Friday

Investing in Italian wines

Wine is precious and has always been a good that was worth the investment, but so it is even more nowadays, when we all are looking for something pretty solid to invest our savings in, but also enough affordable to allow us invest just our savings, without being forced to take out a mortgage.

Is wine an easy investment?

Bad news: some wines are already too expensive to play this game. French wines from the region of Bordeaux, for instance (let’s think about renowned wines from Médoc, Pomerol and Sauternes), are surely a good investment. Their value will increase as years pass by, because their quality will. These wines are among the most long-living wines on earth and those of the best quality can last up to 80 years - or even more, but it’s still too early to say it.

If you now purchase a Première Cru from Bordeaux from a renowned Château, like Lafite, Rothschild or Petrus, you’ll probably be able to resell it to collectors for five times its price in less than 20 years.

The downside of it is that these wines are already expensive (they can cost up to €/$ 1000, or even more, according to the retailer and the quality and availability of the vintage), and even if they will surely pay your investment back, you need to spend a lot of money now.

Can mere mortals invest in wine?

A far less expensive alternative can consist in Italian long-living wines. Some Italian wines can be almost long-living as French ones, and almost of the same quality, but they are still less renowned and sought-after, at the moment. This means that they are cheaper, yet not less interesting.

Obviously, when you don’t bet on the best horse, you have no guarantees it will win. Being true, it probably won’t, but you don’t need it: you only need it ranked. In other words: if you invest in an Italian quality wine, in all likelihood it won’t become as precious as a Bordeaux wine in the next 20 years, but it will quite surely increase its own value and you’ll be able to resell it for much more money than the present purchasing price - which is basically what you want to do.

Which Italian wines should we invest in?

Since the wine we invest in is meant to last throughout decades, we must choose a long-living one. This means a red wine high in tannin and structure, able to evolve and to be still alive once opened (if duly preserved, worthless to say). There basically are three areas in Italy in which they produce this kind of wines: Tuscany, Piedmont and Veneto.

Supertuscans were the first Italian wines who came out to compete with French ones. Recent vintages of Brunello di Montalcino Biondi Santi - a wine so famous you don’t need to be an expert to know it - can nowadays be purchased for about € 100 or €200, and can double their price (or more, if the vintage was good and bottles became rare) in just ten years. Something like this also happens with Antinori’s Solaia and Apparita by Castello di Ama, from other Tuscan’s subregions.

For what concerns Piedmont, Barbaresco wines produced by Gaja cellar around year 2000 are now sold for about € 1000, while recent vintages can be purchased for one fifth of this price.


Dal Forno and Quintarelli, in the end, are the most famous producers of Amarone, a wine made in the countryside of Verona. It is already an expensive wine, but its longevity is almost guaranteed and bottles marketed at reasonable prices less that 20 years ago are already sold for more than $ 2000.

Tuesday

The Most Collectible Italian Wines

The collector market for Italian wines is a bit softer than the market for rare Burgundy and Bordeaux. This doesn't mean that there is no value in collecting Italian wines and even investing in them. But which Italian reds are worth the long term investment? Which have the potential for prolonged improvement with bottle age? And which Italian wines increase in value over time?

The three B's are always wines to be considered for aging (Barolo, Barbaresco, and Brunello). Some of the producers to collect include:

Gaja
Bruno Giacosa
Borgogno
Clerico
La Spinetta
Casanova di Neri
Altesino
Valdicava
Cerbaiona
Morroneto
IL Pallazone

Super Tuscan's are also worthy of collecting and just might be the best in terms of price appreciation over the long haul. Here are a few noted wines:

Sassicaia
Ornellaia
Masseto
Solaia
Oreno
Tignanello
Flaccianello