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Monfortino is at the top of Italy’s new Grand Cru Classification by Gelardini & Romani

Raimondo Romani: “We had hoped it would come to Italy so many years ago. The future is Etna, in the short term, Brunello”
La nuova Classificazione Grand Cru d’Italia by Gelardini & Romani Wine Auction

In order to be able to tell the story of the evolution of Italian wine on the rich - and demanding - fine wine market, we need to take a step back, to when the world of auctions and collecting was almost the exclusive prerogative of the Bordeaux wine brands and, still to a limited extent, of Burgundy. Until a few years ago, the exchange of Italian wines was a rarity, and there were only sporadic noteworthy results. However, as collectors’ and investors’ awareness has grown, the interest and the need to discover new territories and new brands to focus on have also grown. In the beginning, it was the Super Tuscans and Bolgheri - Masseto and Sassicaia, Solaia and Tignanello - then, over the last two years, the Langhe. Liv-ex certified the increase, but it had been outlined, 12 years ago, by the positions resulting from Gelardini & Romani Wine Auction’s first classification of the Italian Grand Crus. It is definitely a reference point and beacon for the secondary market of Italian fine wines in Hong Kong, today more than ever, the hub of International wine collecting.
The classification ranks the topmost prestigious Italian wines on the secondary market for collectible wines. The ranking, three years after the last upgrade, has been remodeled, and it has a new range dedicated to the only wine that has been able to command more than 600 euros per bottle in value: Monfortino.
“When we drew up the first classification, which was conceived 12 years ago, we had hoped that Italian wines would reach this point”, Raimondo Romani, head of the auction house together with Flaviano Gelardini, has already programmed the next auction scheduled for March 21st, told WineNews.
“Today, Italian fine wines are in the portfolio of collectors all over the world, and even if we cannot boast France’s quantities, in terms of values and popularity, we now have a decidedly central role. Our top wine, Giacomo Conterno’s Monfortino, registered a significant increase, + 41% compared to 2018 (when it had registered + 55% compared to 2011). It is a rather interesting case history, because we think that the lack of a structured distribution in Asia is acting as a multiplier effect. It has become the final destination of a large part of the production thanks to the widespread “Monfortino mania”, comparable to the “DRC mania”. Since, however, there are no allocations or importers in Asia, Monfortino has to go through many changes of hands before reaching the final customer, increasing the value at each step along the way. This is somewhat similar to what happened with Masseto 2001, but, in the case of Monfortino, it is difficult to say whether or not it is a strategy of Roberto Conterno, though it is certainly paying off ”, Raimondo Romani continued on saying, “the Asian market wants only the best, and Hong Kong, due to a geopolitical issue, which means that China’s borders are still hermetically closed, is the only safeguard between the West and Beijing, no duties on wine, and exceptional wine culture. It will definitely be confirmed as a country that has a very high-profile consumption and great competence for the next 20 years. This explains the Piedmont upsurge, which is now unlikely to continue at the same pace.
In the future, we expect the current positions of the Super Tuscans (Masseto, Sassicaia, Solaia and Ornellaia, which recorded the highest increase of the quartet at + 17% compared to 2018) to consolidate. There will also be a greater possibility of growth in the next two years for Sangiovese, symbol of Tuscany, such as Brunello di Biondi Santi, Montevertine and Monsanto, and Monfortino that could continue to run, as well as the Reserves of the Producers of Barbaresco, still largely underestimated, compared to the other territorial Piedmont icons, which have already greatly capitalized in recent years. In the long term”, Romani continued, “the only wines that will be able to offer two-zero yields will be the wines of Mount Etna. We, in fact have organized the “Etna Allocation Library” basket for 4 years, which has the dual purpose of supporting Etna wine companies, mostly small dimensions, to create a historical record, and at the same time offer enthusiasts and collectors a simple, tangible and reliable investment tool”.
The Classification of the Grand Cru of Italy 2021 has certified an increase in auction prices, between 2018 and 2020 of + 33%, in the second range, between 500 and 600 euros, Masseto dropped (+ 9%), Brunello Riserva Biondi Santi (+ 44%) and Brunello Riserva Soldera (+ 29%). In the third range, dedicated to wines between 400 and 500 euros, the reserves of Bruno Giacosa (Barbaresco and Barolo) together with Giuseppe Mascarello’s Barolo Monprivato, registered the highest increase of the entire classification, compared to 2018, at +159%, which confirms the positive trend that has driven the extraordinary growth of Piedmont. Then follow the 300/400 euro bands, where ten years ago there were Masseto, Monfortino and Brunello Riserva Biondi Santi, at 200/300 euros and 100/200 euros, where there are three Brunello di Montalcino: Biondi Santi vintage, Poggio di Sotto and Cerretalto di Casanova di Neri. Compared to 2018, the lower range of 50/100 euros, which included Tignanello, Le Pergole Torte and the Chianti Riserva “Il Poggio” by Monsanto, which from 2018 to 2020 have grown, respectively, +39%, +29%, and 53%. Finally, for the first time, two white wines have been included in the classification: Valentini’s Trebbiano (+ 45% compared to 2018) and Gaia e Rey, which means that Gaja is the only company to position three wines in the classification.

Focus - Grand Cru d’Italia Classification by Gelardini & Romani Wine Auction 2021

I - Monfortino

II - Masseto

II - Brunello Riserva Biondi Santi

II - Brunello Riserva Soldera

III - Barolo Riserva Le Rocche del Falletto

III - Barolo Monprivato Mascarello

III - Barbaresco Riserva Giacosa

IV - Barolo Bartolo Mascarello

IV - Amarone Quintarelli

IV - Redigaffi

IV - Amarome dal Forno

V - Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Valentini

V - Barolo Riserva Granbussia A.Conterno

V - Barolo Giuseppe Rinaldi

V - Barbaresco Gaja

V - Sassicaia

V - Barolo Cascina Francia G.Conterno

V - Sperss

V - Le Pergole Torte

VI - Solaia

VI - Gaia and Rey Gaja

VI - Messorio

VI - Brunello Cerretalto Casanova di Neri

VI - Ornellaia

VI - Brunello Poggio di Sotto

VI - Trebbiano Valentini

VI - Brunello Biondi Santi (vintage)

VI - Chianti Riserva Il Poggio Castello di Monsanto

VI - Tignanello

VI - Turriga

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