This article is brought to you in partnership with Vinovest
Last year was a good year to be a wine investor. According to Vinovest, the average wine on its platform returned 19.3%. If you missed out on those fabulous returns, don’t worry. Here are the best performing wines of 2021 and what you should keep an eye out for in 2022.
#5 – 1990 Dom Pérignon P3, 232.41% return
Dom Pérignon P3 needs no introduction, but we’ll give it one anyway.
The brut Champagne is bold, sensuous, and refreshingly acidic with its harmonious blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. After vinification, the wine ages on lees to enhance complexity and concentration from the cuvée. Plentitudes 1 and 2 age for nine to 20 years, while Plentitude 3 (P3) involves aging for a whopping 30 to 40 years.
The 1990 Dom Pérignon P3 isn’t just aged to perfection. This fully-matured Champagne caps an epic trilogy of Doms from 1988 to 1990. As a result, a single bottle costs roughly $5,400, a price that was just $1,632 at the start of 2021.
#4 – 2019 Rothschild & Concha y Toro Almaviva, 232.85% return
Old World meets New World in the 2019 bottle of Rothschild & Concha y Toro Almaviva. The Bordeaux-styled red blend pays homage to its Pauillac roots with a dense yet elegant structure and impressive balance. Meanwhile, the Carmenère from Peumo gives the wine an herbal freshness not found in previous vintages.
While the estate bottled 2019 Almaviva in January 2021, the most significant influence on its price happened 12 months prior. That’s when wine critic James Suckling announced his Wine of the Decade – 2017 Almaviva. Not only did Suckling give it a 100-point rating, but he also praised it for “supreme quality and astronomic growth in reputation.” It should come as no surprise that investors and collectors have jumped at every opportunity to own any available Almaviva vintage.
#3 – 2005 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé, 257.22% return
The 2005 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé is another remarkable entry in Taittinger’s already legendary portfolio. The house uses the highest quality Pinot Noir from Ambonnay and Bouzy. The meticulous fruit selection and masterful winemaking culminate in what critics have called “another absolutely brilliant Comtes Rosé.”
The brut rosé marries Chardonnay with Pinot Noir, grace with power, and sweetness with acidity. The lush and vinous introduction gives way to ethereal qualities as it evolves in the glass. As 2005 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé approaches its peak, investors have seen its price jump 257.22% in the last year.
#2 – 2016 Domaine de la Grange des Pères Pays d’Herault Rouge, 277.09% return
When you think of investment-grade French wine, you probably think of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Or perhaps Champagne or the Rhône. However, the 2016 Domaine de la Grange des Pères Pays d’Herault makes the case that Languedoc-Roussillon belongs in the conversation.
Founder Laurent Vallé trained at Domaines Chave and Coche-Dury before setting off on his own. His time at these legendary estates has informed this red blend and garnered him a cult following in recent years. The bold combination of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Counoise has a rustic character that places the ripe fruit at the forefront, with some critics saying, “This powerhouse bottling ain’t for the faint of heart!”
#1 – 2016 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Les Chaumes, 292.07% return
We’ve said it once. We’ll say it again. The best-performing wines aren’t necessarily the most expensive. Case in point: 2016 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Les Chaumes. While it ranks behind Taittinger, Château Mouton Rothschild, and Moët & Chandon in cachet, this Pinot Noir ranks as the best performing wine of 2021.
Why is that? The credit belongs to a perfect storm of high demand and low supply. According to Wine-Searcher.com, the search rank for 2016 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Les Chaume jumped from 1,322 to 457 last year. Meanwhile, the number of available bottles fell more than 50%. In the words of wine critic Jasper Morris, “I know that Les Chaumes is not the sexiest 1er cru in Vosne-Romanée, but please pay attention to this one!” It’s safe to say people are paying attention.
What to Buy in 2022
2018 Domaine Bizot Le Chapitre
Domaine Bizot Le Chapitre is the brainchild of geologist turned oenologist Jean Yves Bizot. Due to Bizot’s exacting standards, the estate only produces 10,000 bottles of wine in a good year. (It’s closer to 5,000 in a poor vintage.) With sky-high demand and minuscule supply, this Pinot Noir has generated mindboggling returns.
Two-Year Returns for Domaine Bizot Le Chapitre:
2017 Vintage – 86.3%
2016 Vintage – 445.1%
2015 Vintage – 243.8%
2014 Vintage – 663.9%
2012 Vintage – 701.5%
2013 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello
Napa Valley takes centerstage for Vinovest’s third collection on its new trading platform. Anyone searching for a value investment should set their eyes on Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello. The Cupertino-based winery, which first came to prominence during the 1976 Judgment of Paris, offers an affordable entry price and a serious return on investment.
Here’s how the 2013 vintage stacks up against other offerings.
Five-Year Returns for Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello:
2013 Vintage – 168.7%
2011 Vintage – 152%
2004 Vintage – 117.4%
2010 Vintage – 117%
2008 Krug Vintage Brut
What can we say about Krug that hasn’t been said already? It is one of the most revered Champagne houses, and 2008 Krug Vintage Brut only reinforces that notion. This Champagne benefited from a near-perfect growing season in 2008. Critics like James Suckling and Wine Spectator gave vintage 100-point and 99-point ratings, respectively, with the Suckling calling it “long, powerful and smooth-honed.”
The 2008 Krug is also a sage investment. Based on three months of performance data, it has appreciated 31.33%. If 2008 Krug were to maintain that performance, it would yield investors a 125.32% annual return on investment.
In this clip from Behind the Glass: Krug, available on SOMM TV, Krug cellar master (or chef du cave) Julie Cavil describes the 2008 expression.