Market Analysis - Burgundy - 26. July 2023

Top 5 Burgundy Investments Of The Last Five Years

Triple-digit returns reflect the Burgundian wine journey of half a decade, and prominent producers have taken a heavy stake in the throne. See the list here...

Burgundy: Attractive Wine Mecca Has Seen Significant Returns

Burgundy is, first and foremost, a region in France. But Burgundy is also synonymous with the exclusive and massively sought-after wines that carefully trickle out of the area - especially from the best vineyards that only a few producers can call 'home.' Burgundy has always been the hotbed of the art of winemaking, and naturally, the attention of the world's wine lovers has turned to Francophile Burgundy in recent years.

That's why the Burgundy category for investment purposes has also performed tremendously well over the past five years at RareWine Invest, led by the most prominent names, and we are particularly pleased about that to this day. When everyone else was recommending Bordeaux, we went against the flow back in 2016 and recommended Burgundy as the primary region in our portfolio recommendations - with massive returns as a result.

Below we have compiled the Top-5 best performing Burgundy investments, all of which have in common that they have been in a portfolio under management through RareWine Invest for the past five years, meaning that the highly acclaimed 2019 vintage is not yet included in the list.  

It is worth noting that wines that have not been under administration for five years are not included in the list, including several of the wines from Arnoux-Lachaux that, in some cases, have delivered returns of more than 1,000% in less than five years.

2014 Domaine Leroy - Vosne-Romanée Genaivrières: +503%

Madame Lalou-Bize Leroy has rightly been nicknamed the Queen of Burgundy. One of the most influential producers over the decades, she is deservedly considered the most powerful woman in the beautiful world of wine. Despite the fact that Madame Leroy, at the time of writing, is 91 years old, she is stronger than ever. Few are privileged to get close to the regent's wine because the supply is microscopic - and the price is sky-high: But the world wants Leroy.

Domaine Leroy has 1.2 hectares of the village vineyard Genaivrières in Vosne-Romanée, from which they produced 3,400 bottles in the 2014 vintage. A village wine is usually in the slipstream of the grand and premier cru appellations, but this one scored 95 points from Vinous, 90-92 points from Wine Advocate, and 92 from Burghound, giving its superiors a run for their money. Lalou-Bize Leroy has made a name for herself because she mesmerizes with her wine skills. Today, when you see Leroy on a bottle, there is inherent demand and no price ceiling in sight - which is why we've seen a massive return on this one of 503% in five years - a 41% annualized return.

2015 Domaine Leroy - Nuits-Saint-Georges: +372%

Another Leroy wine found its way to the top of this list: the village wine 2015 Nuits-Saint-Georges. Due to low yields in 2015, Madame Leroy gathered grapes from Aux Allots, Aux Laviéres, and Bas de Combe. These plots total 1.36 hectares, of which Leroy can produce a maximum of 8,150 bottles. Vinous and Wine-Advocate awarded 92 points and Burghound 90 points to the 2015 Leroy Nuits-Saint-Georges, which has increased 372% in the last five years, corresponding to an annual return of 36%.

One of the apparent reasons for the triple-digit Leroy returns is her worldwide fame and the fact that her wines have become valuable collectors' items. But fame can rarely stand alone, and in this case, it's also worth pointing out that the above scores are phenomenal when it comes to village wine. Leroy thus cements that she has mastered her craft - hence massive demand - thus significant price increases.

2007 Armand Rousseau - Mazy-Chambertin: +335%

Armand Rousseau is an iconic domain in Burgundy, and they are solidly among equals in the world's wine elite. The wines from Rousseau are in high demand, and nowadays, it's not a question of whether a Rousseau investment is a good idea - but rather whether it's even possible to get anywhere near the scarce bottles.

Domaine Armand Rousseau has a sublime collection of vineyards, including several with grand cru classification. This gives them optimal conditions to deliver unique results. And they do. Year after year. The domain chases the perfect wine, and the wine connoisseurs chase Rousseau.

