022 en primeur campaign, ‘but what is clear is that it has so far gone better than many [merchants] dared imagine late last year’, said Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the trade, in a new report on the region.
Burgundy’s 2022 vintage marked a return to more normal yields, following the small 2021 crop. It has also received strong reviews from leading critics, including Decanter’s Charles Curtis MW, in his in-depth Burgundy 2022 en primeur report.
There was still some nervousness ahead of the campaign, said Liv-ex in a new report entitled ‘Burgundy 2022 – Hair of the dog‘.
A relatively high-yielding vintage has gone on sale amid a climate of risk-aversion and evidence of falling prices on the secondary market.
Despite some reports of long-standing buyers turning down allocations, Liv-ex added, ‘These high-quality wines would seem to be the “hair of the dog”, the hangover cure many buyers needed to keep buying (and drinking) Burgundy, supported in no small way by the views of major critics.’
Jason Haynes, Burgundy buyer and director at Flint Wines, said in early January that the group’s private client arm, Stannary Wine, had ‘noticed heavily oversubscribed pre-releases ahead of the official campaign’.
He told Decanter today (6 February), ‘The quality of the vintage seems to have overridden concerns over the state of the economy.’ He added, ‘Several growers made the best wines they have ever made, and both established and new collectors did not want to miss out.’
Burgundy 2022 price rises ‘kept to a minimum’
Price rises have been a significant debate in recent years. Some Burgundy producers were forced to increase prices for the small 2021 vintage to cover costs, but several merchants said in December 2023 that they expected prices to remain broadly stable for the 2022-vintage campaign.
Liv-ex’s report said, ‘It seems that producers have broadly listened to the market and kept price hikes to a minimum.’
It added, ‘A small proportion (roughly 10%) lowered their prices year-on-year, while about 40% of producers raised their prices, even if only modestly, which has made selling tricky in some quarters.’
Yet, it said merchants remained optimistic about 2022-vintage sales, even if the pace is slower than in recent years.
Looking ahead, Liv-ex questioned the sustainability of some current pricing levels, given that the Burgundy 2023 vintage – due for release in early 2025 – is also relatively large and fine wine buyers are in cautious mood.
Prices fall on the secondary market
There is evidence of price declines to varying degrees for top Burgundy on the secondary market, following a stellar period of price growth for blue-chip producers, in particular.
Liv-ex’s Burgundy 150 index, which offers one barometer of prices and tracks several grand cru wines, has fallen 17.4% since hitting a peak in October 2022. The index was still up 22% in the past five years, though.
This rollercoaster trajectory was less pronounced for dollar buyers (US$ and HK$), who would have seen a lower peak and a smaller subsequent dip, Liv-ex’s report added.
Updated 17:30 UK time on 06/06/2024 to include additional comments from Jason Haynes at Flint Wines / Stannary Wine.