Eighteen labels that did not make it into the top 100 wine brands of 2018 qualified for the 2019 rankings. The number of new entrants shrunk by 4 (22 new entrants in 2018) despite further broadening of the market.
13 of the 18 new entrants came from Burgundy, as the region, which dominated the full rankings, saw its share of trade by value soar to a record 20% last year.
Prieure Roch and Rene Engel stand out as neither wines had qualified for the rankings in previous years. According to the Drinks Business’ fine wine editor Rupert Miller, their “out-of-the-blue impact may dissipate completely by this time next year” due to the very volatile mature of the Burgundy market. The untimely death of Henri-Frederic Roch in November 2018 and a rather late-in-the-day scramble for the last of the Rene Engel Grand Echezeaux and Clos Vougeots available in the market, saw prices for both growers soar – Prieure Roch by 51% and Engel by 22%. Miller also noted in his report on the Power rankings that “some of the [Burgundy] entrants this year include labels from domaines that have younger winemakers at their helms, such as Arnoux Lachaux, Ramonet, Roulot and Raveneau”.
Burgundy’s expanding field and increasingly volatile market will be examined in our upcoming regional report, a copy of which you can register for here.
Apart from the new Burgundian stars, brands from Bordeaux that have lived in the shadow of the First Growths have been making strides. Carmes Haut Brion and Rauzan Segla jumped over 40 places to qualify for this year’s rankings helped by stronger price performance and trading activity. The wines have consistently boasted excellent quality and have been released at a fair price, which has been recognised by buyers.
The second-biggest riser from the new entrants this year (up 132 places) came from the Rhone, the perennial regional underperformer. Jean Louis Chave – regarded by many as Hermitage’s leading producer – performed particularly well. Prices for the Domaine’s wines rose, on average, by 10.7%.
Ranked 8th in overall price performance in 2019 was Soldera (Case Basse). Prices for the wines soared after the owner Gianfranco Soldera, considered one of Italy’s greatest (if not somewhat controversial) fine wine produces, died at the beginning of last year. Following a winery sabotage in 2012, when 62,600 litres of Soldera’s Brunello di Montalcino (2007-2012) were intentionally destroyed, and Soldera’s fallout with the Concorzio del Brunello di Montalcino, Casse Basse wines have been produced under the official Tuscany IGP.
For more on why Italian wines are gathering momentum in the secondary market and what the future might hold for them, please read our report, The fine wines of Italy: past, present and future.