In a lively, growing market (+28% in the first half of 2019), trends are appearing and becoming clearer, such as the decrease in the share of Bordeaux in favour of the Rhone and Burgundy, dynamic, lesser-known regions and the boom of organic, biodynamic and natural wines across the board. Spirits are also garnering increasing interest in the auction world. We look at the key trends of the first half of 2019.
- Flagship regions: the cards have been reshuffled, Bordeaux is no longer on top
The flagship regions for wine auctions have traditionally been Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone. The order has stayed the same for years, though Bordeaux has had its share of profit diminish in recent years. This year, the trajectory is even clearer: whereas in 2018, the region made up 44% of wines traded on the iDealwine platform, the first semester of 2019 saw that figure fall to 33%. Bordeaux now represents 33% of volume (though still 41% of value); Burgundy 26% of volume (33% of value) and the Rhone 14% and 13% respectively.
Burgundy is thus clearly on the up. While Bordeaux is down in terms of volume of wine sold at auction, its prices remain relatively stable. The region is nonetheless brimming with safe bets, prestigious names in mature, fine vintages. The market for the Rhone is healthy and boasts its own share of opportunities, with many wines outperforming their price estimate by over 30%.
- The Loire, Jura, Beaujolais, Provence and Corsica are dynamic regions
After the top trio, the second circle is made up of wines from the Loire, Jura, Beaujolais, Provence, Corsica as well as non-French wines. A rather heterogenous group, but as a whole dynamic and offering very attractive prices. These regions are showing good momentum.
The Jura is a special case, as several domains now have worldwide recognition, which has pushed their prices ever higher. But this dynamic is beneficial to the entire region.
- Champagne, Alsace, South-West, Languedoc and Roussillon show more timid growth
Price increases in these regions are much more measure, with the exception of a few regional champions. While the most sought-after vintage champagnes are already costly, wines from the Languedoc, Roussillon, Alsace and South-West are attractively priced: they are yet to be seen as regions for investment.
- The organic, biodynamic and natural wine boom
Although it’s far from simple to calculate the share of organic, biodynamic and natural wines at auction – as many of the wines are mature vintages, whereas conversions to organics are generally more recent –, we are undeniably seeing more and more of these wines selling at auction, and even more so at fixed price.
- Spirits: cognacs, Armagnacs, whiskies and rums are ever more sought after
Spirits have been on the up for several years now. Whether these are French spirits – for the most part cognac and Armagnac – or non-French – whiskies and rums – the oldest and rarest examples sometimes go for very high prices and are becoming increasingly coveted. Given their extraordinary aging potential, enthusiasts are prepared to pay a lot of money for spirits that are approaching the 100-year mark.
See our regional auction rankings below: