Talking Trade – Italy in April

Italy has been the spotlight of Friday’s Talking Trades for the past few weeks and now that the month of April has closed, we can reflect on the region’s impressive performance.

In April, Italy accounted for 22.8% of trade by volume, up from 15% in March and 11% in January. The top three traded wines by volume for the month were also Italian, including nine out of the top 20. Italy also had a record amount of distinct wines traded (LWIN11), surpassing the two prior months which stood, at that time, as records themselves.

As shown in the chart below, just four months into the year distinct Italian wines traded is already close to surpassing 2019 levels.

Chart 1. Italy LWIN7s traded v. Super Tuscan share of trade by value

However, Italy is not alone, as the USA (6.9%), Rhone (6.6%) and Others (8.9%) have also expanded on their share of trade by value so far this year. Although the USA and Rhone have not seen the same aggressive growth in volume as Italy, they have both equaled in it terms of breadth. In April, the two regions broke records for the number of distinct wines traded.

Amidst this, the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50, after a difficult few months, increased 0.82% in April. It is the first monthly increase since before the US tariffs on EU wines were enacted in October 2019.

Penfolds Grange 2015 led trade by value for the week. The 2015 vintage is the latest in a string of highly scored wines from the producer, receiving 100 points from James Suckling. However, the wine has since declined 15% in the six months from its UK release at £4,140 per 12×75, putting it at a significant discount to the identically scored 2013 and 2008 vintages.

Additionally, In a large victory for the producer, after a ten year trademark battle, Treasury Wine Estates announced it has successfully registered BEN FU (奔富), the Chinese trademark of Penfolds. This will help to further protect the brand against trademark piracy, copycats and counterfeiters.

Bordeaux 2019

With the usual En Primeur tastings postponed this year, the trade is yet to see the direction of critic scores and prices. However,  early indications suggest that 2019 boasts better quality than 2018, which in turn would (in normal times) suggest a lift in prices when the vintage is released onto the market.

Big LWIN upgrade

LWIN – the universal identifier for wine and spirits – has gone through a significant upgrade. So what’s new? The LWIN dictionary is now clearer and more consistent than ever. You can match your list for free with Wine Matcher and there are more resources than ever to help you get started.