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Allegrini 2018
FINE WINES

Liv-ex Classification 2019: Masseto, Biondi Santi and Bruno Giacosa at the top

On the new classification of the secondary market’s benchmark collectibles, Italian wines increased to 39 (from 9)

The idea came from James Miles and Justin Gibbs, two London brokers, and wine aficionados, as a start up back in 2000. Their goal was to make the fine wine market transparent, efficient and secure, Liv-ex, which has been the reference point for wine merchants all over the world for years. Quotations, performances, news, everything starts from here, through the analysis of the trends of thousands of wines (in 2018 there were 6.122 wines, including the different vintages,). Since 2009, the wines have been collected in a classification that follows the most prestigious one of all, Bordeaux 1855, and just like then there are five classes, divided by price brackets. The classification is revised and updated every two years, opening its doors to more and more wines. Indeed, ten years ago the only index was Bordeaux, now, however, the Liv-ex 2019 Classification, as Liv-ex told WineNews, has gathered together 349 wines from nine different countries: Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United States. In the first category, which considers wines that cost from 2.877 Sterling pounds per case (strictly 12 bottles, ed.) upwards, there are 77 wines (31 wines in 2017), of which three are Italian (Bruno Giacosa Barolo Vigna Rocche Riserva at 5.923 Sterling pounds, Masseto at 5.517 pounds and Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino Reserve at 3.583 pounds), 14 from Bordeaux, 44 from Burgundy, 7 from Champagne, two from Australia, two from the Rhone, one from Spain and four from the United States.
The historical leader of Italian winemaking on the Liv-ex, where among the 39 Italian wines Gaja boasts seven (Sorì Tildin, Sorì San Lorenzo, Costa Russi, Gaia & Rey, Sperss, Langhe Conteisa and Barbaresco), Antinori three wines (Tignanello, Solaia and Guado al Tasso), Casanova di Neri (Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto and Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova), Bruno Giacosa (Barolo Vigna Rocche Riserva and Barolo Falletto), Brovia (Barolo Rocche Castiglione and Barolo Brea Vigna Ca' Mia) and Elio Grasso two (Barolo Gavarini Chiniera and Barolo Ginestra Casa Mate), is Masseto, which for years has been one of the wines commanding the highest quotations on the secondary market of fine wines, where today Italian wines play a major role . “It is the sign of the excellent state of the art of Italian wine”, Giovanni Geddes de Filicaja, CEO of Masseto, commented to WineNews, “both from the point of view of quality and, above all, image, because if a wine is not known, quality becomes intangible. Growth has been continuous for years on the Liv-ex, which, however, also needs to be interpreted. It is British, always French oriented, and until a few years ago the only Italian wines were Tignanello, Masseto, Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Solaia. The fact that new wines have entered the index is very interesting and it is also because of the renown Italian wines have achieved on various markets, from the United States to China. Additionally, Hong Kong, since taxes have been eliminated, has become the gateway to the Chinese market for wines from around the world, in spite of the recent tight controls. The growth of Italian wine in general, which represents 11% of the Liv-ex Classification wines, gives us enormous pleasure”, added Geddes de Filicaja, “and also makes us feel less alone”.
Biondi Santi, the Brunello di Montalcino brand and one of the historic Italian wine companies, which has a unique heritage of old vintages, has made an enormous leap forward, thanks to a long-term strategy that, however, has given its first important fruits in a relatively short time. “It is an extraordinary and unexpected result, which has brought us once again into the elite of the best wines in the world”, Giampiero Bertolini, CEO of Biondi Santi, told WineNews, “very quickly and thanks to two important aspects. The first is the consistency of the Biondi Santi family in creating this icon, which we, as an EPI group, have inherited. We still talk about the wines Franco Biondi-Santi made with coherence and discipline, so first of all it is recognizing the work of the family. The other important factor for me is linked to a more selective distribution, which in two years has put Brunello di Biondi Santi back into the hands of the right traders