If you’ve been afraid to invest in white Burgundy recently, we have some great news. White Burgundy wine prices are on the rise once again, and the region is reclaiming its sterling reputation. Bottle prices are more stable than they were in the mid-2000s, and most modern vintages show no signs of premox. For these reasons and many more, white Burgundy may be one of the safest investments that you’ll make this year.
Liv-Ex Names 2017 “Burgundy’s Year”
Market experts and wine enthusiasts alike are very excited about white Burgundy prospects this year. Liv-ex recently released its annual Power 100 report, and Burgundian wines were among the top performers on the secondary market in 2017. In the report, Liv-ex referred to 2017 as “Burgundy’s Year,” noting that white Burgundy wine prices are increasing steadily, and that demand for these wines is also on the rise. Here are two of the most important takeaways from the recent Liv-ex report:
- Burgundy Is Experiencing a Boost in Sales Overall
In 2016, Liv-ex had only 19 Burgundy producers on its Power 100 list. This year, the Power 100 list contains 24 Burgundian producers. Moreover, an impressive 22 of those 24 producers made it onto the top 50 list of the best price performers on the wine market this year. This means that both the value and volume traded for these wines was especially high. Because these wines are in demand, more bottles are selling this year compared to previous years, and their value on the secondary market is also on the rise.
- Some Burgundy Producers Are Performing Especially Well
White Burgundy wine prices have increased overall, but certain producers are proving to be especially valuable on the secondary market. It should come as no surprise that DRC (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti) is still the top-ranking Burgundy estate this year, and the producer came in fourth place overall on Liv-ex’s Power 100 list. It earned this ranking because collectors sold a high volume of wines on the secondary market this year, and because the value of these wines is especially high. Investing in DRC Montrachet continues to be a lucrative option for collectors. Collectors may also want to try other tried-and-true producers that made it onto Liv-ex’s list, including those from Chablis, Côte de Beaune, and Mâconnais. Among the top-performing white Burgundy producers are Leflaive, Raveneau, Leroy, and Coche-Dury.
Recovering from Premox
What we’ve learned from Liv-ex’s Power 100 is that Burgundy is on the rise overall, and that white Burgundy wine prices are steadily increasing after years of stagnation. White Burgundy was never a truly bad investment, as the top estates consistently produce wines worth collecting. However, premox made white Burgundy a greater gamble for collectors until very recently. Vintages made between 2002 and 2010 were more prone to premox, which made some collectors skittish about investing too heavily in white Burgundy. Although no one is sure what caused the premox trend, it appears that the problem has been addressed with recent vintages. White Burgundy from 2010 and on has been superb in quality, and so far, shows little sign of premox. This means that investing in white Burgundy may be a sounder investment than it was a few years ago.
The Price Increase Is Slow and Steady
Additionally, white Burgundy wine prices are increasing, but not at an unstable rate. Prices aren’t increasing too quickly, and the quality of the wine is still in line with the price per bottle. Chinese investors have taken an interest in Burgundian wine recently, and are now investing heavily in both Bordeaux and Burgundy, which has contributed to the rise in price. There is more demand for Burgundy in China now than ever before. However, this likely won’t result in the kind of market bubble we saw in the past with Bordeaux. In the mid-2000s, Chinese investors took an interest in Bordeaux wines, and this massive increase in demand significantly drove up Bordeaux prices around the world. These astronomical wine prices didn’t match the quality of the wine itself, and the Bordeaux wine market crashed in the late 2000s as a result.
Experts don’t expect the same problem to befall Burgundy. That’s because, while Chinese investors are buying large amounts of Burgundian wine, these bottles are being flipped on the secondary market for much more reasonable prices than Bordeaux was being sold for in the mid-2000s. In 2005, Bordeaux prices increased by a massive 340 percent and fell dramatically just a few years later because this growth rate wasn’t sustainable. By comparison, Burgundy prices have only increased by about 11 percent since 2016, and this increase is expected to continue slowly but steadily in the future, ensuring a predictable, healthy profit for collectors holding on to white Burgundy.
Finding the Best White Burgundy Wine Prices
In general, you’ll likely pay slightly more for white Burgundy this year compared to last year, however, the steeper price may be worth it. Not only are the wines themselves higher in quality, on average, than they were in the mid-2000s, they are also very likely to increase in value at a predictable pace year after year. How long you decide to keep these wines in storage will depend on your preferences. If you plan on reselling these bottles on the secondary market for a profit, then it may be wise to keep some of the best vintages under storage for 10 years or more, selling them just before they reach peak maturity (which will vary depending on the producer and vintage). If you’d rather drink these wines yourself, then you may decide to store them for just a few years–most of these vintages don’t need to sit in storage 15 years to taste delicious. The good news is that you have the freedom to choose what to do with these wines, and some research, along with your own taste preferences, will help you choose. Some of these wines will taste best after only a few years in storage, while other bottles may reach their peak after a decade or two. The bottom line is that many modern white Burgundy vintages are showing excellent aging potential, so if you enjoy well-aged white Burgundy, avoid uncorking these wines too early. If you wish to sell them, holding on to these wines for a few years should let you make a decent profit, as well.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.