September 2020 Newsletter

Hello All,

We have now reached Autumn, and while we’re looking ahead to possibly the strangest winter ever, nonetheless September still means that the nights are drawing in and the children are back at school (for now). So it seemed like a good time to lift our spirits with our first ever live Zoom tasting, which was held on Thursday 24th September.

Clients that chose to participate purchased a reasonably-priced bottle of wine which we dispatched to their homes ahead of the tasting. On this occasion, the bottle we selected was a very fine Sparkling wine from France, Roche Lacour Crémant de Limoux. The tasting was led by our head buyer and analyst, Ewan Wright, who guided the participants through a structured tasting to help them to get the most from the experience.

Our first Zoom tasting was a success and provided a fascinating insight into a relatively unknown sparkling wine from the Pyrenean foothills, made from a blend of local grapes with Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc to create a modern, approachable style. We look forward to hosting further tastings each month, introducing different styles of wine and also malt whisky.

Our thanks to everyone who participated in the tasting – we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. If you would like to join us for our next tasting, its easy! Contact us for details.

FTSE plunge sees more than £50billion wiped off stock market

September was a volatile month for the FTSE 100, closing 3.38% down at 5804 points on a day of sharp falls in equities in both Europe and the US. This was the worst day since early June, as more than £50 billion was wiped off the value of UK companies.

The losses came as it became apparent that a second wave of Coronavirus would force the government into introducing lockdown measures that would threaten the economy.

This is sobering news for collectors, and a reminder that a diverse portfolio including alternative collections such as fine wine and malt whisky offers a safe haven in times of global uncertainty.

Liv-ex 100 & 1000 rise for a fourth consecutive month

Trade negotiations and Brexit anxieties have led to ongoing sterling volatility, but the fine wine market has shown cautious optimism in September. Its broadest measure, the Liv-ex 1000, rose 0.98% in sterling terms to close the month at 351.46. The Liv-ex 100 index – the industry benchmark – rose 1.41% in September to close the month at 310.39. Sterling weakness over the month (-1.0%) contributed, with value and volumes traded rising on the previous month.

The biggest movers came predominantly from Bordeaux, Italy and Champagne though it was white Burgundy that topped the list of risers: Domaine Leflaive, Puligny Montrachet Clavoillon 2015 leading the way.

Bordeaux’s trade share increased from an August average of 34.7% to 38%, the Rhone’s from 4% to 4.7% and USA from 6.1% to 8.5%. Burgundy (16.5%), Italy (17.1%) and Champagne (8.9%) all decreased slightly on the previous month.

First month of whisky trading at Elite

We are delighted to report that our first month of trading whisky has seen a substantial surge of investment from clients keen to diversify their portfolios. Although whisky shares a fascinating history with fine wine, when it comes to investment, it is relatively straightforward to understand and lacks many of the quirks that can make the wine industry quite complicated.

Our step-by-step guide offers a choice of casks from well-known distilleries, including fine single malts and also well-known blends such as Johnnie Walker and Grants. Quantity is key – whisky that is produced in a limited quantity to begin with will increase in value quickly as the supply becomes more limited. If you are interested in finding out more, here’s a video of our head buyer and analyst Ewan discussing whisky investment:

Younger buyers turn their attention to fine wine

Auction house Sotheby’s has released its mid-year report, and alongside the usual statistics, it appears that a curious trend is emerging: bidders are getting younger.

Some 20% of bidders at wine and spirits sales this year have been new, with 50% of them in their 20s and 30s. Meanwhile, 30-to-40 year-olds have made up 60% of all new bidders. Overall, bidders under 50 have contributed 50% of the total amount bid in Hong Kong Wine sales, and account for 75% of first time bidders in New York wine sales.

Elsewhere, the report indicates that Asia continues to be the main driver of sales for Sotheby’s wine, while Burgundy – propelled by Domaine de la Romanee-Conti – continues to be the leading category overall, accounting for 46% of total sales by value.

Wishing you all the best for the month ahead.

Kind Regards,

The Elite Fine Wines Team

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