Collector’s corner: Italy

Collector’s corner: Italy

by Westgarth Wines March 21, 2024

Italy, one of the most diverse fine wine-producing countries in the world, steeped in history and culture, is an important part of any wine collection, and not just for its reputation. Its finest wines present fantastic relative value and ever-increasing demand is making them even more desirable among collectors. Here is why now is a prime time to revisit Italy as a collector.

Wines that hold their value

Part of the appeal of collecting fine wine is that its value is set to rise with time. However, there are a number of factors affecting its performance. Recently, the fine wine market has been on a downward trend; still, Italy has demonstrated remarkable resilience.

Prices for Italian wine have largely maintained their levels or even risen in some cases. This has been fueled by demand for back vintages amid new high-quality releases. Brand strength and critical acclaim, as well as relative affordability compared to the top wines of Burgundy or California, make Italy an extremely reliable region from a collector’s perspective.

New high-quality releases

New high-quality releases have been steering enthusiasm among collectors. 2019 Brunello di Montalcino has been in the limelight lately; a vintage that offers both high quality and quantity at attractive prices for those looking to cellar the wines or consume in the near future. Critics have ‘declared it a collector vintage’, with notable producers such as Biondi Santi, Poggio di Sotto, and Casanova di Neri worthy of attention.

Italy’s momentum has also been driven by 2021 Super Tuscan releases such as Ornellaia and the 100-point Sassicaia. Monica Larner (Wine Advocate) called the latter ‘a quintessential Sassicaia that represents the excellence of the vintage and also respects the unique taste profile of this distinguished Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc’. Regarding Ornellaia, Antonio Galloni (Vinous) awarded it 99 points and said that it ‘captures all the magic of this sensational vintage on the Tuscan Coast’.

The diverse face of Italy

Italy’s unparalleled diversity in wine production is a significant draw for collectors. With over 350 grape varieties recognized with 'authorized' status and an additional 500+ varieties in circulation, Italy offers a rich tapestry of wine styles and expressions. Beyond the renowned regions of Tuscany and Piedmont, fine wines emerge from all corners of the country, each region contributing its unique signature to Italy's viticultural heritage. This vast array of choices, coupled with increasing international recognition, secures Italy’s place as collectors’ favorite destination beyond France.

As collectors seek to enrich their cellars, Italy presents a compelling narrative of resilience, quality, and diversity.







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