- Château Lafite Rothschild was the most traded wine in 2021.
- Blue chip labels were in high demand and dominate most of the lists.
- Sassicaia and Screaming Eagle were the top-traded wines from beyond France.
As both the 2021 Power 100 and Fine Wine in 2021 reports have highlighted, blue chip brands have dominated trade in the secondary fine wine market this year.
The First Growths, leading Burgundy estates, prestige cuvée Champagnes, top Napa Cabernets and Super Tuscans were all in high demand from the beginning of the year.
Château Lafite Rothschild was the top-traded wine overall and its 2018 the top-traded vintage by value.
First Growths lead Bordeaux trade
Although trade in Bordeaux continued to decline – down to 38.8% of total trade – activity around the First Growths remained strong. In terms of total trade by value, 2021 was the best year for the First Growths since 2018.
The First Growth’s share of Bordeaux trade by value fell to a low of 32.6% in 2020 but rose to 35.9% this year. A small gain but possibly a sign of the direction of Bordeaux trade for the future with the First Growths taking a greater share of trade even as Bordeaux activity continues to decline overall.
The successful year for the First Growths is highlighted by the top traded wines in the two accompanying tables.
Lafite in particular, which led the market a decade ago has bounced back as a leading label with sustained levels of trade for many vintages over the course of the year.
On the other hand, the price performance of Lafite, Mouton Rothschild and other leading Bordeaux brands was steady rather than spectacular. Lafite 2018 has risen in price 9.3% year-to-date (see chart below).
This slower rise in price among Bordeaux labels means the Fine Wine 50 and wider Bordeaux 500 have risen slower than indices covering other regions; 12.8% and 9.2% respectively, year-to-date.
*Lafite Rothschild 2018 trades
Top traded non-French wines
Sassicaia’s place on both lists is a further nod to the rising power of the Super Tuscan’s brand status.
It secured its place in the top 10 of this year’s Power 100 and, like Lafite, has seen a constant level of demand and activity around multiple vintages. The latest release, the 2018, has been firmly in buyers’ sights and risen in price 4.9% since its launch this spring.
The same is true of Screaming Eagle, where the 2018 has seen a price increase of 13.8% year-to-date, following its release in February.
This price performance, alongside that of fellow Californian labels, has driven both the Rest of the World 60 and California 50 to positive years.
Both indices are up just over 19% year-to-date.
The article above is a preview of Liv-ex’s latest report, The Fine Wine Market in 2021. To download your copy of report, click here.
Liv-ex analysis is drawn from the world’s most comprehensive database of fine wine prices. The data reflects the real time activity of Liv-ex’s 530+ merchant members from across the globe. Together they represent the largest pool of liquidity in the world – currently £80m of bids and offers across 16,000 wines. Independent data, direct from the market.