- Robert Parker’s love for the Rhône drove market share in the early years of the 2000s.
- In 2020, after dipping though the intervening years, Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s Rhone market share by value reached a 10-year high.
- Activity in Rhône wines generally is robust, with £1.9m in LIVE offers and £2m in LIVE bids pointing to positive market sentiment.
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The Parker effect
In Robert Parker’s penultimate report on the Rhône for the Wine Advocate, published in October 2012, he said: “In short, the entire Southern Rhône remains France’s most diverse and rewarding treasure trove of both value and greatness to wine consumers.”
Parker’s influence on the Southern Rhône can be seen in the trade share chart above. Before handing over tasting duties for the region in 2012, Châteauneuf-du-Pape regularly made up the largest proportion of Rhône trade by value.
Present day Rhône
After a dip into 2013, Châteauneuf has been clawing back trade share by value and closed 2020 on a 10-year high. Year-to-date in 2021, Châteauneuf holds the largest share of trade by value in the Rhône but Northern Rhône AOCs, specifically Côte Rôtie and Hermitage, have regained some of their former share too.
Nonetheless, the Southern Rhône’s market share by value is impressive, considering the average market price of the Southern Rhône components in the Rhone 100 index are half that of those from the Northern Rhône.
For the whole Rhône region, the most traded vintage year-to-date by value and volume is 2017. The 2019 vintage is the second most traded by volume as the new releases have garnered interest. Jeb Dunnuck has awarded three 2019 Rhône wines a straight 100-points, and a further four have a 100-point bracket.
Record levels of activity
Trading opportunities for Rhône wines are currently at an all-time high. There are nearly £2m in LIVE bids and a corresponding £1.9m in LIVE offers (a bid to offer ratio above 0.5 generally points to positive sentiment in the market). Whether you are buying or selling, it seems now is a good time to be dealing with the Rhône.