Sterling continued to strengthen against a weakening Euro this week. The market is anticipating the government’s decision on a looser fiscal policy and tighter monetary policy (where sterling would certainly benefit), lifting prices for those outside the UK. Subsequently, the Liv-ex 50 fell, closing at 330.21 – down 1% from the week prior.
The market is also expecting a further announcement from the United States Trade Representative on Airbus related tariffs early next week, but in the meantime, USA buying continues to be dampened.
There appears to be little love for Bordeaux this Valentine’s Day, as share of trade fell to a record low 38.3%. Bordeaux wines are popular in Asia and with the outbreak of Coronavirus, demand continues to falter. Burgundy (27.0%), however, was happy to pick up the slack, led by large parcels moving around Europe.
Now six weeks into 2020, Italy and the USA are consistently obtaining more trade share on a weekly basis. This week, the two regions accounted for 18.5% and 5.3% respectively, whereas their 2019 averages were 8.8% and 2.3%. They have yet to fall below those numbers in 2020.
Top wine, Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino 2013 is the most recent vintage available from the producer, after spending up to 6 years in botti before coming to the market. Antonio Galloni awarded the wine 99-points, calling it, “brilliant, precise, focused and nuanced.” The prior release, 2010, was awarded 100 points by the critic and currently trades 67% higher (£12,780 per 12×75).
Two brands in the Top 5 were ranked in the 2019 Power 100. Domaine/Maison Leroy ranked third, falling from the top spot the year before. Lafite Rothschild also drifted from the upper echelons, ranking 19th, down 17 spots from its number two ranking in 2018.
In Galloni’s most recent report on 2016 Barolo, he offers insight into what exactly constitutes an ‘on’ or ‘off’ vintage. Using Bordeaux as a proxy, he defines a framework of objective criteria that the wines of Piedmont will have to meet, in order to be considered great. Galloni further presents his opinions on wine classifications, the new faces of Piedmont and if we might be in the golden age of the region.
Southwold Assessment: Bordeaux 2016
Every January, some of the finest wine critics assemble to taste the latest Bordeaux vintage to be physically released onto the market. Traditionally, the group are hyper critical of the wines, but as Jancis Robinson explained in her annual report, “the quality of the wine seemed to stun my fellow tasters into admiring silence.”