Talking Trade – a world of releases

  • New releases this week ranged from the first 2020 clarets, the latest vintage from Ao Yun and a 19th century tawny Port.
  • Bordeaux has enjoyed its strongest month of trading so far in April.
  • US wines continue to garner interest alongside Italian wines such as the latest release from Sassicaia.

This week the market saw releases from all corners of the world but was headlined by En Primeur 2020, which sprang to life with multiple offerings from petit châteaux.

Following a UK Bank Holiday on Monday, releases commenced Tuesday morning with Château Beaumont 2020, at £108 per 12×75 a slight increase from the 2019 release and potentially a sign of things to come.

Château Tour Saint Christophe 2020 was released the same afternoon at £276 per 12×75, again at a small premium from its 2019 release (£268). Château Bellefont-Belcier 2020 and Château D’Arsac 2020 were among the estates that followed over the rest of the week, both at small premiums to 2019.

The one wine we’ve seen release at a discount to 2019 so far, is Château Enclos Tourmaline 2020 in Pomerol, which released at £1,180 per 12×75, down from £1,240. However, the 2019’s Market Price had fallen slightly from release to £1,136. Both wines were scored 96-97 by James Suckling.

In Champagne, Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon Rosé 2008 released at £1,610 per 12×75 (New LWIN: 14812442008).

Moving out of France to Portugal, Taylor’s launched 1,700 bottles of a ‘priceless’ 1896 Single Harvest Tawny (New LWIN: 20478381896).

And from Shangri-La in Yunnan province came Ao Yun 2017, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Merlot. It was released at £2,340 per 12×75 (New LWIN: 14090642017). James Suckling awarded the wine 97 points and noted 3,000 cases were made.

Bordeaux closed out April with a market share by value of 44.2%, its highest monthly tally yet in 2021. Within Bordeaux, Pauillac made up 42.2% of the month’s trade by value. Lafite Rothschild 2018 continues to lead overall trade and drive market share for the sub-region. The wine saw a 5.5% increase in Market Price during April.

Château Pontet Canet 2016 was the top traded wine of the week. Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW of the Wine Advocate was the latest critic to score the wine, in May 2020, and awarded 98+ points, with emphasis on the plus. She remarked in her tasting note that, “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this warrants the three-digit score in a few years’ time”.

Scarecrow Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, a wine that carries a 100-point score, from James Suckling, also topped the list with a last trade of £3,200 per 12×75.

US wines have garnered increased interest in the last few years. After growing from 2.3% of market share by value in 2019 to 7% in 2020, the region has risen even further to 8.4% year-to-date in 2021. A few more US wines that found the bid this week included Realm Cellars, Napa Valley ‘The Bard’ 2018, Screaming Eagle Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, and Kongsgaard Napa Valley Chardonnay 2018.

The newest release from Sassicaia, the 2018 vintage, also saw increased activity. The wine is the top traded Italian wine by value year-to-date and has seen its price rise 11.4% from its release earlier in the year.

Liv-ex Indices

Both major Liv-ex Indices, the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 and Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 found further gains in April. Exposure in April also lifted and reached £91.9m for the month having peaked with a high of £93.3m intramonth – setting records for both daily and monthly exposure.

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.