Investment Tips - Italy - 12. February 2021

Keep An Eye On This One: The Super Tuscan Ornellaia Is Thriving

With a 6th place on the 2020 Power 100 list and an attractive price-quality ratio, Ornellaia is one of the particularly exciting Italian investment wines at the moment

Italy On The Move In 2020 And Ornellaia Should Not Be Overlooked

Every year, the UK wine exchange Liv-ex compiles a list of the "Power 100" wines of the year. The list is based on four criteria, including annual price development and trading volume, both in terms of value and volume, giving a good indication of what is going on in the Fine & Rare market.

The big headline on Liv-ex's 2020 Power 100 is the Italian Rise, which endorses what we have been preaching for a long time.

The current list, published in the second week of January 2021, contains no less than 17 Italian wines, of which no less than five top Italian wines are all in the top 20. Solaia is the only one outside the top ten being placed as number 13 out of 100 on the list. The remaining four are all within the top 10, with Gaja and Sassicaia as no. 3 and 4. However, it is particularly interesting to observe that Ornellaia is in 6th place, ahead of its big brother Masseto in 9th. And Ornellaia is particularly interesting at the moment with the latest vintage released, where price and quality are in a particularly attractive ratio. A fact that could indicate that Ornellaia could become the next Italian rocket.

The 2020 Power list merely underlines what we have been observing in the market for some time. According to Liv-ex, the market share of Italian wines in the Fine & Rare segment has risen from 8.8% in 2019 to 15.1% in 2020, filling a whopping 17.2% in January 2021.

Positive Synergy Among The Italian Super Wines

Ornellaia from the Bolgheri area is not exactly a new name on the huge Italian wine scene and has long been famous for great Bordeaux-inspired wines. In addition to being among the five prestigious super Tuscans * but is also a part of a positive synergy where it has Sassicaia as a neighbour and Masseto, the second great wine from the Ornellaia producer (and the most expensive Super Tuscan). Together they make sure to increase interest and demand for the Italian Supervines.

All three above mentioned wines are from Bolgheri, and are in the top 10 on the Power-100 list. This actually means that Bolgheri is the best represented region on the list ahead of the mastodons Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux. Are you curious about what is happening in Bolgheri these years, then click here and read more about Bolgheris rise to fame.

The producer behind Ornellaia was originally called Tenuta dell’Ornellaia but has been called Ornellaia e Masseto since 2012, in order to reflect the house's two flagships better - but today Ornellaia has truly become a wine worth investing in, with the 2017 vintage showing increased potential.

*Sassicaia, Solaia, Ornellaia, Tignanello, Masseto are the original Super Tuscans.

Sassicaia Shows The Way

The Italian superstar Sassicaia has become an Italian darling and has been a front runner in the rise of Italian wines. For example, the price of the 2016 Sassicaia has risen from €210 in summer 2019 to €250 today (+19 %).

What is interesting here is that Ornellaia and Sassicaia have comparable characteristics in many ways. The domains are neighbours and both have some of the best terroirs in Bolgheri and while about 200,000 bottles are produced from Sassicaia per year, Ornallaia produces about 140,000 bottles. In both cases, these are relatively limited quantities, seen in relation to the status of the coveted and affordable Italian top wines. However, it becomes particularly interesting when you compare the price and quality of these two wines. Here, an untapped potential of Ornellaia becomes apparent. Below are the average scores and the price:

201897,0 / € 15597,3 / Not released
201794,7 / € 15096,7 / € 145
201698,0 / € 25097,3 / € 155
201596,7 / € 19596,3 / € 145
201493,0 / € 15093,3 / € 125
201395,7 / € 17096,7 / € 145
201293,7 / € 16095,0 / € 135
Average scores across Vinous, Wine Advocate and James Suckling. Prices without duty, VAT and tax, for wines in perfect condition and whole boxes

In five out of the last seven years the wine critiscs have given Ornellaia higher scores than Sassicaia. Only Sassicaias with two sublime vintages, namely 2015 and 2016, cannot even Ornellaia keep up with. At the same time, the price of a bottle of Sassicaia is generally considerably higher than a bottle of Ornellaia, which, in relation to quality, indicates an untapped potential in Ornellaia.

Whether Ornellaia will regain the throne as king among the Super Tuscans can only be revealed by time, but in this perspective, a worst-case scenario would be that Sassicaia would continue to act as spearhead and pave the way for the Italian great wines. And the table above clearly shows the way.

Why The 2017 Ornellaia?

You should choose to invest in 2017 Ornellaia if you also believe in the future of the greatest Italian wines, and if you believe in Ornellaia as a case that besides seeming cheap compared to the quality, belongs at the top of Italian wine.

In addition to the fact that 2017 Ornellaia is one of the estate’s top vintages. The 2017 vintage is also the latest release of Ornellaia, which means that you can both secure large quantities, and at a price that has not yet increased, which gives your investment the best possible starting point.

That being said, the 2017 vintage is on its last, as the 2018 vintage is just around the corner. Under normal circumstances, Ornellaia will be released during the spring. With the 2018's towering scores, Ornellaia's 6th place on the 2020 Power 100 list and the generally increased Italian interest, all indications are that 2018 Ornellaia will be released at an unprecedented high price - something that can have beneficial effect on all other vintages of Ornellaia.

Italian Guarantor Of Value-For-Money Investment

The investment-friendly Italian wines generally deliver great investment potential at a very attractive price. There are in many ways still distance to the great French icons, and especially the price difference between the best French and best Italian wines is noticeable.

Although the interest for the world's most expensive wines is on the rise, there is also a huge wine-drinking segment for the wines from the second top shelf, including Ornellaia. After all, the best Super Tuscans are strong value-for-money investments.

RareWine Invest’s Opinion

Ornellaia is one of the five original Super Tuscans, which in good vintages makes it self-evident to the status of investment-worthy.

We have long predicted a bright future for the Italian top wines and the development in 2020, with Liv-ex's Power 100 list and drastically increasing market shares for these, the potential is starting to show for real. The Italian top wines offer an attractive alternative to the expensive French icons and will continue to do so, even if prices rise considerably.

As one of the Super Tuscans, Ornellaia is a wine you cannot overlook, and it is without a doubt that Ornellaia will also play an important role in the future. The 2017 vintage seems in every way to be a good entrance to Ornellaia or the Super Tuscans in general, with a particular attractive price-quality ratio and a new great vintage just around the corner, which in all likelihood will be released at a record high price.

One has to ask oneself whether one believes in the future of Italian top wines and whether one believes that mature Ornellaia will be attractive to future wine drinkers?

The answers seem quite simple.

Invest in 2017 Ornellaia

Contact us using the contact form at the bottom of the page to find out more about your investment opportunities or to order the wines directly using the form.

2017Ornellaia750OWC6€ 145
*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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