and consumers around the world. Today it is where it deserves to be, one of the best wines in the world, and rightly so, if you think that the 1955 vintage is considered among the 12 best wines of the last century. The project "La Storica” fits right into this context through which we will trace and guarantee that all Reserves coming out of our cellar will bear a mention on the label certifying that the bottle came out, at that precise moment, from the cellar. Counting 39 wines on the Liv-ex”, concluded Bertolini, “is an extraordinary fact, which gives us an important message - we must continue to work on value, which is the winning strategy to carry forward, and it is the tangible sign that we are doing well”.
Focusing on the “Liv-ex Classification 2019” regarding Italy, 39 wines have been classified, of which 30 are new entries. We already mentioned the first category above; while in the second category (between 792 and 2.876 pounds) there are 23 wines, which represent 14% of the turnover of the entire category (counting 161 wines from all over the world). In order of quotation: Gaja Sorì Tildin (2.691 pounds), Gaja Sorì San Lorenzo (2.485 pounds), Gaja Costa Russi (2.412 pounds), Barolo Bartolo Mascarello (2.229 pounds), Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto Casanova di Neri (2.080 pounds), Solaia (1.938 pounds), Gaja Gaia & Rey (1.824 pounds), Amarone Romano Dal Forno (1.823 pounds), Gaja Sperss (1.660 pounds), Barolo Cascina Francia Giacomo Conterno (1.547 pounds), Sassicaia (1.527 pounds), Redigraffi Tua Rita (1.403 pounds), Ornellaia (1.327 pounds), Brunello Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Casanova di Neri (1.221 pounds), Langhe Conteisa Gaja (1.217 pounds), Messorio Macchiole (1.162 pounds), Barolo Falletto Bruno Giacosa (1.143 pounds), Barbaresco Gaja ( 1.122 pounds), Pergolas Torte Montevertine (1.110 pounds), Rampolla Alceo (1.060 pounds), Brunello di Montalcino Poggio di Sotto (983 pounds), Apparita Castello di Ama (979 pounds) and Barolo Vigne Luciano Sandrone (959 pounds).
Continuing on to the third category (between 504 and 791 pounds per case), there is the favorite wine of the British prime minister Boris Johnson, Tignanello (769 pounds), then Barolo Rocche Castiglione Brovia (651 pounds), Barolo Ginestra Case Mate Elio Grasso (638 pounds), Guado al Tasso Antinori (630 pounds), Barolo Gavarini Chiniera Elio Grasso (604 pounds), Petrolo Galatrona (583 pounds), Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve (576 pounds) and Brunello of Montalcino Valdicava (536 pounds). In the fourth category (between 360 and 503 pounds), Saffredi Pupille (481 pounds), Brunello di Montalcino Conti Costanti (466 pounds) and Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia Brovia (407 pounds). Finally, in the fifth and last category (between 288 and 359 pounds per case), Barolo Castiglione Vietti (327 pounds) and Ornellaia Serre Nuove (305 pounds).
Taking a global look at the “Liv-ex Classification 2019”, there is the new addition of two categories dedicated to white wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy. Summarizing the composition of the classification, the total of 349 wines can be broken down as follows: 77 wines in the first category, 161 in the second, 50 in the third, 37 in the fourth and 24 wines in the fifth. Further, there are 130 wines from Bordeaux, 102 from Burgundy, 39 as we mentioned, from Italy, 25 from the Rhône, 18 from Champagne, 10 from Australia and the USA, 6 from Portugal, 4 from Spain and one each from Alsace, Argentina, Chile, Germany and the Loire. The top ten of the most expensive bottles, and not according to online research or prices in e-shops, but on the real secondary market, where the top wine merchants operate, all registered and affiliated with Liv-ex, is dominated by Burgundy. In the number one position, of course, Romanée-Conti Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (235.734 pounds) followed by Domaine Leroy Musigny (123,754 pounds), La Tache Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (46,120 pounds), Domaine Leroy Latricieres Chambertin (32.590 pounds), Richebourg Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (29.085 pounds) and Georges Roumier Chambolle Musigny Amoureuses (28.833 pounds). Then, in positions number 7 and 8 two Bordeaux wines, Pin (27.174 pounds) and Petrus (26.431 pounds), at number 9, from California, Screaming Eagle (26.147 pounds) and number 10 Burgundy again, with Romanée Saint Vivant Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (23.314 pounds).

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