The phenomenon of natural wines, which began to emerge at auction around five years ago, has since become a fundamental trend to follow, transforming the landscape of the fine wine market. The number of private collection sales totally dedicated to natural cuvées attests to this sea change.
Lionel Cuenca, co-founder of iDealwine, confirms that ‘the success of the natural wine collection sold on the 4th March, as well as the prices reached, proves that demand for this kind of wine remains high. They are sought by clients all over the world, including those who have recently been in confinement.’
March 2020 auctions: Anglore, Bizot, Les Jardine Esmeraldins, Overnoy and R. Leroy, natural wines at the forefront
In almost every viticultural region, the biggest natural names are now highly coveted at auction. Certain natural domains, recognised for a long time, have seen their prices soar – see Overnoy and Richard Leroy. And a second natural wave made up of more modest names has been making its way onto the market for some months now.
In Burgundy, for example, whilst the classic, prestigious names like Romanée-Conti, Georges Roumier and Rousseau have seen prices stabilise since the end of 2019, natural domains like Bizot – a tiny exploitation in Vosne-Romanée – saw amazing progress in March. A lot of two bottles of Echezeaux was sold for €2,254 in the 2010 vintage and for €2,189 in the 2013 vintage (+47%), whilst a lot of two bottles of 2012 Vosne-Romanée went for €1,107 (+60%) and even a ‘simple’ 2012 Bourgogne Le Chapitre reached a price of €535 (+61%).
In the Loire, the latest natural gem to attract interest is Les Jardins Esméraldins, a domain run in Saumur since the end of the 90s by Xavier Caillard. Whilst it isn’t (yet!) widely well-known, it has been remarked upon by the lucky few who have had a chance to try the wine. And since 2019, the rare bottles put up for auction from this domain have done incredibly well. The vin de France Genèse was sold for €338 in white (2000 vintage) and €243 in red (2006 vintage).
In the southern Rhône Valley, the star of the moment is Anglore. This is undoubtedly one of the most well-known names in the new wave of natural wine. A domain that has excited the auctions for around two years now, and sale after sale its success has not diminished. Two magnums of 2011 Tavel rosé sold for €973 and the 2012 vin de France Véjade Cuvée Off went for €125 (+97%).
The domains that acted as precursors for this movement are still very much in the game, though their prices are not increasing as steeply. March’s auctions saw several top results for Overnoy (a magnum of 2011 Arbois Pupillin Poulsard at €1,170, +66%), Ganevat (a bottle of 2000 Côtes-du-Jura Les Vignes de mon Père for €365, +27%) and Richard Leroy (a bottle of 2016 vin de France Les Noels de Montbenault for €170, +15%).
It is clear that natural wines are all the rage at the moment, but the classic labels are certainly still going strong, especially when they are rare. In March, some top results were recorded for names such as Château Rayas (a bottle of 2007 Rayas sold for €961, +47%), Coche-Dury (2 bottles of 2009 Meursault sold for €948, +8%) and Roulot (a bottle of 2014 Meursault Premier cru Le Porusot went for €304, +5%).
See our selection of natural wines here