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January 30, 2019

IG Wines – Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2015 Selection

drc.000

The 2015 vintage for Red Burgundy is seminal, viewed already as at least the equal of 2005, its closest analogue, although displaying sweeter tannins and more depth. It already takes pride of place in the pantheon of greatest vintages, likely to even surpass 1999. It has led Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine de la Romanee Conti, to say ‘We see this sort of vintage two or three times a century.’ The vintage even led Allen Meadows, Burghound, to award a potential 100-point score from bottle, the only others being Romanee Conti 1945 and La Tache 1962, a bottle of the former incidentally sold in auction for $558,000 last year. The 2015 vintage for DRC could be the greatest since 1945! Since their release the only thing that has overshadowed them is the price of the 2016s and the impending 2017s, increasing their demand and allure. Today we have something very special, a parcel of 2015 DRC, bought directly from the US importer, through our US office. This provides unbroken provenance on route to our UK storage. It also presents market lowest prices for the world’s most sought-after wine, in perhaps their finest ever vintage.

Performance of DRC over the last five years has been stratospheric. Romanee Conti has risen 112% since 2014, with an average bottle price of £15,900 across the 15 most recent vintages. La Tache has increased 129% over the same period with an average bottle price of £2,900. Overall, the DRC stable experienced an increase of 22% in 2018, the best performing DRC was Richebourg, followed by Romanee St. Vivant, although every wine posted over 20% with Romanee Conti itself rising 21%. We posited in 2016 that Romanee Conti would achieve £20,000 a bottle within five years, La Tache £5,000, we maintain this projection. We expect the rest of the DRC stable to move in lock step, or potentially outperform.

Today we are delighted to offer DRC Richebourg 2015, which was awarded 97 points from Burghound, surpassing the 1999, which trades at £3,400 and equalling the 2005 which trades at £3,200. Our price of £2,700 is the lowest in bond price in the UK market. Since 2014, DRC Richebourg has seen a price increase of 149%, returning the best of any DRC since 2017 with 41%.

DRC Romanee St. Vivant 2015 has been awarded 96 points from Burghound, outstripping the 1999 with 94 points, which trades at £2,350, although outscored by the 97 point 2005 which trades at £2,200. DRC Romanee St. Vivant has seen a price rice of 156% since 2014, 24% since 2017. Our price today of £2,200 is £100 below the lowest UK in bond bottle price. We view DRC Richebourg and DRC Romanee St.Vivant as brilliant buys, with low productions of 970 and 1,100 cases a year made respectively, these world beating plots are a treasure, undervalued in the context of Domaine Romanee Conti.

DRC Grands Echezeaux 2015 has been awarded 95 points from Burghound, the highest since 1999 which trades at £2,400 a bottle. DRC Grand Echezeaux has returned 162% since 2014 and 28% since 2017. It is a brilliant entry point to DRC and we believe this, along with Echezeaux and Corton, will continue to come under considerable buying pressure, viewed by the market as increasingly good value within the stable. Our price today for DRC Grand Echezeaux of £1,900 is £300 below the lowest listed UK in bond bottle. DRC Echezeaux 2015 received 94 points from Burghound, surpassing the 93 scoring 1999 which trades at £2,250. DRC Echezeaux has risen 191% since 2013 from an average bottle price of £550 to £1,626 today and 26% since 2017. Our price today of £1,700 is £140 below the lowest in bond price in the UK.

Finally, DRC Corton, a relatively new edition since DRC signed a lease agreement in 2008 with Domaine Prince Florent de Mérode for almost 6 acres of vineyards. The first vintage was produced in 2009, under the agreement DRC added three Grand Cru plots, 1.4 acres of Corton Clos du Roi, 1.26 of Corton Les Renardes and three acres of Corton Bressandes. The average price of DRC Corton in 2013 was £557, which has risen 121% to £1,340 today, 25% since 2017. DRC Corton is therefore the lowest priced DRC in the market. What is more interesting is the average production is similar to Romanee Conti itself, around 500 cases a year, so the upside here is significant. The 2015 has been awarded 93 points and our price of £1,400 is £200 below the lowest listed UK price.

We have championed DRC for the last eight years, viewing it as the pinnacle of prestige wine. Over this period, we have taken the view that at least 20% of any investment portfolio should be made up with DRC. We buy all DRC we are offered with perfect provenance and it sells immediately, the demand is great. DRC has a mythical greatness that exceeds all other wines. However, Aubert de Villaine and the other shareholders behind DRC want their wines to be consumed. As such, allocations have become a derisory split across many people globally, often just a bottle each, making complete cases even more sought after. Agents are hounded by DRC to ensure they sell only to collectors who buy to drink the wines, not buy to ‘flip’ for a quick profit, which goes against the grain of their philosophy. DRC bottles have strict serial numbers and allocations are tracked. As such, the minuscule production is mostly consumed, people buy to drink. Since 1997, approximately 8,850 cases of Romanee Conti have come to the market, averaging 421 a year. The table below shows performance of the last 15 vintages since 2013 and the average production per site as published by the Domaine.

Wine AVG 2013 2019 Perf 13-19
Echezeaux 1222 £557 £1,623 191%
Grands Echezeaux 822 £673 £1,764 162%
Romanee St Vivant 1132 £718 £1,843 156%
Richebourg 971 £939 £2,343 149%
La Tache 1481 £1,631 £3,741 129%
Romanee Conti 441 £7,481 £15,900 112%
*Corton 534 £604 £1,340 121%
Le Montrachet 306 £2,674 £5,980 123%
*DRC Corton 2009-2011

Today’s rare offer presents the opportunity for collectors secure what could become the greatest DRCs ever made. We have very limited quantities, sold as single bottles, no cases available.