Super Tuscans: Tignanello off peak


The Tignanello index – which tracks prices for the ten most recent physical vintages – increased by 27.1% in 2016. Over a one year period, it remains the strongest of the Super Tuscan indices. However, so far this year the Tignanello index has slumped while its peers have continued to make gains.

Tignanello generally offers attractively lower prices relative to other major Super Tuscans. Its highest priced recent vintages, the 2004 and 2006 – £1,094 and £1,518 per 12×75 respectively – are priced at around the same level as Sassicaia’s low and mid-priced vintages. However, it appears that buyers previously hunting Tignanello value may now be looking elsewhere.

Of the last ten physical vintages, the 2005 has fallen the most so far this year, down 15.5%. It is closely followed by Tignanello 2004, down 15.3% over the same period. The 2008 has bucked the trend by gaining 13.6%.

Italy’s share of trade by value dipped in 2016 (6.1%), but has bounced back this year and was at 6.5% in February. Sassicaia 2012 and 2013, and Altesino, Brunello Montalcino 2012 were the most active Italian wines last month.

A version of this report was originally sent to Liv-ex members in an email update last week.

Spotlight on… Tignanello


Owner: Marchesi Antinori

Classification: Toscana IGT

Vineyard area: 140 acres (57 hectares)

Colour: Red

Standard blend: 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc.

Average production: 20,000 – 30,000 cases


In 1850 the Antinori family acquired several small farms with vineyards in the Chianti Classico area. These included Paterno, Santa Maria, Poggio Niccolini and 47 hectares at Tignanello, which would go on to become the current Tignanello estate.

During the Second World War in 1943, the family residence at Villa Antinori was damaged and the family moved to the Tignanello estate. However, it wasn’t until 1970 that the first vintage of Tignanello was created, with 20% Canaiolo, 5% Trebbiano and 5% Malvasia alongside Sangiovese. The following year, the blend of Tignanello was not compliant with the rules of Chianti Classico. By the 1975 vintage white grapes were eliminated from its blend altogether.

Because of this, Tignanello was unable to be classified as Chianti Classico DOC and was branded as a table wine for many decades along with a group of other wines including Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Solaia. Together these wines broke away from DOC restrictions and became recognised as a group of high quality non-DOC wines: Super Tuscans.

Chianti Classico DOC has now altered the regulations, allowing Tignanello to label its wine Chianti Classico. However, the winery chose to not use Chianti Classico on the label, and continues to produce under Toscana IGT.

Market Performance

The Tignanello index – which tracks the price movements of the last ten physical vintages – is up 27.1% year-on-year. It has outperformed the Italy 100 index which is up 13.8% over the same period. Tignanello is also the best performing Super Tuscan index year-on-year, while commanding lower Market Prices than others. Second to Tignanello is its sister wine, Solaia, which is up 17.9%.

The best-performing vintages have been the 2006 and 2008 over the past twelve months, up 37.8% and 33.6% respectively. The 2007 followed close behind with a 33.1% increase.


The chart below compares Tignanello Market Prices against their scores from Antonio Galloni. The chart shows that Tignanello follows the traditional price pattern of fine wine: prices rise as the wine gets older and quantities in the market deplete.

Buyers willing to wait might therefore consider the more recent vintages. They are amongst the most highly scored, but their prices are still waiting to catch up with those of their older siblings. For example, the 2007 (AG 95) and 2013 (AG 95) have equal scores but the 2013 is available at a 32.3% discount to the 2007.


Age appears to have more of a direct impact on price than critic scores. When Tignanello Market Prices are plotted against age, the trend line shows a positive exponential correlation. The wines that drift furthest below the trend line are 2009 and 2005. These might be considered undervalued compared to Tignanello vintages around the same age.



Talking Trade: Italy and the USA lead the way


While trade by value declined this week, the overall volume traded increased as buyers focused on more accessibly priced wines. It was another slow week for Bordeaux: the region took a low 56.4% of trade by value. The Fine Wine 50 also dipped slightly (-0.2%), closing Thursday at 337.10.

Despite this, First Growth trade share increased to 17.1% by value. Overall, Haut Brion was the most active, but Lafite Rothschild 2015 was the top individual wine traded.


It was a busy week for wines from a number of Italian regions.  Altesino Brunello Montalcino 2010, Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco 2011 and Sassicaia 2013 were all among the top wines traded.

