We examine the trends to know in the world of wine, from Keg Wine and a newfound appreciation for Sherry to the best wine bars to visit to “expand your palette”. Read our guide to 2018’s biggest wine trends, just in time to start stocking up on bottles for the holiday season…
‘I think that one of the defining characteristics of the new wine consumer is an innate curiosity,’ says Geordie Willis, ‘As a generation we are open-minded; we have travelled the world and we are constantly experimenting with different cuisines and flavours (by comparison, my parents were 35 years old before they’d tried Chinese or Indian food).’
Investing in 2018
Gary Owen, Private Account Manager at the Berry Bros. & Rudd Fine Wine team, shares his advice on investing this year…
We have seen Bordeaux continue to reassert its position after a few testing years and although there is still significant value in the ‘great vintages’ such as 2005, more classic vintages such as 2012 and 2014 represent tremendous value throughout the quality spectrum and at the top end, could see great results this year. Burgundy continues to be strong, not least due to shortness of supply and the recently-released 2015 vintage from Tuscany is very impressive.
Bordeaux vintages that are drinking very well at the moment: All the great vintages of the 1990s are beautiful now, don’t delay on 80s Bordeaux either – find those special occasions! 2004 and 2006 Pauillac & St Julien are a complete joy, so too Margaux especially in ’06. 2007 and 2011 at quality conscious properties have great texture and fruit – best sooner rather than later.
New developments: Artisan or ‘Grower’ Champagnes continues do very well, great wines and a real counterpoint to the volume focused names we all know. Genuine innovation in evidence there.
Where to invest: Follow quality Domaines & Chateaux, always buy the best vintages you can. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne in the main. Don’t compromise on provenance, ever.
If you were investing in a case: Just one case is always tricky, vintage Krug is hard to turn down, so too landmark vintages of great Claret. Very long-term, 2005 Ch. Lafite if I have to name one.
If you could buy anything to drink right now: Quite under the radar but, a top 2006 Châteauneuf du Pape would be a real treat: Domaine Marcoux, Vieilles Vignes if there is room in my Desert Island Discs suitcase.
The Trends for 2018
Thanks to the experts at Berry Bros. & Rudd…
English wines will continue to be a growing trend, especially with Brexit on the horizon. The quality of English sparkling wines is already fully recognised, so it could be single site still wines that are the next big thing for our home-grown industry.
Covering the slopes of Mount Etna, Etna DOC is an Italian wine region in Sicily and quite possibly the last fine wine frontier in Europe. Berry Bros. & Rudd believes that 2018 will see consumers further recognise Etna as a quality wine producing region in Italy – enjoying high altitude, volcanic white wines made from Carricante and reds from Nerello Mascalese & Nerello Cappuccio.
Investing in Italy
For wine for laying down we have seen a strong performance from Italy – with Barolo, Brunello and Barbaresco fine wine sales up 10% compared to last year. For 2018 we believe we will see a continued move beyond the more traditional wine collecting regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, incorporating even more wines from Italy, including Brunello as well as other countries including Spain and North America.
Is 2018 the year for the next big wine dispensing trend? We’ve had bag in box and wine in a can, but what about Keg Wine? Following the lead from wine lovers in the New World, Wine Kegs provide a wine serving mechanism that is taint free and easy to pour by-the-glass with no wastage.
Lighter, Brighter Reds
A continued move away from over-extracted, full-bodied red wines toward lighter, brighter styles of wine. From Italy, these wines would include Langhe Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Barbera – which all display higher acidity and more primary focussed red fruit characters. We have already started to see this movement in terms of wines from Beaujolais in France. Quality wines from Beaujolais Crus have seen increased sales of over 70% year on year.
Innovations in terms of wine closures are few and far between. Berry Bros. & Rudd is excited to be one of the first UK importers to launch the Helix closure. The closure will be available on two new wines being launched in January – 2017 Protea Chenin, Anthonij Rupert and 2017 Protea Chardonnay, Anthonij Rupert.
The Helix closure is the result of 4 years of research and development and incorporates 21st-century design with the traditional natural cork closure. Threads inside the bottleneck ensure an airtight seal and enable effortless opening with a light twist and the bottle is easily resealable, plus unlike the screwcap, you still get the pleasant cork-out-the-bottle ‘pop’. The closure has been treated so it is ‘cork taint’ free – ensuring no corked bottles of wine, plus the fact that the cork can reseal the bottle means it’s great for reusing and upcycling – for water or olive oil etc. An unexpected twist to wine packaging.
Red Wines from The Loire
France’s Loire region produces some of the world’s best known white wines including Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, but what about the regions red wines. Berry Bros. & Rudd suggests that 2018 is the year that will see the red wines from the Loire, which have waited patiently for far too long, come to the fore. Every variable – from the quality of producers, pricing, the regions grape variety, global warming, plus the resurgence in France’s popularity as a wine producer is in their favour. Favour must eventually be bestowed – and 2018 could be the year.
2018 will see the continuation of the great Sherry appreciation trend, especially for Oloroso and Palo Cortado which has bene carefully aged by almacenistas. Almacenistas are responsible for the maturation of sherry over several years before they are sold on to the Bodegas – the time spent ageing the sherry is “supreme artistry at work”. Berry Bros. & Rudd has seen soaring sherry sales for older and rarer styles of sherry, as well as En Rama – of 68% year on year.
As people continue to search for value and quality, South Africa’s New Wave of winemakers will continue to make a name for themselves. Look out for wines from Mullineux, Craven and Eben Sadie to name just a few of South Africa’s innovative and exciting winemakers.
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