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Showing posts from May, 2008

Hermitage blanc 1997 from Jean-Louis Chave: splendid consolation

What is happening in Bordeaux? After the primeurs campaign finally started off seriously, and seemed to be in full swing up until about a week ago - with mostly very uninteresting prices being presented (compared to the 2006 vintage the average price drop is 3%) - the caravan came to a standstill halfway this week. Almost.

The most important release was Château l'Evangile 2007 with an average consumer price - including VAT - of € 112,- (i.e. per bottle). I wonder who would be interested in this wine. It received average ratings, it is from this average drink-soon-or-you-will-be-disappointed,-if-not-already vintage. Okay, the price is 16% lower than the 2006, and 33% lower than the 2005, but don't forget that the exceptional 2005 was 124% more expensive than the 2004! And with that the price for the 2007 is still 50% higher than for the 2004... Yet another proof of the Awful Saw-Tooth Theory (see in 4th paragraph if you're interested). I can't get used to these prices.

Pr…

Biodynamic winners, but long term impact of 2007 feared negative

Well, I seem to have done the unthinkable. I rang up a wine merchant to do a quick interview about the grimness of the 2007 primeur campaign and ended up spending nearly 700 euro.

I am shocked. How did it happen? I was never planning to buy any 2007 primeurs. And he was not trying to sell, just answer a few questions.

Then, the issue of biodynamics came up, and bingo, a case of 2007 Château Pontet-Canet was mine. Well, mine when I send over the cheque. And mine in two years time when I pay the bits and pieces left over and it actually arrives. I've not told my husband – you know how it is with shopping – or anyone actually. It all seems a bit not quite the right thing to be talking about. So I just thought I would write about it quietly in my blog. Thank god he never reads it. My husband that is.

I was supposed to buy a new computer.

Now if we had been talking about an organic wine, I doubt I would have flipped like that. But say biodynamic and I get a bit irrational. It ticks all the…

Bordeaux 2007: 1% price decrease for the Monday - Wednesday releases!

Lots of new releases the last days. The average price decrease in comparison to 2006 is... 1 percent! The Bordeaux trade confirms that it's hard to sell the 2007 primeurs (as expected), and told me that they try to minimize their purchases. So the châteaux will have stocks to dump the upcoming years. View the list of all châteaux on Bordoverview that have released their prices so far.

Other Bordoverview updates:
1. Starting with the 2007 vintage the 5-stars Decanter scoring has just been replaced by their more detailed 20-points scoring. Later I might do the same for older vintages.
2. Now that Parker's scores for the 2007 vintage have been released about three weeks ago - and they're around about everywhere - they can also be found on Bordoverview. So the temporary presentation high-80s, mid-90s etc. is gone.

The releases of the last three days:

19 May GRUAUD-LAROSE (Saint-Julien) € 40 (0%)
19 May DE FONBEL (Saint-Emilion Grand Cru) € 15 (+7%)
19 May SIAURAC (Lalande de Pomerol)…

Bordeaux 2007: overview of last week's releases

Last week we saw quite a lot of châteaux release its prices. Below you find a list with the most important releases; to view all new releases just follow this link to Bordoverview. Most châteaux that have released their prices belong to the middle echelon, mostly châteaux with a pricing policy that is directed to a (more or less) stable price level over the years. In good years the prices of these wines do not increase a lot, so naturally in lesser years these prices don't move a lot either.

But there are also some wines that have made major leaps with the 2005 vintage (and sometimes, to a lesser extent, also with the 2006 vintage). An example is Rol Valentin with a very expensive 2005, then almost returning to 2004-level with its 2006, and now equaling 2004 again with 2007. Some of the other more expensive wines in the list made comparable moves, but failed to fully return to 2004-level. A more common move unfortunately.

And then there is Jean-Pierre Moueix with his elastic prices.…

Bordeaux 2007 - wines for the châteaux to guard?

As the prices have begun to trickle out over the last two weeks for Bordeaux's 2007 wine primeurs, things feel basically, a bit flat, with some little flurries of interest.

The first flurry was over the Sauternes and Barsac prices, which all came out higher than 2006, on average by about 5%. Everyone was focussing so much on the need for red prices to come down, the fact that whites and sweets went up - on the basis of the good press they got during the tastings - was almost a shock.

The next flurry was over the châteaux that got 70-73 points from Parker – but they are going to resend a sample of their wine over to him as they are convinced there was a problem of some kind – so they shall remain nameless for the moment.

Then, the next flurry was about Château Beychevelle selling out in less than two hours. It got an average Parker score of 87-90, but it came out early and priced itself 5% down on 2006, at 21 euro per bottle ex-château, with a suggested resale price of 25.50 euro per …

Bordeaux 2007 primeurs campaign took off

Just a short posting from an internet café in Tunesia. Left my desk, and the 2007 primeurs took off! So this week just a very short summary of what happened so far. In France it was a short working week (today is Liberation Day, tomorrow everything is closed also, and the new week only starts on Tuesday). Hence: just four days of primeurs being released. All can be found on Bordoverview, but these were the most important ones this week (the price difference from 2006 in brackets):

5 May QUINAULT L'ENCLOS (-7%)
6 May BEYCHEVELLE (-3%)
6 May CAMENSAC (0%)
6 May DU TERTRE (-8%)
6 May CHARMAIL (-7%)
7 May CANTEMERLE (0%)
7 May FERRIERE (0%)
7 May LA BESSANE (0%)

Minor minor price decreases, as expected... More about this campaign after I'm back in Amsterdam. I made this posting within a very short time (time is ticking away in the corner of the screen, I hate that), and I will check these percentages next week.

Bordeaux 2007 and Robert Parker: the oracle has spoken

Since today the judgement of Robert Parker for the tortured Bordeaux 2007 vintage can be found on Bordoverview. At this moment not the exact ratings, but an interpretation of these. No worries: you can still perfectly sort the wines (behind the interpretations are the real scores, invisible). If you want to check out the precise ratings now, visit the website of Robert Parker (scores are in the members area).

As expected, the 2007 reds did not get much praise from Robert Parker, to put it mildly. Also he gives a clear sign that prices ought to go down.

When looking at the quality of the reds, Parker believes that 2007 seems to be sort of a repetition of 1997. Quite light and friendly, but not a vintage for the long run. Hopefully it won't be a repetition money-wise also: 1997 was - at the time - released way too high, forcing a substantial price drop in the years to follow.

But unfortunately, there are still no signs that the release prices for the 2007s will differ much from those o…