The latest edition of Liv-ex Power 100, which lists the most powerful fine wine brands, shows that the period between October 2020 and September 2021 experienced a rebalancing of the market, with a number of classic labels returning to prominence.
Château Lafite Rothschild re-entered the top 10, moving from 11th to 2nd place, while fellow First Growths Mouton-Rothschild and Margaux have also risen, to 6th and 10th place respectively. Petrus also re-entered the top 10, now at 7th place after a year spent in 69th position.
Burgundy showed a positive performance too, with Domaine de la Romanée-Conti rising to 5th position and fellow Burgundian domaine Armand Rousseau to 3rd.
Liv-ex ascribes the return to classic, blue-chip labels to buyers’ search for comfort and reassurance in ‘bankable names’ after a troubled 2019-2020 season. This was characterised by widespread challenges across some of fine wine’s major markets such as political protests in Hong Kong, trade tariffs disputes, and Brexit, followed by the global pandemic in early 2020. According to Liv-ex, fear of increasingly dwindling stocks might have played a role in classic labels’ rebound, too.
Blue chip wines’ positive performance revolutionised the higher end of the chart. Domaine Leroy, Dom Pérignon, Sassicaia, and Louis Roederer are the only top 10 survivors from last year’s ranking, at 1st, 4th, 8th, and 9th position respectively, showing that both Champagne and Italian wine haven’t lost momentum.
Indeed, although three Italian wines – Luciano Sandrone, Poggio di Sotto and Quintarelli Giuseppe – have dropped out of the top 100, 21 new wines qualified for inclusion and others have firmly established themselves within it.
Champagne’s performance was remarkably positive. A higher number of Champagnes rose within the top 100 compared to those that lost positions. Jacques Selosse rose onto the list straight to 36th position, while no Champagne brands were kicked out of the chart.
US wines are on the rise too, with California’s trade share representing 7.6% of the total, above the Rhône (4.1%) and at a short distance from Piedmont (6.3%).
Australia, on the other hand, has suffered the effects of China’s trade tariffs. Penfolds Grange fell from its all time high 5th place last year, down to 45th place.
Overall, the 2021 edition of Liv-ex Power 100 shows an increasingly broad fine wine market. Compared to the previous 12 months, the total number of wines increased by 35.6% to 11,839 and producers by 17,5% to 1,668. New producers include brands from regions such as Austria’s Burgenland and Lebanon and, for the first time, a number of fine spirits brands.
The full 2021 Liv-ex Power 100 list can be found on the Liv-ex website.