by Wine Owners
Posted on 2022-03-14
Nebbiolo Day returned to London on 3rd March, showcasing Piedmontese passion and prowess in all things Nebbiolo.
I used it as an opportunity to taste taste taste, side by side a variety of producers, crus and vintages and delve right down into why Nebbiolo is deservedly enjoying more and more attention from collectors. There was not enough time or oral capacity to taste everything on offer, so I focused on Barolo and Barbaresco producers and may have missed some gems from Alto Piemonte and Valtellina.
My main 3 takeaways were as follows:-
1) Langhe Nebbiolo should feature in everyone's home cellar for immediate consumption. Pretty much universally under £20 per bottle and in some cases difficult to separate from regular Barolo. GD Vajra, Diego Morra, Domenic Clerico and of course GB Burlotto 2020’s all stood out as high class efforts, as did Vietti 2019 (possibly because the grapes are all declassified Barolo….)
2) 2016 was something special. The vast majority of wines on show were from 2018, and the quality for the most part was high (exceptional in many cases) but 2016 has that something extra. The 2016’s on show simply just shone! .... do not miss and showed Nebbiolo at its absolute pinnacle. Giovanni Sordo Rocche di Castiglione, Brezza Bricco Sarmassa, Diego Morra Monvigliero were the highlights and still very much in their juvenile state. They are still cheap for what they offer!
3) Flagship wines generally lived up to the hype. It may sound obvious, but when you taste through a range it is always reassuring when the top name (and most expensive) delivers the goods, and in 2018 Piedmont, they do. Tasting notes like “Jackpot” appear in my notes by Paolo Scavnio’s Bric del Fiasc 2018, Brovia Ca Mia and pretty much everything on show by Pio Cesare (increasingly excited with more exclamation marks as you move up the range).
Finally, a special mention to for ArnaldoRivera, the largest cooperative of growers who have been producing consistently high quality wines in recent years, and whose “Undicicomuni” now boasts a selected blend of 21 plots (up from 16 when I last tasted pre pandemic). I like to think of it as NV champagne and a delight to drink. The single vineyard expressions on show were also stunning, both Rocche dell’Annunziata and Villero 2018’s..very exciting times for the group.
Thank you to Hunt and Speller for organising a well attended and vibrant event, I can’t wait for next year.
And Miles would like to add: there are still many 16s available at initial offer price, this vintage was EPIC and should be in everyone's cellar. Covid helped keep prices down… please load up, you will not be disappointed…. promise!
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by Wine Owners
Posted on 2022-03-09
Like traditional asset classes, the appalling events in Eastern Europe have cast a (tiny) bit of a shadow over the wine market. Unlike traditional asset classes this does not mean prices sharply falling, then rallying, and then yo-yoing up and down, repeating again if necessary, but a much more sedate and sanguine sitting back and taking stock approach. There is no wall of stock flooding the market and buyers have not just suddenly disappeared, they may just be exercising a touch more caution than before the outbreak.
The wine market has been enjoying a really good run for eighteen months or so but the exuberance witnessed in the run up to Christmas has calmed. Indices were still positive in February but trading has slowed a little and the gains are not so pronounced.
Major indices over a one year period:
My feeling is that the wine market has developed so much breadth in the last decade or so that it is less affected by global events than previously. Merchants and market makers are slower to mark down prices than before; they have survived Asian currency crises, the bursting of dot com bubbles and global financial disasters etcetera, etcetera and are better capitalised and have a wider audience. The volume and the diversity of the client base continues to grow which at this point in the wine market’s history is bringing more stability to underlying prices. As an asset class it offers probably better diversification than ever before and may even start to challenge Gold as a safe haven trade. The Kremlin’s gold reserves are well documented, and may be up for sale soon - luckily the same cannot be said about their fine wine holdings!
Factor that in with some supply issues (thinking drought affected Burgundy), supply chain issues (thinking Brexit amongst others), and rising inflation and I think wine is still a good place to be. We would definitely recommend looking out for cut priced opportunities if they arise and there’s certainly no reason to panic. Not yet at least!
And here's a look at the major indices over the last fifteen years: