Now second only to Bordeaux in terms of trade levels on the secondary market, Italy shows no signs of slowing down.
Italy leapfrogged Burgundy to become the second most traded regional group of wines on London International Vintner’s Exchange* back in August and its monthly share of trade continues to climb.
As of the end of October its average monthly share of trade on the platform was a full 2% up on its monthly share of 5.1% throughout 2014 and a huge step up from 2010 when it accounted for just 0.9% of monthly trade (a point Spain now occupies).
The much talked about decline in Bordeaux’s share of trade, which has allowed Burgundy, Italy, Champagne and co. to steal a march on it, only partly explains Italy’s continued success, according to Liv-ex.
It reports that activity around the Super Tuscans and top Piedmonte wines is growing “in absolute terms”, with the value of these wines traded so far in 2015 already 34% ahead of where it was at the same time last year.
So far this year 132 brands and 262 wines from 22 vintages have seen trade on Liv-ex , with 80.1% of the value traded centred on the 2009-2012 vintages (ie the latest releases). Less than 6% of trading activity has been from vintages older than 2006.
As its trade share has risen so too has its benchmark index (the Italy 100). It has grown 22.4% over the past five years while the Bordeaux 500 has dipped 4.8%.
Although Italian trade is spread across wines from several regions, Tuscany and in particular the Super Tuscans are the powerhouse.
The Super Tuscan’s alone have accounted for 75% of all Italian trade over the past year and the five leading labels traded by value so far in 2015 (Sassicaia, Masseto, Ornellaia, Tignanello and San Guido’s Guildalberto) are all from Bolgheri stables.
The success of the Super Tuscans was considered with an examination of the 2004 vintage by the drinks business back in September.
In more relative terms, over the past five years Masseto has outperformed its peers the most, gaining 56%, followed by Tignanello which has climbed 40.2%. The sole dud performer has been Solaia which has fallen 16.9%.
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*London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-ex) is an exchange for investment-grade wine based in London. Liv-ex, which was founded in 1999, provides a marketplace where wine merchants are able to trade wine, and also publishes two wine price indices based on these transactions which are widely used to gauge general price developments for the “fine wine” market in general