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Talking Trade – Champagne and Cabernet

  • California wines move the dial
  • Critics release their favourites
  • Liv-ex 100 and Liv-ex 1000 dip in November
  • Vinous acquires Cellar Watch

The cool winter breeze mixed with turbulent market headwinds led to a quiet trade week leading up to the holidays. Total trade value and volume decreased from the week prior. Bordeaux (49.2%) trade also decreased, falling below its November average share (52.9%).

USA (8.4%), however, saw a large increase in trade due to a twosome of West Coast Cabernets. Burgundy also improved its trade share by value (20.7%), partially due to a growth in the percentage of white wines traded from the region.

The most traded wine by both value and volume this week was Taittinger, Comtes Champagne 2007. Critic James Suckling described the wine as “a dense block of vivid fruit,” also advising it’s “one for now or the cellar. Drink or hold.” Champagne has historically enjoyed an increase in sales this time of year, commonly seen as a holiday favourite.

The two California Cabernet Sauvignons that made the top five share of trade by value were the 100-point (LPB) Screaming Eagle 2015 and 100-point (LPB) Spottswoode 2016.

2009 and 2016 continue to be the most traded vintages. Last week, they accounted for 26% of total trade by volume.

Critics in focus

This week, Jeb Dunnuck published his number one wine of the year 2019. It was Sonsonnet 2016, which traded at £139 for 6x75cl, off the back of the news. James Suckling released his French top 100 list, comprising of sixty-two wines from Bordeaux 2016, and fifteen from Champagne.

Liv-ex 100 and Liv-ex 1000 take a dip

Sterling strengthened against the Euro, while weakening slightly against the Dollar. US tariffs have begun to bite and instability in Hong Kong continue to increase buyer’s cautiousness. Full reports on the benchmark indices can be found here for the Liv-ex 100 and here for the Liv-ex 1000.

Vinous Acquire Cellar Watch

Vinous CEO and Founder Antonio Galloni announced December 5th, 2019, the acquisition of the wine collection valuation service Cellar Watch from Liv-ex. Vinous will take control of Cellar Watch from mid-January 2020. A summary of the acquisition can be found here.