Market Outlook December 2012

The Market in November

UGC tastingStrong interest in 2010 Bordeaux

Trade in 2010 vintage has been strong, as buyers look towards the Wine Advocate’s in-bottle review of the vintage due out in the first issue of 2013. The wines showed well at the UGC tastings, held in early November both in London and elsewhere, further reinforcing the quality of the vintage.

2008 Bordeaux makes a comeback

Interest in 2008 Bordeaux has also risen sharply this month. A vintage that has been unfashionable for some time, 2008’s rise suggests some may be beginning to call the bottom of the market.

Rhône 2010

Robert Parker has named 2010 as ‘a great vintage that is extremely close in quality to 2007’, driving further trading in the wines. He awarded a total of seven wines the magic 100 point score but interest has been spread across the range.

Recording breaking 2012 auction at Hospices de Beaune

November’s auction of the 2012 vintage raised a total of €6m, over 8% more than in the previous year. The second highest lot in the history of the auction was also sold. The exceptional results, driven both by the high quality of the vintage and drastically reduced supply, has increased speculation that demand for 2012s will be extremely high at all levels of the market.

What the critics are saying

The Wine Advocate’s Antonio Galloni reported on Piedmont, finding that 2008 Barolo “continue[s] to be hugely promising.” Looking forward, he suggested that 2010 may “turn out to be a truly great, iconic vintage for Barbaresco”.

James Suckling went to Sicily and reviewed Etna very favourably, calling it the “most exciting emerging wine region in Italy”, with wines that are “soulful and refined with a unique personality.”

Jancis Robinson re-tasted the 2002 First Growths, singling out Petrus and Mouton as the top performers.

In the wine regions

Pichon Lalande aWith harvest and vinification now over, it has been a game of musical chairs in Bordeaux. Aymeric de Gironde of AXA Millesimes (owner of Pichon Baron) has been announced as Jean-Guillaume Prats’ successor as Managing Director at Cos d’Estournel. Sylvie Cazes has resigned both as Director of Pichon Lalande and President of the UGC. Nicolas Glumineau, formerly of Chateau Montrose, will replace her at Pichon Lalande.

Outlook for December

The Christmas buying season is set to kick off in earnest, which may give a boost to trade in terms of pricing and volumes. December will also see the release of early 2011 Burgundy offers. Although information is still to be released by some growers, early signs suggest that ex-domaine prices are up. Whether exchange rate moves will enable merchants to hold pricing at 2010 levels remains to be seen, but prices lower than those for 2010s are unlikely. In view of the tiny 2012 crop, and reduced 2011 volumes, demand for 2011s is likely to be strong.

At the end of the month, the Wine Advocate will review 2011 Northern Rhône, new releases from Chile, Argentina and Napa, as well as the 2010 Bordeaux vintage.