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Champagne the Next Target for Investors

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With prices for top Bordeaux and Burgundy becoming prohibitive, investors should cast their eyes a little further north.

Investors looking for a more affordable way to get into wine should be looking at Champagne rather than Bordeaux or Burgundy, according to a London-based wine merchant.
Woolf Sung founder Sebastian Woolf says vintage champagne currently presents the best value for money in the fine wine investment market, with a further 10 percent growth expected over the next 12 months.

« The world’s top Champagne vintages, 1988, 1996, and 2002 have consistently shown great appreciation and continued steady growth over the years. Over a two year period to August 2014, these vintages have collectively risen 10.2 percent, » he said.
With the investment market looking for alternatives to Bordeaux and increasingly unaffordable Burgundy, vintage Champagne offers volume production, worldwide distribution and prestige. According to fine wine exchange Liv-Ex, the Champagne index increased 11.9 percent between 2011 and 2013 and its share of trade increase from 1 percent to 2.3 percent.
Champagne is relatively affordable when compared to equivalent quality Bordeaux or Burgundy, with the average case price of top vintage Champagnes costing $2500 compared with Bordeaux First Growths and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti reaching $10,000 and $165,000 respectively.
« Champagne offers first time investors a lower entry point and seasoned investors value for money when diversifying their portfolios, » Woolf said.
« Champagne is released when it is ready for drinking and is therefore rarely stored for long in cellars, vintages then become scarce and prices rise. »
He said Woolf Sung is focusing on sourcing and procuring these old, scarce vintages which present a 3-5 year investment; these bottles are being drunk now, so scarcity and – in turn – prices are ever increasing.
« 1999 Pommery Cuvée Louise Brut Millésime, 2002 Salon Cuvée ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs, 2002 Dom Pérignon Rosé, 2006 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut are our top suggestions to look out for. A six-bottle case of the 2002 Salon is currently worth $2750, a low investment threshold, and we are predicting a 10 percent growth in the next 12 months. »
The Champagne market is quickly expanding beyond the traditional favorites, he added, and as the growing Asian markets increase their education in fine wine and look for further prestige, Champagne’s appeal will broaden eastwards.
« With restricted production and increased consumption from growing markets, Champagne’s consistent returns will continue and are likely to increase. We are focusing our efforts on sourcing rare and scarce bottles for our customers; these bottles are almost impossible to source directly from the houses or in perfect condition. The increasing interest in Champagne will ensure these bottles are more sought-after, inevitably increasing their value. »



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