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TRENDS

The exploit of the Langa labels (which “beat” Tuscany 8-6) in the Liv-ex Power 100

Giorgio Rivetti: “a result shared with an entire territory. It is the recognition of the work from the vineyard to the construction of the brand”

The 2021 “Power 100” of Liv-ex, the ranking of the best performing labels on the secondary market of fine wines according to the reference index of every collector and investor in the sector (100 million euros in daily offer value pass through here, and it is here that the quotations are made, in real time, of over 16,000 labels from every corner of the world), has redrawn the balance between the different wine regions. Italy, after the exploit of 2020, remains the protagonist, with 14 wines in the ranking and a different geographical distribution, which rewards Piedmont: in the natural turnover between labels, the exit of the Tuscan Tua Rita, Casanova di Neri, Poggio di Sotto and Fontodi (in addition to Quintarelli, Luciano Sandrone and Vietti), is counterbalanced by the return in “Power 100” of Langa griffes such as Comm. G.B. Burlotto, Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio, Giuseppe Rinaldi and Giorgio Rivetti’s La Spinetta.

All four of them are among the “Top 10 biggest risers in the top 100”: Giuseppe Rinaldi, who climbed 111 places from 171 to 60, Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio, from 207 to 82, 125, Comm. G.B. Burlotto, at position 26 from 187 in 2020, 161, and La Spinetta, now at position 40 and a year ago at 234, even 194. Only Emmanuel Rouget (Burgundy) has done better: 205 positions climbed in one year, from 249 to 44. This sudden growth has led to Piedmontese labels “beating” (8-6) those of Tuscany, and gaining consensus among investors, in terms of volumes and values moved, average price, price variation and number of individual wines (labels and vintages) on the market.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a real boom in the secondary market for fine wines from the Langa, because it is a channel where you can find old vintages and all kinds of brands”, Giorgio Rivetti, head of La Spinetta, told WineNews. “Certainly, in order to achieve results like that, a lot of work needs to be done on brand building, going beyond the scores, creating a synergy between importers, great restaurants and top-level wine lovers. The market is sovereign, it decides freely, but I am happy for Piedmont, because Nebbiolo, Barbaresco and Barolo have guaranteed uniqueness and quality for many years, and finally the wine world is realising this. It's the success of a territory, of a vine and of the farming culture that knows how to put them into a system”.

An important, but not critical, aspect concerns the final destination of the bottles contracted and purchased every day on the secondary market. “I hope that those who approach our wines do so with the desire to drink them, or to keep them in the cellar, but always with the aim of opening them and enjoying them. I hope they don’t make too many trips, because the bottles all leave from our cellar, so they are tracked and safe, but if they travel around the world there is some risk”, continues Giorgio Rivetti. “This is a market in which it is important to stay with the old vintages, something that was once normal among the great Barolo producers, and which we are returning to by keeping 25% of each vintage in the cellar since 2003: if we producers don't do it, no one can”. Moreover, La Spinetta’s rise to the top of the Liv-ex, the litmus test for the market, “is recognition of the work of the whole of Piedmont’s wine industry, because we are not alone, and indeed the presence of Piedmontese wines is massive both in quantity and in different declinations, thus proving to be a reward for the complexity of our territory and therefore the sub-zones, which we have built up with a great team effort”, concludes Giorgio Rivetti.

It is also interesting to note that the market share of the different types of wine varies according to the country of reference: Tuscan wines are worth 9% of the UK secondary market, compared to 5% for Piedmontese wines, but the most rewarding is undoubtedly the USA, where Tuscany is worth 12% of investments and Piedmont 13%, while in Asia - where Tuscany is worth 3% of the market and Piedmont just 2% - there is still a long way to go. Europe deserves a special mention, as it invests practically only in Bordeaux, which accounts for 72% of the market, forcing all the others into minority shares, ranging from 6% of Tuscan wines to 2% of Piedmontese wines.

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