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Talking Trade – a welcomed surprise

Cheval Blanc caught the Fine Wine market off guard this week with a surprise release, marking the first big release of the 2020 campaign.

The Premier Grand Cru Classe A, Cheval Blanc 2020 was offered at £4,656 per 12×75, a 3.5% increase on the 2019 initial offer (£4,500) and a 29.3% decrease on the 2018 UK opening (£6,588).

The newest release (2020) was among Jean-Marc Quarin’s favourites. He awarded it 99 points.

Petit Cheval 2020 was also released, at €120 per bottle ex-négociant. It was offered at £1,440 per 12×75, down 3.3% on last year’s release.

Liv-ex sat down with the Chateau and discussed the style of their newest release, why they released early, and the methodology behind their pricing.

Cos D’estournel revealed their 2020 vintage would be presented in a unique black and gold bottle to mark the 20th anniversary of the Second Growth’s acquisition by Michel Reybier. Following the statement, Liv-ex looked at how other special and unique bottles have performed since their announcement.

US inflation news also grabbed the market’s attention this week and sent mainstream stock indices in both the US and UK on a downward trajectory intraweek. Our most recent analysis found that over the past 18 years, not only has fine wine been a positive hedge against inflation but it outperformed the FTSE100 and UK house prices, which can be seen in the chart below.

Weekly Bordeaux market share fell to its lowest tally in the last five weeks as Burgundy and Italy saw increased activity. In Italy, Tuscany made up 70% of trade by value, followed by Piedmont at 27.5%. Lombardia, Sicily, Umbria and Veneto all saw activity too.

Burgundy trade was much more diverse and has been one of the most rapidly expanding regions year-to-date in terms of distinct wines traded. White wine made up 28% of trade by value for the region, with Red taking up the remainder.

Two different Singe Malt whiskies from Scotland changed hands in the week.

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2018 was the top traded wine of the week. The wine released earlier this year at £1,800 per 12×75 and has since become the top traded Italian wine year-to-date.

The wine carries a score of 97 from James Suckling, 97 from Antonio Galloni, 97+ from Monica Larner and a 17.5++ from Jancis Robinson, with the note “promises well for the future”.

Two Champagnes made the list this week, Dom Perignon 2008 and Salon Le Mesnil 2007. In 2019 Antonio Galloni called the Salon 2007, “a dark horse […] that keeps getting better with time.” Galloni found similarities with the Dom Perignon 2008 and said, “the 2008 will be even better with time in the cellar, but is absolutely phenomenal even today, in the early going”.

Our Bordeaux En Primeur 2020 page contains everything you need to know about this year’s campaign. You can also sign up for our daily En Primeur email alerts using the form below.