The USA also saw a solid week, with its trade share at 6.2%. The acclaimed 2012s, which have been compared to Bordeaux 2009 and 2010 in terms of quality, proved popular. 100-point Screaming Eagle 2012 was among the top wines traded by value. Verite Joie 2012 and Verite Desir 2012 also found the bid.


Mouton Rothschild 2002 traded at £3,925 per 12×75 this week, just £25 below its previous all-time high of £3,950. Its latest trade price represents an increase of 36.5% on the beginning of the year.


Looking for weekend reading? This week, Liv-ex published a second blog on Lafite –  Quantifying Lafite’s brand value. You can also view blogs on the Liv-ex members’ survey Fine wine merchants underestimate price rises in 2016 and read about Burgundy – highest risers.

“Superstar” Masseto 2013 released

Masseto 2013

Masseto 2013 has been released and is being offered from around £4,000 per 12×75 to those lucky enough to have secured an allocation.

As the chart above shows, it is available at a similar or slightly lower level to other recent vintages currently in the market. Vintages from 2008 and earlier command more of a price premium.

The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner commented that “the 2013 Masseto is shaping up to be a super star” and scored it 95-97 points. James Suckling was also impressed with the wine, calling it “so gorgeous and persistent. It goes on for minutes.” He awarded it 98 points.

Liv-ex releases the 2015 Power 100

In conjunction with The Drinks Business, Liv-ex has released the tenth edition of the Liv-ex Power 100 – the annual list of the most powerful brands in the fine wine market.

The Drinks Business’s full report on this year’s Power 100 has been published in the magazine’s December edition.

Key findings this year:

  • Mouton Rothschild took the top spot in the 2015 table, following two years when the Bordeaux First Growths conceded first place to other wines. With good scores across all four categories, it was boosted by the value and volume of trade it saw on Liv-ex.
  • All Bordeaux First Growths, apart from Latour, rose up the table this year, with Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion and Margaux seeing positive year-on-year price movements.
  • The highest new entrants this year were from Burgundy: the wines of Coche Dury entered the table at number 18, and Lambrays at number 59.
  • Sassicaia was the most traded wine by volume, and the only wine from outside Bordeaux to fall among the top ten wines traded by value.
  • California continues to be a rising star, with two wines from Napa Valley seeing the best year-on-year price performance: Scarecrow and Screaming Eagle. They rose 19.9% and 15.1% respectively, with Scarecrow making its debut in the list at number 83.
  • Angelus and Pavie continue to see the benefits of the 2012 St Emilion Re-Classification, coming in 4th and 5th
  • Buyer diversification continues, with the variety of wines and vintages traded wider than ever before. 166 wines qualified for the ranking this year: an increase of 10% on 2014.

To calculate the scores, we took a list of all wines that traded on Liv-ex in the last year (1stSeptember 2014 – 31st August 2015) and grouped these by brand. We then identified brands that had traded a minimum of three wines or vintages and a total trade value of at least £10,000. Brands were ranked using four criteria: year on year price performance, trading performance on Liv-ex (value and volume traded), the number of different wines and vintages traded, and average price.

The main change we made to this year’s methodology is that we removed scores. With so many wines trading – and from so many different regions – it was becoming impossible to include scores on a like-for-like basis, and the number of critics we had to include was increasing. To keep the consistency of the ranking we removed them.

The individual rankings were then combined with a weighting of 1 for each criteria, except trading performance which had a weighting of 1.5 (as it combined two criteria: value and volume traded). The final 100 brands accounted for over 1,750 unique wines/vintages traded in the past year.

Below are the results in full for the 2015 Liv-ex Power 100. For the purpose of comparing against 2014 on a like-for-like basis, we have recalculated 2014’s ranking incorporating the new methodology.

Liv-ex 2015 Power 100

Italy: Storming ahead

In August Italy overtook Burgundy to become the second most traded regional group of wines – after Bordeaux – so far in 2015. As of the end of October, its average monthly share (year to date) is 7.1%. This is a steady increase on previous years: in 2014, it represented 5.1% of activity by value. Back in 2010, it accounted for just 0.9%.

