|Looking back on 2012 for the wine trade: part 1|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Tuesday, 18 December 2012 14:37|
Reflecting on 2012, and checking out some of our most popular articles both online and in the magazine, it’s evident the trade didn’t have an easy year. But it certainly wasn’t all doom and gloom. A quick run-down picks up diverse themes incorporating everything from the Olympics, companies collapsing, generic bodies coming up with new approaches, UK-based firms taking closer looks at overseas markets in order to maximise returns, a host of changes at the top within the UK’s leading wine businesses and the unstoppable juggernaut that is the alcohol duty escalator.
We’ll be highlighting a few of the major themes and stories we’ve written on them over the next few days.
Let’s get started.
Our readers have continued to pore over the wine investment scene, devouring information on anything to do with Bordeaux. It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster year for Brand Bordeaux, starting off in January Liv-ex said the ‘super-star’ fine wine prices plummeted, demonstrated by Lafite 2008 dropping 45%. The mood lightened somewhat in February, with Liv-ex saying prices moved up for the first time in six months.
Fast forward to April, as the trade waited with bated breath to see which way prices would go for the 2011 releases, online merchant Slurp said there had been a surge in demand outside the usual big names, including for Pontet Canet, Montrose and Lynch Bages. When the prices did come out, merchants were very critical of the Bordelais, saying that they misread the mood badly, coming out at excessively high prices versus quality, failing to consider the effect on their customers when a host of chateaux released their prices on the same day and not considering their traditional markets. All in all, Liv-ex said merchant sales reached just one fifth of the previous vintage.
Other perennial favourites drew in readers in their droves: the appetite for a good old debate on the merits of screw-cap versus cork never wanes it would seem. A July story on how leading Australian winery Rusden gave up on screw-cap to go back to cork after five years of “persistent quality control issues” attracted a host of readers and kicked off a Twitter storm on the benefits of one over the other.