Investment Tips - Italy - 4. January 2024

Sassicaia En Primeur: Get A Head Start On The 2021 Vintage

The 2021 Sassicaia is now available for pre-sale. The vintage in the area is shaping up to be a strong one, and Sassicaia tends to outperform the area...

We have acquired a batch of the yet-to-be-released 2021 Sassicaia, which is now being offered "En Primeur" - a pre-sale where you can secure an investment in the latest vintage of one of the world's favourite wines and get in on the action right from the beginning.

This is an option where you invest as a baseline in the generally attractive case of the super brand Sassicaia, but at the same time buy into the large potential upside consisting of the fact that none of the critics have yet published scores. And it seems that this could be really interesting.

Super-brand, Super Tuscan, Super-Sassicaia

When talking about the world's hottest wines, it is not necessarily the most expensive gems from Burgundy, in particular. Over the past 10 years, Italy has stolen the limelight on the big wine scene. With wines of excellent quality and an accessible price range, the Super Tuscans and Brunellos, for example, have been put on the agenda, with Sassicaia in particular becoming completely unavoidable.

The Super Tuscan flame was ignited in 2018 when the 2015 Sassicaia was named wine of the year by Wine Spectator, while a few months later the 2016 vintage achieved the magical 100 Parker points. With the exception of the 2017 vintage, which delivers a more consistent level, subsequent vintages have delivered extremely high levels and sky-high scores that have sent the reputation of Sassicaia to new heights.

Sassicaia appeals to young and old, connoisseurs and newcomers alike, and thrives in snobby high culture as well as the pop and folk scene. Sassicaia has it all. 

The Essence Of An En Primeur Investment

The Primeur concept originated in Bordeaux in the 18th century. At the time, châteaux were not very liquid, so they offered interested parties the opportunity to buy the latest vintage in a pre-sale before the wine was finished and bottled. In this case, you did not know how the final product would turn out, but this risk was rewarded with a lower price. If the final product turned out favourably, the buyer had made a very good deal. Today, there are far better conditions for assessing En Primeur wines, and the classic Bordeaux En Primeur sale is today probably more rooted in tradition rather than necessity.

This En Primeur option on the 2021 Sassicaia comes with a strong potential upside, and that is precisely what is the essence of En Primeur investing.

But first, we take a look at how previous years have performed.

2021 Sassicaia

This Is How It Has Turned Out From The 2016 Vintage And Forward

  • The 2016 vintage was awarded 100 points by Wine Advocate in January 2019. At the time, it was trading at around €130. Just a month later, the price was around €160, while the following summer it was €190. Our latest valuation of the 2016 vintage is € 265. So the 100 Parker points gave +23% almost overnight.
  • We did not deal with the 2017 vintage until the critics had published their scores. The price of this one has increased 55.5% since our initial recommendation in December 2019.
  • The 2018 vintage looked more like an En Primeur case. When we were able to offer it in pre-sale in July 2020, it cost €145, only with scores from Vinous (93-96). Vinous gave the final score in February 2021 (97) while Wine Advocate gave a rating in January 2021 (97+). 2018 Sassicaia costs €200 at the end of Q1 2021, a 37.9% increase. Today, the increase is 62.1%.
  • The 2019 and 2020 vintages were not En Primeur investments either, and the price of these has not moved since we first offered them - something that is not uncommon in the early days of a new wine.

Why Potential Upside In 2021 Sassicaia?

Although the 2021 Sassicaia has yet to receive any scores from the leading wine critics, we can take a look at the ratios of the vintage and get an idea of the result.

Vinous rates the vintage in the 94–97-point range. In comparison, the 2020 vintage scores in the range of 94 points, with 2020 Sassicaia costing € 225. The super vintage 2016 is rated in the range of 98 points. In this perspective, it suggests that in the worst-case scenario, you can get a wine on par with 2020, which is currently 12.5% more expensive, or a wine that can reach almost the top.

Wine Advocate has not published an assessment of the 2021 vintage in Bolgheri, but has given the 2020 vintage 90 points while 2016 gets 96 points. also does this type of analysis and rates the 2021 vintage as Good/Excellent, where the 2020 vintage "only" gets Good. The reference vintage 2016 is labelled Excellent.

This suggests that the conditions in the 2021 vintage can produce really great wines, but more interestingly, Sassicaia has a habit of getting the ideal out of its vintages, which is why it usually scores higher than what the critics' overall score for the area dictates.

2021 Sassicaia

Worst Case: A Rock-Solid Investment Case

The above dissects the exciting potential upside in the En Primeur investment, but it should not be understood that the case is a lotto ticket. The case stands on a solid foundation of a strong brand, high quality and solid historical returns, and should the critics disappoint with their scores, the case still stands as a rock-solid investment case.

Over the past five years, the 10 most recent vintages that have been on the market for at least five years (2006-2015) have returned an average of 66.3%. This equates to an average annual return of 10.7%.

In addition, it is also striking how Italian wines have once again performed and shown stability in a challenging market. While the major categories in 2023 have taken some hits, the Italian wines under our management have weathered the storm and are virtually flat with an average growth of 0.04%.

The high quality, recognised brands, and pricing that has a huge audience are just some of the reasons why great Italian wines are doing well in uncertain times, which we also saw during the financial crisis and the Corona crisis.

If you want to dive deeper into the strengths of Italian wines and why they perform well in tumultuous times, read more in this analysis: Investing In Italian Wine: What Does The Future Hold?

RareWine Invest's Opinion

This is the starting point for investing in the latest Sassicaia, and whether you are a new or more experienced investor, this is an exciting case. Sassicaia has a habit of performing very well and has also been one of the big favourites among investors ever since we started providing investment wine at a professional level.

With a five-year average return of 66.3% across the last ten vintages, Sassicaia stands as a textbook example of how a strong branded, high-quality wine can generate solid returns and is a really exciting long-term investment case.

But it is the En Primeur angle and the lack of scores that makes 2021 even more interesting now and in the short term. The indications are clear: 2021 looks set to be a strong vintage in the region and Sassicaia has a habit of outperforming the general level of the region. This is where it gets really exciting.

If you already have Sassicaia in your portfolio and perhaps even several vintages, being able to offer parcels with several vintages can have a positive synergy effect when realised later.

If you want to secure your investment and get in from the beginning, this is your opportunity.

NOTE: This is a presale before the wine is physically in the market. 2021 Sassicaia is expected to be released from the producer around August/September this year.

Invest In 2021 Sassicaia En Primeur

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.

2021Sassicaia750OWC6€ 200
*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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