Investment Tips - Italy - 16. April 2020

Continued Italian Progress: Ornellaia May Become The Next Italian Rocket

Ornellaia has very strong characteristics, but historical price trends and the price trend in the Italy 100 index indicate that Ornellaia has a massive, unresolved potential

Ornellaia - Bordeaux Power In Tuscany

Wine connoisseurs know that if you are looking for great Italian wine, packed with Bordeaux-inspired juices and power Ornellaia is an obvious candidate. Ornellaia is not "just" one of the supertoscans, but one of the absolute greatest. If only a few years ago you were asked which supertoscan is the greatest the answer would probably be Ornellaia. However, the past few years have allowed more limelight for Ornellaia's neighbor, Sassicaia. It has made the ranking among the absolute greatest supertoscans more obscure - solely because Sassicaia has lifted its brand to a new high level, and not because Ornellaia is lacking quality - on the contrary. With vintage 2017 of the house's top wine, Ornalleia has made a hattrick and presented a highly investment-suitable wine with great potential.

Third Time’s A Charm - 2015, 2016 & 2017

From 2015, Tuscany hit a real wave of fantastic weather seen from the winemaker's perspective and one is almost tempted to say: Third time’s a charm. The 2015 harvest was nearly perfect, which of course manifested the region's largest wines. For example, 2015 Solaia was rewarded with the magic 100 points by James Suckling while 2015 Sassicaia was named Wine of the Vintage in 2018 by Wine Spectator. Massetto was also noted with a score of 99 points, also by Suckling. 2016 vintage was almost similar to the 2015 vintage, just a bit colder, which brought other qualities into the wines. As a result of this harvest, Sassicaia was able to obtain a 100-point score from Wine Advocate for their top wine of the same name - and for the first time since the 1985 vintage. At the same time, Ornellaia was able to enjoy a Suckling score of 99 for the house's white wine, Ornellaia Toscana Bianco.

The 2017 vintage was the third strong vintage in the line and although the overall strength of the vintage may not quite match with the previous two, it is nevertheless a vintage that has given the Italian wineries great wines - especially when it comes to Ornellaia.

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia The cellar of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia - here the magic happens

Galloni Prefers Ornellaia From 2017

In 2015, 2016 and 2017 vintage of great supertoscans the competition is fierce, also internally at every wine house. The towering quality of recent vintages is sky high, and wine lovers can explore the potential of these great wines. In the case of Ornellaia, the points over the past three top vintages have been distributed as follows:

VI: Vinous WA: Wine Advocate JS: James Suckling

In addition to the points revealing high quality across all three vintages, one must pay special attention to the points from Vinous. Vinous is a modern wine publication created and driven by Antonio Galloni, considered to be the most important when it comes to Italian wines. It is also Galloni himself who has completed the tastings here and that he gives vintage 2017 higher points than vintage 2016 testifies to the great potential of the vintage. We still benefit from seeing Wine Advocate's criticism just as we currently also only have James Suckling's barrel score, but Galloni's 97 points must be said to be an excellent guideline and we will probably experience that both 2015, 2016 and 2017 will be remembered on an almost equal level - at least when it comes to Ornellaia's top wine.

At The Foot Of The Mountain?

For almost a year, we have been reporting that the Italian top wines are on the rise and in the growing interest there is an exciting potential. However, this is not yet seen on the historical return in the data that is within a time horizon where it is validly assessed

Period2 years *5 years **
Average return8,60%13,46%
Annual Average Return In The Period4,21%2,56%
Based on Liv-ex trade data for vintages 1997-2015 Ornellaia * vintages that have been on the market for at least two years (2001-2015) ** vintages that have been on the market for at least five years (1997-2011)

In this perspective, Ornellaia may seem less attractive, but there is more to this story: While historical returns can be a testimony to the investment potential, the lack of the same, in this case, should rather be seen as an unrealized potential that can be invested in. It looks like this is exactly the case, with the more modest returns in recent years. These must be seen in light of the fact that Italy 100* is the only index that is positive over the past 12 months. At the same time, Italy 100 outperforms another of Liv-ex's important sub-indices, the Champagne 50 from a two-year perspective, and is almost on par with the Burgundy 150! In other words, it can be claimed that while the main Italian benchmark index is on the rise, Ornellaia has not moved accordingly. Thus, it is obvious that Ornellaia is standing at the foot of the mountain for price increases and not a wine that has been run behind. Ornellaia, as mentioned earlier, is certainly not lacking quality.

On the flip side, there are still interesting things to learn from the historical returns. Looking at the past two years, despite global crises such as civil war-like conditions in Hong Kong, international trade war, increased tariffs, Corona crisis, etc., Ornellaia has delivered a return of more than 4 %. As this is substantially below the more than 10 % Italy 100 has given over the same period, one may be tempted to ask if 4 % is the worst-case scenario, is it not a reasonable one?

At least one thing is certain: nothing has changed at Ornellaia; the top wine of the house is sovereign and is still considered one of the largest supertoscans in general. If it follows the developments we have seen in the Italy 100 index, this is a strong addition to the portfolio.

*A sub-index from Liv-ex

Invest in 017 Ornellaia 2017 Ornellaia of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia

RareWine Invest’s Opinion

At RareWine Invest we are extremely positive about the Italian top wines and with Ornellaia it is no different. Ornellaia is one of Italy's biggest wine brands and is waging an unofficial title as the biggest supertoscan. The quality of Ornellaias vintage 2015, 2016 and 2017 is top-notch, but with vintage 2017 you will now have the opportunity to invest in an Ornellaia where the price is as close to the release price as it can come. To stay with the Sassicaia / Ornellaia comparisons, the price is so attractive on Ornellaias vintage 2017, well and physically branded in the market, that it matches the En Primeur price on the 2017 Sassicaia.

We have consistently stated that the Italian top wines are on the rise and we are now starting to see it in the available index data from Liv-ex. Here we find that Italy 100 almost matches the Burgundy 150, the last 24 months. However, similar price increases have not been seen at Ornellaia, giving rise to the idea of ​​whether this supertoscan stands at the foot of the mountain in terms of price increases. Ornellaia has the quality and all other prerequisites to follow suit.

Invest in 2017 Ornellaia and get one of the greatest supertoscans in a strong vintage at a very attractive price. Altogether, this represents a very solid potential, regardless of whether the Italian advance continues at the same pace, decreases or increases further.

Invest in 2017 Ornellaia

Contact us by using the form below if you want to invest or learn more about your possibilities.

2017Ornellaia750OWC6€ 135
*All prices are in EUR ex. customs duty, tax and VAT for delivery to a bonded warehouse. Prices including customs duty, tax and VAT can be sent on request. The wines are only sold in whole cases unless otherwise specified and the price is per bottle. Minimum order size € 2,500. Assumes a total minimum investment of € 10,000. Prices may have changed since release of this article.

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