Although Italy’s relative importance on the secondary market can partly be accounted for by Bordeaux’s decline, activity for Italian wines has also been increasing in absolute terms: value traded so far in 2015 is already up 34% on last year’s total. In 2015 so far, 132 brands and 262 individual wines from 22 vintages have traded. Activity is dominated by the youngest wines: 80.1% of value traded has been for the 2009-12 vintages; less than 6% is from those older than 2006.

The table below shows the top ten Italian brands traded this year by value. All but one of these are from Tuscany, with popular Super Tuscan labels dominating. By far the most active is Sassicaia, which has been boosted by trade for its 2010, 2011 and 2012 vintages. Brunello di Montalcino – which saw a flurry of activity for its acclaimed 2010 vintage towards the beginning of the year – is represented by Argiano. Just one label from Piemonte, which produces much lower volumes than Tuscany, features: Gaja, Sori San Lorenzo.

Italians traded

While Italy’s trade share has been growing, its benchmark index – the Italy 100 – has also been edging up: it has gained 22.4% over the past five years. (By way of comparison, the Bordeaux 500 Index has fallen 4.8% over the same period).

The chart below compares the relative performances of five Super Tuscan indices, which represent the price movements of their brands’ ten most recent physical vintages. Masseto has outperformed its peers over five years, gaining 56%. The more accessibly priced Tignanello has been the second best performer: it has climbed 40.2%. Only Solaia has lagged behind, falling 16.9%.


In the balance

Regional trade shares

In 2010, as the fine wine bull market neared its peak, Bordeaux accounted for 95.7% of trade by value on Liv-ex. It was the year of the 2009 En Primeur release, and that vintage alone accounted for 13.2% of trade. Other regions barely registered: Champagne, the second strongest, took just 1.2%.

Bordeaux trade has been in steady decline since then. Pushed out by unsustainably high prices, buyers sought value from other regions. The market shares of regions beyond Bordeaux have grown substantially since 2010, with Champagne, Italy and the Rest of the World particularly leaping ahead in 2015 to so far account for 6.1%, 6.9% and 4.6% respectively.

As shown above, Bordeaux’s current market share of 74.2% is now back to 2004 levels, before the bull market began. There is little doubt that the emergence of mainland Chinese demand led to a bubble in Bordeaux prices. When viewed purely in terms of market share, one could say that bubble is now well and truly behind us. Buyers have broadened their interests – and the market looks more balanced.

Tignanello: recent vintage value


In November’s Cellar Watch Market report (which is accessible to all for one month only), Tignanello featured in both the table of major market movers and the table of top traded Italian wines in October: the price of its 2011 vintage gained 13% while its 2009 took 4.2% of Italy’s trade share. With buyers showing interest in this Super Tuscan, where does the value lie amongst the vintages?

As the chart above shows, the most recent vintages are amongst the most highly scored – but their prices are still waiting to catch up with their older siblings. At the same time, a look at stock availability on Liv-ex reveals a noticeable correlation between the age of the wine and volumes, with little stock available of the older vintages.

The 2007 has a score of 95 from Antonio Galloni and a Market Price of £750 per 12×75. The 2011 and 2012 – the cheapest Tignanello vintages available on the market – are also scored 95 but are available at £530 and £500 respectively: discounts of around 30%. These recent vintages may therefore look favourable to buyers – while they are still readily available.

Solaia 2012 released


Solaia 2012 is the latest in a flurry of new releases after estates including Masseto and Opus One released last week. It is being offered by merchants at £1,272 per 12×75, placing it just below the average price of recent vintages. As the chart above shows, the 2010 – offered at the same price but with a higher critic score – appears to offer relative value.

Both Antonio Galloni and James Suckling have praised the quality of the 2012. Galloni commented that “the style is all about grace and finesse” (94 points) while Suckling commented: “The finesse and depth to this red is stunning.” (97 points). Both agree that the wine needs a couple of years before opening.

Cellar Watch September 2015 Market Report released

The Cellar Watch September Market Report has been released. Containing all the latest Liv-ex research and analysis, this month's issue includes:  

  • Record exposure on the Liv-ex Exchange
  • Fine wine market holds steady
  • Chart of the month: Haut Brion and Mouton Rothschild push ahead
  • James Suckling on the Super Tuscans
  • Final Thought: Bordeaux – on the move

Please log in to the Cellar Watch website and find the full report in Market Reports under the Cellar Tools tab. Those who have not yet subscribed to Cellar Watch can view the first page of the report here.