Italian Wine producers in Piedmont and Tuscany can breathe a sigh of relief, as one door is left ajar on premium & Vintage French wines, another door opens wide, making investing in the fine wines of Italy an opportunity you just can't ignore.
You can thank Donald Trump and his ongoing crusade to level the playing field with trade tariffs with other countries around the world. The US has now imposed a 25% tax on bottled wines from France, Spain, Germany and Britain, under 14% abv. This will forge a broadening of the wine market in 2020 with some new winners on the horizon.
'Super-Tuscans' is a key part of our client investment strategy and we encourage clients to consider incorporating these wines into a diverse and robust portfolio.
The wines of Italy have become an ever-more appealing alternative to those of Bordeaux when it comes to investing and collecting over the past ten years.
While the top wines of Piedmont and Tuscany compare favourably to Burgundy and Bordeaux in terms of critic scores, prices have been catching up and no doubt there seems to be a lot of value in the top Italian wines right now.
So what substantiates a 'Super Tuscan wine?
These wines gained real pedigree after 1990's and were no longer regarded as table wines, and after improved cultivation and acceptance, they now command some of the highest prices among the country’s fine wines.
‘Super-Tuscan’ wines are actually derived from a combination of Italian and French grape varieties. Typically Bordeaux grape varieties blended with native Sangiovese.
‘Super-Tuscan’ wines like Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Masseto, Tignanello and Solaia, that can fetch as much as £5,000 a case, and are becoming increasingly popular amongst the shrewdest of wine investors.
Italy’s Piedmont wine making region in the north of Italy has contributed to the resurgence of Italian wine growth and popularity from the more traditional wines. With very limited supply, and constant demand, some of them have reached lofty prices. Just three bottles of the 2010 vintage of Giacomo Conterno’s Monfortino Barolo Riserva would require an outlay of about £3,500.
Italian super wines are increasingly gaining visibility and favour in Hong Kong and the Far East market, where Super-Tuscans are seen as a safe haven buy and where a trend for coupling Italian wines with indigenous cuisine is trending.
Trump is as unpredictable as a spinning wine bottle, and subsequently so are the macro and micro economic factors that influence goods and prices around the world, so prognosticating the wine index value is pretty futile.
Those crossing their fingers that something juicy appears in the impeachment trial against Trump are probably being overly optimistic - but if Trump is impeached and forced to relegate himself to obscurity, how will this change the wine investing strategy for the secondary and sub wine markets.
The best-performing sub-index was the Italy 100 (+4.7%), followed by the Champagne 50 (+2.25%).
Over 7,000 different wines traded through the secondary market in 2019, compared to 5,700 in the previous year. Wines traded this year have come from Germany, Switzerland, China, England and Hungary – not regions commonly associated with a vibrant secondary market. The wine market is broadening and so having a balanced, wider and richer wine investment portfolio is the ticket for most going into 2020.
Peaked your interest in the Italian fine wine market? Chat to one of our friendly wine investing advisors, and broaden your investing strategy today.