‘Wine of the Year’ nod for Dominus 2018 prompts market reaction

  • Wine Spectator’s annual ranking has driven demand for Dominus on the secondary market.
  • The 2018 last traded at a 34.4% premium on its Market Price.
  • But the 100-point 2015 and 2016 vintages cost less and offer relative value.

Dominus 2018 sets a new trading high

Wine Spectator’s ‘Wine of the Year’, Dominus 2018, has set a new trading high following the announcement on Friday.

The wine, which claimed the top spot in the annual rankings, has already seen increased secondary market activity. It last traded at £3,636 per 12×75 on the 22nd November, up 34.4% on its Market Price.

Wine Spectator called it ‘a benchmark for the region and the vintage’. Dominus 2018 also came ninth in James Suckling’s top 100 wines of 2021. Suckling agreed that the wine was ‘one of the reference points for the vintage’.

The wine also boasts 100-points from Jeb Dunnuck, 99+ from Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Advocate) and 97 from Antonio Galloni (Vinous).

Dominus 2018 trades on Liv-ex

The announcement also drew attention to other recent Dominus vintages like the 2017 (WA 97+), which last traded below its Market Price, at £1,790 per 12×75.

Which vintages offer the best value?

Prices for Dominus show a 78% correlation to Wine Advocate scores. At its current price, the 2018 vintage falls just above the trend line, suggesting it is slightly overvalued. This is due to being put in the spotlight by the recent announcement, which is pushing demand and therefore prices.

Based on Wine Advocate scores, some older vintages offer better value for money. The 100-point 2015 and 2016 vintages, for instance, cost less than the 2018 but have higher scores.

The 99-point 2009 vintage is also available for just over £2,000 per dozen and offers bottle age. For less than £2,000, buyers can get their hands on the 2012, awarded 98+ from The Wine Advocate.

Year-to-date, Dominus is the 11th most traded Californian wine by value and fifth by volume. Its most active vintages have been 2017, 2018, 2016 and 2014.

To find out more about its performance and where it sits in the Californian wine market, see our report, California: A Golden Era for the Golden State.

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.

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