Armand Rousseau's 2007 Mazy-Chambertin grand cru received 90 points from Vinous, 89-92 points from Burgundy expert Burghound, and 91-93 points from Wine Advocate. Only 2,500 bottles of 2007 Armand Rousseau Mazy Chambertin have been produced, which has not met a hungry wine public. As a result, it has achieved a five-year return of 335%, equivalent to +34% per year.

2016 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti - La Tâche: +290

'Domaine de la Romanée-Conti'. For a wine connoisseur, these five words are hair-raising. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) is perhaps the most mythical and coveted Domaine in all of Burgundy - if not the world. And just like Lalou-Bize Leroy, DRC has intrinsic demand and a price tag that does not seem to have an upper limit. 2016 DRC La Tâche is one of the best-performing wines of the last five years. In five years, 2016 La Tâche has actualized a return of 290%, which equates to 31% per year.

La Tâche is a monopoly vineyard, meaning only DRC operates here. It has grand cru status, and with its 6.06 hectares, it can produce a maximum of 29,600 bottles per year. But Burgundy's best producers rarely use the maximum limit, as quality is more important than quantity. In 2016, DRC only produced 24,800 bottles. And even though that's a lot of bottles from a Burgundy perspective, it's different from how many people want to get their hands on DRC grand cru. For a producer like DRC, scores are no longer crucial to demand - but in this case, it has undoubtedly impacted returns. It gets 3 x 98 points from Burghound, Vinous, and Wine Advocate, respectively, which is close to perfection and attracts the attention of the world's wine connoisseurs.

2014 Bonneau du Martray - Corton-Charlemagne: +241%

Bonneau du Martray has long since established its credentials as one of Burgundy's top producers, so it's no wonder that its 2014 Corton-Charlemagne is among Burgundy's top investments over the past five years, with a return of 241%, or 28% per year.

For more than 200 years, Bonneau du Martray has been family-run, but in 2017, the historic estate was bought by a man with a taste for success: Stanley Kroenke. And he's not just your average businessman. According to Forbes, Kroenke is widely recognized as a real estate and sports mogul with around 60 million square feet of rental properties, primarily shopping malls, and ranches. He is also the proud owner of Premier League club Arsenal, but his dominance in Napa Valley is particularly interesting when it comes to wine. Stanley Kroenke has almost infinite resources and can take much credit for the decades-long success of America's top wine, Screaming Eagle. Therefore, his takeover of Bonneau du Martray is exciting and the reason for an intensifying spotlight on the domain.

Corton-Charlemagne is an institution in its own right, and the grand cru estate spreads over 52 hectares, which is why several prominent producers operate here. At Corton-Charlemagne, Bonneau du Martray has 9.5 hectares, and in the 2014 vintage, they produced only 26 hectoliters per hectare, resulting in a total production of 32,930 bottles - 25% less than usual. 2014 Bonneau Martray Corton-Charlemagne received 95 points from Vinous, 91-93 points from Wine Advocate, and 91-94 points from Burghound, securing its place in the wine top.

Price Ceiling In Sight? Negative

The above five investments are represented by some of the most sought-after domains in Burgundy, and the wines here have shown no price ceiling. On several occasions, an implied price ceiling has been eliminated and put to shame - and whether it ever will be, of course, we do not know.

Burgundy has performed well over the past five years, with high quality, low supply, and massive demand being the main reasons for price increases. And there is plenty of investment potential in the French wine mecca if you can even get close to the scarce drops, which will likely be harder to obtain in the future.

Top 5 Best Burgundy Wine Investments

Wine:5 Year ReturnAnnualized
2014 Domaine Leroy - Vosne-Romanée Genaivrières503%41%
2015 Domaine Leroy - Nuits-Saint-Georges372%36%
2007 Armand Rousseau - Mazy-Chambertin335%34%
2016 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti - La Tâche290%31%
2014 Bonneau du Martray - Corton-Charlemagne241%28%
Note: It is worth noting that wines that have not been under administration for five years are not included in the list, including several of the wines from Arnoux-Lachaux that, in some cases, have delivered returns of more than 1,000% in less than five years. Period: June 2018 to June 2023.

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