Talking Trade – Seasonal sweet wines

This week we highlighted the sweeter side of the fine wine industry with two posts on Sauternes and Port. Two wines from Sauternes, d’Yquem and Rieussec, were released in late September and just in time for the festive season. Over the past five years, there has been a 25% increase in Sauternes and Barsac trade in the last quarter of the year.

Another holiday favourite, Port, also finds 40% of its trade occurs in the final three months of the year. As highlighted in our latest blog on the region, “Drinking time: Portugal’s favourite tipple”,  although a perennial minor player when viewed in terms of trade share, Port offers consistent quality and one of the lowest entry points into the fine wine market.

Trade share for Bordeaux (37.0%) climbed slightly this week and was led by the sub-regions of Pauillac, Pomerol, and Margaux. Burgundy (17.3%) moved in the opposite direction but stayed above its annual share of 16.6%.

Champagne (12.6%), the Rhone (4.6%) and Others (7.3%) shares all rose while Italy (12.4%) fell flat and USA (8.8%) drifted.

The top traded wine of the week was Armand Brignac Ace of Spades Brut Gold NV. Although the 2008 vintage is the most traded champagne vintage so far this year, non-vintage champagnes led trade for the region this week (41.8%). G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge NV, Barons Rothschild Brut NV, Pol Roger Reserve Brut NV and Taittinger Brut Reserve NV all found trades.

Spottswoode’s newest flagship release (Cabernet Sauvignon 2017) cracked the top five. It was awarded 97+ points by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, who described the wine as having “fantastic energy and beautiful poise, with bags of bright, crunchy black and red fruit plus a firm, fine grained texture, finishing long and spicy”.

Petrus had two vintages in the top five, the 2015 and 2016. James Suckling awarded both 100 points while the most recent reviewer, Jancis Robinson, scored the 2016 19 points, marginally ahead of the 2015 which she awarded18 points.

Napa Valley new release

Napa Valley’s Dominus was released this week alongside its second wine, Napanook. The flagship wine is being offered by the international trade at £1,900 per 12×75, down 13.6% on the 2016 opening price of £2,200, while the second wine was released at £570 per case.