Fine Wine – The Finest Investment?

2009 has been hailed as an extraordinary vintage throughout France, reflected in Burgundy prices that increased 20% on last year at the 149th Hospices de Beaune auction. But following the economic downturn last year, does a good vintage still translate into a good investment?

This was the focus of a recent news article on CNBC, during which Corsham Cellars was featured. Viewers were able to see inside the facility which was praised as an optimal cellaring environment. Experts such as Jancis Robinson MW, Serena Sutcliffe of Sotheby's and Miles Davis of Wine Asset Managers, contributed.

Davis, a partner of Wine Asset Managers, a specialist manager of funds invested in fine wine, described the impact of the last 12 months. Their asset value plummeted by 17% in the months following the Lehman Brothers crash. However, over the next 6 months, this levelled out, and equilibrium was regained. And since then, asset value has risen about 6%, so the future looks bright.

Thanks to the surge of interest from the Far East, this upward trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, with Chateau Lafite Rothschild still the investors' first choice. Davis advises that any potential investors should go to a professional asset manager. The prominent Liv-Ex exchange, an electronic marketplace for trading fine wine, he said, has brought a 'whole new angle' to wine investment.

With wine being hailed elsewhere as 'the investment of the decade', faring better than art, classic cars, gold and property, it seems 2008 is likely to be written off as a minor anomaly in the continued success story of fine wine investment.

Watch the CNBC news story featuring Corsham Cellars here