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Showing posts from June, 2010

Bordeaux 2009 - campaign ended with an explosion

Bordeaux 2009, the primeur campaign "Mit dem Paukenschlag". Or better: with annoying fireworks at the finale. I almost regret that I made a modest effort to write something less negative about the high prices (previous posting). Because this last week things simply exploded. There is this Disney image where eyes become dollar signs, and last week some châteaux owners must have looked like that.

The week before last week, just before I wrote my 'friendly' posting, we had seen more or less reasonable releases on Friday (18 June). Most of these wines also sell quite well.

- LEOVILLE-BARTON: +132% on 08, +26% on 05 and +113% on 00
- LANGOA-BARTON: +100% on 08
- DE CHEVALIER ROUGE: +94% on 08, +45% on 05 and +72% on 00
- DE CHEVALIER BLANC: +33% on 08, +25% on 07 and +28% on 05
- DE FIEUZAL ROUGE: +56% on 08, +33% on 05 and +6% on 00
- HAUT-BAILLY: +94% on 08, +71% on 05 and +171% on 00
- SMITH HAUT LAFITTE ROUGE: +121% on 08, +57% on 05 and +102% on 00
- SMITH HAUT LAFITTE BLANC:…

Bordeaux 2009 - slowly approaching the finish, finally

It's stupid: one gets accustomed to practically anything. Even Bordeaux prices that explode in a good vintage. We hear and read complaints everywhere, but the complaining is not surprising so we get used to it, and such is the fact with the prices themselves.

The next thing I am going to say is undoubtedly quite politically incorrect: the Bordeaux price level is actually becoming quite Burgundian. Take, for example, the brilliant Haut-Bailly 2009. This is one of the very best Bordeaux's to be found these days. It costs you about € 105 which is what you pay for a good Grand Cru in Burgundy, not even a brilliant one.

One reaction to this could be: in Burgundy prices are more constant. But that is also largely the result of the difference in commercial systems: the open Place de Bordeaux enables the Bordeaux market to function as a financial market. Wines become stocks, and even more so when drinkers become investors.

Needless to say, as a wine lover and merchant I am unhappy with t…

Bordeaux 2009, WINElife, and the lovely biodynamic low-alcohol Ze Bulle Zéro Pointé

The Bordeaux 2009 campaign is a long one. But these are fun weeks, with lots of talking about prices of course. Compared to 2008 this year is expensive, but compared to 2005 and also 2000 the difference isn't always so big. Actually, some châteaux present a relatively attractive price, and at the same time some are too expensive. Compare for example the average consumer prices of the the following two second wines of second cru's:

Sarget de Gruaud Larose 2009 @ ± € 17
+14% on 2008
+7% on 2005
+2% on 2000

Les Pagodes de Cos 2009 @ ± € 51 (3x Sarget)
+82% on 2008
+71% on 2005
+151% on 2000

Pagodes is perhaps meant to be a more serious wine for the long term, but at the same time we can say it comes from the less refined Saint-Estèphe terroir... whereas the Sarget is a true Saint-Julien. Also, Gruaud Larose is in very good shape this year. I think it is quite clear which of the two is the better buy...

Before the wines were released I had listed the Pagodes as a possible buying tip, but wi…

Vos & Partners tasting

Dwayne Perreault - Not wanting to post about an event far too late, I will now report on the Vos & Partners tasting that was held at the beautiful Duin & Kruidberg estate on March 29th. Representatives from 33 reputable producers were assembled to present and discuss their wines. These are some of my more memorable impressions:

Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) – Eric Getten, Commercial Director

Unfortunately, Château Lafite Rothschild was not presented but we were treated to Duhart Milon Rothschild 2006. David posted recently that a combined western and particulary Asian demand with anything Lafite has driven the price of Duhart Milon 2009 up by 72.7% For what it’s worth, I found the 2006 pretty average.

Jean-Claude Boisset - Gregory Patriat, Winemaker

Gregory Patriat is the wunderkind of Burgundy who was making Romanée-Conti when he was 18 years old. And he has some pretty unorthodox ideas about the closures for his bottles. He’s mad about screwcaps. He points out t…

Vincent Mulliez of Belle-Vue dies

This evening I read the very sad news that the energetic owner of Belle-Vue, De Gironville and Bolaire died at the age of 44. Unbelievable. Mulliez has done an incredible job improving the quality of these wines over the last - more or less - six years.

I have been working with Château Belle-Vue since I started my import in 2008, and later also with Château Bolaire. In July 2009 I have visited Mulliez, about which I wrote on this blog. Jane Anson reports about Mulliez' death on Decanter.com.