Talking Trade – The 2021 Classification breaks the holiday lull

New World releases kicked off this year’s autumnal La Place campaign; first up was the 2018 Clos Apalta on Tuesday (31st August).  

Two anniversary vintages – the 25th vintage of Seña and 20th vintage of Bibi Graetz Testamatta – were also released, joined by the first Penfolds wine offered by the historic distribution network. 

And while La Place releases dominated the trade news this week, the 2021 Liv-ex Classification was in sharp focus the week before. The rankings highlighted some important themes – among which were the increased prominence of Italy and the USA on the secondary market for fine wine.  

Napa Valley’s Screaming Eagle ranked as the most expensive label, based on average trade price, after Burgundy’s Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s Romanée-Conti.  

Regional trade

The USA increased its trade share by value from 2.3% to 9.6% in the last two weeks of August. The reasons behind the buoyant American market are explored in our latest special report, How U.S. wine businesses buy and sell on the global market. 

The Rhône, long a favourite of American buyers, also gained traction, with its share rising from 3.1% to 4.9%. Burgundy (21.4%) and the ‘others’ category (4.1%) were also on the up, while Bordeaux (35.5%), Champagne (8.6%) and Italy (15.9%) saw small dips in activity.   

Top traded labels

Domaine Leroy, Musigny Grand Cru 2015 was the most active wine by value. A bottle of it last traded for £85,748. Antonio Galloni (Vinous, 98-points) called it a “breathtaking Burgundy”, while William Kelley (The Wine Advocate, 100-points) said that this was “the crowning achievement to an extraordinary portfolio and a wine that brought tears to my eyes”. 

Two Lafite Rothschild vintages – 2017 and 2010 – also appeared in the top five, joined by Spottswoode St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 and Sassicaia 2018.   


Access the full Liv-ex Classification 2021: