Investment Tips - Champagne - 26. April 2022

Latest Release: 2014 Bollinger Grande Année Triumphs At The Champagne Top

Sky-high scores, impressive Grande Année returns and champagne drought in the horizon. Invest in the latest release of Bollinger's prestige cuvée

“I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty.” – Madame Lily Bollinger 

Bollinger's Latest Prestige Strike

The above quote can be applied to today's wine lovers' appreciation of - and demand for - Champagne. When there is Champagne in the air, there is trading. We are experiencing this at RareWine Invest, and so is the rest of the world.   

The 2014 vintage of Bollinger's Grande Année has now been released, and we can already reveal that this will be a benchmark vintage for the Champagne house. This investment tip is all about a fantastic release, solid returns on predecessors, and an impending Champagne drought.   

A Champagne House. Madame Bollinger. A World Success

The Bollinger Champagne house was founded in 1585, and after the first two centuries, when Hennequin de Villermont, Paul Levieux Renaudin and Jacques Bollinger founded the house of Ranaudin Bollinger in 1829, the house had grown from its baby phase.   

However, it would be another century before the house really caught the eyes of the world for its bubbly quality. And this was due to one woman in particular. Her name was Emily Law de Lauriston Boubers (Lily Bollinger). She married into the Bollinger family, and after her husband's death in 1942, she dedicated herself to Champagne promotion. She expanded the business and travelled the world. She made Bollinger a world success. 

Bond Boosts Awareness Of Bollinger

Success does not come by itself. First comes the product, which must contain large amounts of quality. Next comes marketing. Marketing is key, which is why it is a stroke of genius that Bollinger has become synonymous with James Bond since 1973. And who would not want to drink the same as the world's most popular super spy?  

Bollinger Grande Année Bollinger Grande Année

Prestige Cuvée Grande Année

Today Bollinger is particularly famous for the prestige cuvée Grande Année, the single-brand champagne V.V.F (Vieilles Vignes Françaises) and the exclusive, late disgorged Bollinger R.D. (Récemment Dégorgé). The former is the protagonist of the present investment tip, and it is produced only in vintages where quality allows.  

It is difficult to distinguish between the above versions in terms of quality, as all are placed at the absolute top of Champagne. And this 2014 Bollinger Grande Année even breaks the Vinous record.   

The Champagne Guru Praises The 2014 Bollinger La Grande Année

Richard Juhlin is well versed in the world's sparkling Champagne landscape. That is why it pays to be attentive when he delivers his verdict. He awards 96 points to the 2014 Bollinger Grande Année. Wine Advocate gives 95 points, and Vinous awards a formidable 98 points, which across the three scores gives an average of 96.3 points.    

This has only been surpassed once - in the 2008 vintage (96.7 points across the above critics), which stands as both a sublime and legendary vintage in Champagne.   

What is particularly interesting is that Juhlin also awarded 96 points to the Grande Années 2008 vintage. The same is the case with the 2002 and 1996 vintages, which also stand as flagship vintages in Champagne. 2014 Bollinger Grande Année is thus, according to Juhlin, playing with the greatest.   

Add to this that Vinous has never awarded 98 points or more to a Bollinger Grande Année. And that the drinking window does not actually begin until 2024 and lasts until 2044: "In fact, it is one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting [...] I can't recommend the 2014 highly enough. It's a total knock-out", says Antonio Galloni of Vinous. 

Champagne Drought

A pandemic shook the world, and Champagne did not go free. Today, Champagne is harder to come by and, according to the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), demand for Champagne fell in 2020 in response to Covid. This meant that sales in 2020 fell by 18 % in volume terms, compared to the previous year.  

Fortunately, the grip of the pandemic was loosened, and by the end of 2020, demand for the bubbly wine was on the rise again. This trend continued into 2021, bringing price increases and record returns for investors, but a new challenge emerged. The CIVC sets an annual limit on how much Champagne can be produced. In response to falling demand, they reduced Champagne production by 25% in 2020 compared to 2019.  

This reduction in production cannot just be changed overnight and reduced production and increasing demand through 2021 has created an imbalance between demand and supply. Furthermore, supply issues have affected virtually everyone, meaning that even if production could simply be increased, shortages of glass and packaging, for example, are creating major challenges for producers. Gabe Barkley, CEO of the LMVH Group, predicts that reduced production will affect the market for many years to come. 

Read our analysis of the wine market here

How Bollinger La Grande Année Has Performed At Rarewine Invest

Bollinger is an old and welcome acquaintance at RareWine Invest. The first time we offered Bollinger Grande Année for investment was back in September 2019 with the 2008 vintage. Those who invested then have achieved a return of a whopping 88.9 % - a remarkable result in less than three years.  

In July 2020, we could offer the 2012 Bollinger Grande Année for investment. If you invested then, today you would have achieved a return of 26.6 %. Champagne supply per vintage is reducing rapidly as there is no significant hunting tradition. When supply is low and demand is high, this will be reflected in the price, which is probably one of the reasons for the strong champagne returns.   

The above returns are not to be mistaken. And the 2014 Bollinger Grande Année has got off to a dream start with great scores that place it right after the very best 2008 vintage.   

Add to this the fact that the Champagne 50 sub-index at Liv-ex had a record 40 % rise in 2021, driven in particular by rising prices for great champagnes - including Bollinger's 2005 Grande Anné.

RareWine Invest's Opinion

2014 has joined the exclusive club of the house's best vintages, which counts only a few others. Bollinger is among the world's best Champagne houses, and therefore they guarantee quality. However, the 2014 Bollinger Grande Annèe has placed itself just level above its predecessors (besides the sublime 2008 vintage), which makes this case more than interesting.   

Furthermore, returns on previous vintages of Bollinger Grande Année under the management of RareWine Invest validate the potential of Bollinger. The impending Champagne drought does not diminish this potential, as it is likely to intensify demand - especially for mature vintages.    

There are indications that future drought has already pushed demand up. Certainly, we are seeing massive interest when Champagne is available for investment. We therefore recommend acting quickly if you have an interest in the latest release Bollinger Grade Année from 2014. 

Invest In 2014 Bollinger La Grande Année

Contact us via the contact form at the bottom of the page if you want to know more about your investment options or order the wines directly through the form.

2014Bollinger La Grande Anné750OC6€ 115
*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. Reservations are made for errors.

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