Vinculum has identified a small number of wines from the last 30 vintages, which our wine team (along with many other experts) believe are Investment Grade Wines (IGWs) and so are commonly traded on the IGW market.
For example, Château Latour made its wine of the Century with its 1982 vintage but buying the 1991, 1992 or 1993 vintages is not the same and we certainly would not advocate buying on name alone.
When the great and much lauded 2009 Bordeaux vintage was releases, demand for the top wines outstripped supply more than ten-fold. In contrast, the 2011 vintage witnessed the lowest demand for a decade or more.
The simple reason why fine wine investment has grown throughout history, and in particular, more recent times (over the last 20 years) is basic market forces…demand for this high-end physical asset has increased, but supply is ever diminishing, as production becomes more limited and fine wine already in the market place is consumed.
For example, if a particular Château vintage starts off with 15,000 cases, after ten years maybe there are only 10,000 left in the world. After 15 years perhaps only 7,500 cases left, after 25 years maybe only 3,000 cases left.
Historically, demand began exceeding supply of certain Bordeaux wine in 1855, when Napoleon III ordered elite Bordeaux châteaux to be ranked by price and perceived quality – immediately launching certain labels as world leading, luxury brands.
More recently, the rising aspirations of high net worth individuals has manifested itself in an explosion of investment from the Far East and China, alongside a more steady rise in European and North American markets – driven by the age-old desire to own and appreciate the finer things in life.