The World’s Most Powerful Fine Wine Brands

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The list just released for 2013 shows a lot of movement.

© Wine-Searcher | 1, 2, 3: Pavia, Angelus, Petrus

Properties on the right bank of Bordeaux are this year’s most powerful brands in the fine wine market, surpassing their rivals on the left bank and the most coveted in Burgundy for the first time.

Château Pavie sits at no. 1 – up two places on 2012 – followed by compatriot Saint-Émilion Château Angélus, which moved up 21 places. The new ratings are contained in London-based fine wine exchange Liv-ex’s eighth annual Power 100 list.

The couple’s rise to the top of the power ladder follows their promotion to the top spot in the 2012 St.-Émilion classification, which saw increased demand for their wines as well as rising prices.

Shortly after the upgrade, Pavie owner Gerard Perse said: “Upgrading to A will undoubtedly increase the value [of our wines].” Indeed, in the month following their promotion, both Pavie and Angelus experienced significant exchanges.

The promotion also resulted in en primeur price increases. In an interview with Wine-Searcher earlier this year, Perse’s wife Chantal said: “We have increased our price by approximately 58% to reflect our new classification. If we hadn’t, it would have been ridiculous. I believe it is important to define the difference between the classifications.”

Making it a 1, 2, 3 for the Right Bank comes the current darling of the wine auction scene, Petrus, in third place. The Pomerol producer was also the third most searched wine on Wine-Searcher in October.

While the power list is dominated by Bordeaux properties, Penfolds Grange spoils a Bordeaux top 10 in the limelight. Its rise in the rankings follows a perfect score of 100 points for the 2008 vintage from The Wine Advocate.

However, there are only three other New World entries in the list: Dominus drops 41 places to 69, Argentina’s Catena is a new entry at 86, and Screaming Eagle drops 77 places to 88. an average of 13,178 pounds ($21,000) and some of the highest average scores at over 97 points, Screaming Eagle’s average price per case dropped by more than 3,000 pounds ($4,795), affecting its overall ranking.

Mixed fortunes in Bordeaux

Back in Bordeaux, the strongest climber on the list was Bernard Magrez’s Château Pape-Clément, which climbed an insurmountable 93 places to no. 4. Thanks to a perfect 100-point score for the 2010 vintage earlier this year, the Pessac-Leognan estate was a key market driver for Liv-ex in March, rising from 923 pounds ($1,409) per case to 1,347 pounds ($2,057) in just one month. However, given that its rapid rise is based on an outstanding wine score, the estate risks falling back in the rankings next year.

Although Lafite-Rothschild has failed to regain the high prices reached in 2011, it remains the most traded wine by volume and value, accounting for 18% of all transactions on Liv-ex and 6.5% in dollars .

While RDC continued to achieve the highest prices of any field in 2013, confirmed by an average price per case of 22,576 pounds ($36,000), last year’s strongest brand fell to zero. 15. Liv-ex reports that “failing price performance suggests brand power may be waning.”

It seems buyers of fine wines are looking beyond the DRC, with seven Burgundy producers entering the top 100 for the first time, including Comtes Lafon, Georges & Henri Jayer, Jean Grivot and Bonneau Martray.

* Check out Wine-Searcher’s list of the world’s 100 most searched wines.

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Jean H. Vannatta