While big investors crow about their timely bets on sterling or their clever navigation of eurozone bond yields, 2019 also delivered some bumper returns in more esoteric areas. Here is our pick of the best.
Italian fine wine
Italian top-end wine prices had a vintage year in 2019, amid an otherwise largely groggy year for fine wine investors.
Piedmont-based Giacomo Conterno’s Barolo Riserva Monfortino 2002 topped the list, gaining 75 per cent this year to £10,390 for a case of 12 bottles, according to data from online wine market Liv-ex. Also performing well was Gaja’s Barbaresco 2007 and 2011 vintages, which rose 35 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.
“While the top wines of Piedmont and Tuscany compare favourably to Burgundy and Bordeaux in terms of critic scores, prices are often lower,” said Liv-ex in a research note. This year they have been catching up.
“You suddenly see people saying ‘there’s a lot of value in the top Italian wines’,” said London-based wine trader Gregory Swartberg, managing director of Cru Wine Limited.
Liv-ex’s Italy 100 index rose 4.6 per cent this year. Its benchmark Fine Wine 100 fell 2.5 per cent, hit by the US-China trade war, the protests in Hong Kong and US tariffs on European wines. Laurence Fletcher