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Demand for US and Italian wines leads fine wine investment spike

Published:  26 May, 2020

BI, the fine wine and spirits merchant, has reported something of a boom in its fine wine sales during the era of coronavirus, with sales of both US and Italian wine leading the pack.

In the UK, sales of rare wines and spirits rise by 32% during April following a “cautious March period”, in which investors digested the impact of Covid-19.

This uplift was driven mainly by demand for Italian and US wines, as well as rare whiskies.

While Bordeaux remains the ‘bedrock’ of wine investment portfolios, accounting for a third of sales so far this year, BI noted that sales of Italian wines have continued to enjoy growing demand.

Italian sales rose by 38% in the first four months of 2020, following on from a 30% increase during 2019. In the last month, demand for US wines increased by almost 50%.

“Despite the recent disruption from coronavirus, the fine wine market remains in good health and we continue to see an encouraging level of activity, including an increased focus on wine as an alternative asset class,” Gary Boom, BI’s managing director, said.

For wine investors, Tuscan wines have for the most part been the best performers, with gains from the recently released 2015 and 2016 vintages also driving rises in back vintages such as 2014 and 2011, which have seen their values rise by 27% and 26% respectively over the past 12 months.

Four of the top five performing investment wines of the past 12 months were all from Sassicaia (2014, 2011, 2012 and 2013 vintages).

The top spot, however, was taken by Bordeaux’s Leoville Barton 2016.

BI, which has offices in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and LA, also released its list of drinkers’ top choices of 2020 so far.

Champagne led the pack with Ayala Brut Majeur Champagne NV at the top of the list, followed by Belondrade Y Lurton 2018, L’Exuberance Rose 2019, CVNE Imperial Reserva 2011 and Sancerre Silex Fontaine-Audon.