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Price key as top wines set for La Place de Bordeaux release – Liv-ex

Fine wine demand is broadening but pricing will be key for this autumn's international releases via La Place de Bordeaux, says a new Liv-ex report, highlighting recent success for SuperTuscans.

More than 100 wines from 32 regions across 11 countries – including France – are set for release via the La Place in the coming weeks, Liv-ex said in a new report released today (24 August).

September, in particular, has become a busy month for négociants, who have sought to expand their portfolios beyond Bordeaux.

For wineries, the extensive La Place distribution network offers opportunities to reach new drinkers and enhance their international reputation – albeit opinions in the UK trade differ on whether this works for all labels.

Liv-ex said this autumn’s releases come amid evidence the secondary market for fine wine continues to broaden.

More than 9,100 different wines have traded on its global market place for the trade year-to-date, following a record high of 12,055 in the whole of 2021.

Many of these fall into the ‘rest of world’ category, beyond Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Italy, Rhône and US. Its share of trades on Liv-ex has risen from 0.8% in 2010 to 4.6% year-to-date in 2022 – led by Australian and Spanish labels.

But, with an eye on the upcoming La Place releases, Liv-ex said success can’t be built overnight. While wine quality is crucial, Liv-ex said buyers are ‘increasingly aware of value’.

Robbie Stevens, Liv-ex’s Americas territory manager, said, ‘A successful release can see a wine selling out in a matter of hours; the wrong price can leave stock languishing in négociant and merchant cellars for years.

‘Whether the wine is from Bordeaux or elsewhere, it needs to be priced correctly relative to the ever-broadening market.’

This year, the economic outlook could be a factor. ‘The current economic climate, characterised by rising inflation, is providing the ultimate test to emerging brands and the fine wine market as a whole,’ Liv-ex said.

It highlighted SuperTuscan labels as a success story in terms of post-release price performance, among international wines that are at least partially released via La Place.

Liv-ex indices for fine wines released via Place de Bordeaux

Chart credit: Liv-ex.

Its indices for Masseto, Ornellaia and Solaia have increased by 40.5%, 38.2% and 37.2% in the past three years, as the chart above shows. This partially reflects Italy’s growing strength on the secondary market, too.

A Masseto spokesperson previously told Decanter magazine’s Market Watch the winery would release its 2019 vintage this September. A spokesperson for Antinori also confirmed that Solaia 2019 – from the Tenuta Tignanello estate – will be released in September, via La Place and other select distributors.

Ornellaia 2019 and another major SuperTuscan, Sassicaia 2019, were launched earlier this year.

Liv-ex also highlighted Opus One, which is released via Bordeaux négociants to non-US markets and has been on La Place since 2004.

Of last autumn’s round of La Place releases, Opus One 2018 has been the top traded wine on Liv-ex, which added, ‘The wine’s market price has risen 8.7% in value since release.’

Opus One told Decanter in July that its 2019 vintage would be launched via La Place in early September. A US release is handled separately and was set for 1 October.

Other international releases this autumn were set to include Joseph Phelps’ Insignia 2019, and Nicolás Catena Zapata 2019 from Argentina’s highly regarded Catena Zapata winery – among many others.

Coming soon on Decanter Premium: Our guide to the autumn Bordeaux Place releases

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