In the last Liv-ex Classification, in 2019, the fact that the fine wine market was expanding beyond Bordeaux and even Burgundy became increasingly apparent.
Having run the Liv-ex Classification since 2009, it was only in 2017 that the classification was opened up to include wines from around the world, not just Bordeaux.
In 2017, wines from six countries qualified for the list. This rose to nine in 2019. This has dropped to eight countries in this year’s classification but the number of non-Bordeaux wines that qualified has continued to rise. Two regions in particular have doubled their number of entrants.
Italy and the US have been the big winners in this year’s classification but Australia has also added another label to the top tier.
The aim of the classification remains the same as it did from the outset; using price to determine a hierarchy of the leading labels in the secondary market. Its inspiration is the 1855 Classification in Bordeaux, which ordered the wines from top estates from fifth to first growths using their market price.
Given the scope of wines being considered today and with prices for certain labels (especially in regions such as Burgundy) rising to great heights, a minimum level of activity and number of vintages traded over the last year was also required for a wine to qualify.
This means that one vintage of one very rare label, trading just once for a very great price alone is not enough to secure a place in the classification. As well as organising wines by price, therefore, those labels that have qualified for the final list are those that show the most sustained market interest as well.