According to a recent study by the research agency UK Wine Intelligence (source: WineNews), luxury wines have not been affected by the economic crisis, principally thanks to growth in Asia, which amply makes up for the decrease in prices and sales in markets such as the United States and Europe. On one hand we have luxury wines, the “fine wines”: Bordeaux, Borgogna, Champagne and “super-wines” of every region in the world that are doing very well. On the other hand there are the so-called low-end wines that represent 90-95% of the total volume of wines sold, of which the experts find strong margins of growth and potential development.
How can one recognize a luxury wine?
According to research done by the University of Hertfordshire, directed by professor Richard Wiseman and published in the daily “Telegraph”, the final consumer tends to attribute value to a wine mainly based on appearance.
The scientists began the study selecting 600 volunteers, after which they presented wines of diverse types, red and white, and of diverse qualities. Among the wines chosen were Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon, Merlot e Syrah
Result: 50% of the volunteers had difficulty distinguishing an average wine from a high value wine (flavour and price).
According to the scientific team, this demonstrates that a large portion of consumers do not have the cultural background or do not have the physiological characteristics to determine the quality of wines served. Therefore they define wines based on exterior characteristics like the name, label and price.
Factors that can add value and prestige to a bottle of wine are the zone of production, brand, being part of a limited series, and rarity.
At the peak of collectors’ aspirations are the French wines: most prized are those produced in Bordeaux – prestigious reds with extraordinary possibility for ageing. In the classification of Wines of Bordeaux of 1855 promoted by Napoleon III, we find Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour, Chateau Lafite Rotschild, and Chateau Haut Brion.
The success of the wines of Bordeaux began in the 12th century when Eleonor of Aquitane was married to the King of England Henry II. The Bordeaux region passed into control of the English who began to make abundant use of these precious and enduring wines.
The best wines from these cellars are today sold at auctions to select and distinguished buyerswho will then, after a few year of ageing, have them for commercialization. These wines are considered by collectors and connoisseurs, for all the reasons above, luxury wines in every sense.
It is difficult to orient oneself in the complex though fascinating world of wine and to define the factors that create a luxury wine. Certainly appearances have a role in this and market trends also heavily influence consumer behaviour. In addition entrenched historical traditions determine the value of a bottle of wine.
Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi has been producing wines for 700 years and attributes great importance to the emotion that a great wine must have to offer. Emotion that is not only tied to the taste and sensory characteristics of the wine. Behind a great wine there must also be a story to tell and in this way, uniting the pleasure of tasting the wine and telling its story, a wine reveals itself fully to its enthusiasts.
Another fundamental aspect of a great wine is its capacity to faithfully reflect the typical characteristics of its territory. Every Frescobaldi estate is a singular expression of its territory with its own identity, history and personality. All of the estates together share one spirit and one common purpose: to represent the best of Tuscany and the values of the Frescobaldi family.
The Frescobaldi wines fall into the high-end category of prestigious and luxury wines marrying tradition and innovation but always respecting fully the territory and working toward the enhancement of the grapes from each vineyard. The four historic estates are: Castello di Nipozzano in Chianti Rufina, Castello di Pomino east of Florence, Castel Giocondo in Montalcino, and Tenuta di Castiglioni in the Florentine hills. The newest estate, Ammiraglia was inaugurated in 2011 in the heart of the Maremma region of Tuscany.
From the Chianti region to that of Pomino DOC, from Montalcino to Maremma, from Mugello to the province of Livorno, we find 700 years of passion devoted to the creation of wines of the highest quality. The great wines of Frescobaldi, considered luxury wines, are of the crus that perfectly interpret the regions from which they are produced.
Mormoreto is the great wine of Castello di Nipozzano, born with the harvest of 1983 from the vine of the same name. The varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, in time have found an ideal union with the territory bringing out their singular characteristics. Mormoreto is an opulent, profound wine of great finesse and longevity. In 2011, Mormoreto went under the gavel at the prestigious Pandolfini auction house, entering the panorama of the great luxury wines.
Mormoreto is a cru of excellence and prestige, tied to a small and exclusive territory of production, available in limited quantities and highly prized by connoisseurs and collectors.
Montesodi is a cru that began in 1974 and is produced only in the best harvest years with Sangiovese cultivated from the vineyard of the same name. The Montesodi vineyard, at an altitude of 400 metres, has always been considered the best area of the estate for cultivation of Sangiovese. It creates an intense luxury wine with grand aromas and aristocratic, long persistence.
Castelgiocondo is created from a rigorous selection from the Sangiovese grapes of the vineyard, where the all of the characteristics necessary to enhance this ancient variety are scrupulously respected: the ideal altitude, well drained soils and south-west exposure. It is a luxury wine of great structure, elegant and balanced, with intense fragrances and great refinement.
Castelgiocondo Riserva is the fruit of an attentive selection that begins in the vineyard and follows in the cellars, and that gives life to a wine of strong and well-defined personality.
Pomino Benefizio Riserva is a cru of great elegance and personality. It shows an incredible richness of fragrances and aromatic tones. Born of Chardonnay grapes with the harvest of 1973 from the vineyard of the same name at an altitude of 700 metres, it was the first Italian white wine to be fermented in wooden barrels.
Lamaione is an exceptional Supertuscan; a first-rate wine from the estate of CastelGiocondo based on Merlot cultivated on the 12 hectares of the Lamaione vineyard at 300 metres and planted in 1976.
Giramonte is from the estate Tenuta di Castiglioni, the most ancient of the Frescobaldi family. First produced in 1999, the cru is very rare and exclusive. The characteristics of the soil, the ideal microclimate and the strict selection of grapes assures the extraordinary continuity of quality with every harvest. All of these things help to bring forth and wine of great intensity, rich, silky and long persistence.