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Liv-ex reveals the Burgundy 150 worst performing index in 2019

Published:  28 January, 2020

The Burgundy 150 was the worst performing Liv-ex index in 2019, falling 8.8%, according to Liv-ex’s annual Burgundy report. 

While Burgundy wines continued to be rare and sought after throughout 2019, the Burgundy 150 went from being the star of 2018 to become the worst performing index in 2019, beaten by the Italy 100, Champagne 50 and even the Rhône 100 - the perennial underperformer.

The comparatively low entry point into the market that regions such as Italy and Champagne offer, combined with building brand strength, heritage and a series of excellent vintages, had attracted the attention of collectors looking for “relative value in a market that was broadly adrift”, the report stated.

Liv-ex said the past year had highlighted the vulnerability of Burgundy’s high prices, with buyers appetites “dimmed as prices continue to rise”.

At the same time, the “allure of high prices” (and thus high returns) had brought more wines to the market.

This shift, it said, was “reflected in merchant activity and the bid-offer ratio began to decline”.

However, the low liquidity of many rare Burgundy wines added a further complication as buyers struggled to price the new supply, it added.

“Spreads began to widen and, perhaps inevitably, prices began to drift, with the recent implementation of US tariffs having done little to help matters.”

So far however, this trend has been limited to the very top end of the market, with Burgundy buyers starting to consider the more affordable second and third wave Burgundy labels. A pattern which Liv-ex said had been reflected in the number of new domains, many with younger winemakers at their helm, entering this year’s Power 100 rankings.

The recent Hospices de Beaune auction of barrels of the 2019 vintage - a vintage of reportedly high quality and very strict allocations, produced one of the highest sales totals in the auction’s history with the average barrel price rising by almost 30% over last year to €21,823, according to Liv-ex.

Pitched as the global marketplace for the wine trade, Liv-ex has 475 members in 42 different countries ranging from start-ups to established merchants, which it supplies with the tools they need to price, source and sell wine more efficiently.

Liv-ex publishes the actual prices that wines are transacted at with its database containing over 644 million current and historic price points.