more silly prices and server problems


First, apologies for yet another hosting issue with the site – 60% down since Friday evening – it’s a big job to move hosts given the site complexity I seem to have arrived at, but I may have to bite the bullet. Anyway, at least I’m not charging you!

parker points for chateau margaux

I found the above in my mailbox last week. When I look at the pricing from first tier suppliers of Bordeaux wines (i.e. no grey-market speculation), it seems that despite the pricing outrages of ‘2005 burgundy trophy bottles’, burgundy is still relatively cheap. These offer prices (Swiss francs per six-pack) on 05 Margaux are the same per bottle as Romanée-Conti – quality is quality, but my only argument against this is that there are 350,000-plus bottles of Margaux per year versus 5,000 for Romanée-Conti! Even my bank manager used to buy cases of Margaux, but he told me he stopped with the 1990 vintage – which cost about 60 Swiss francs per bottle – he said it got expensive after that! I also note with interest the massive premium versus a good Haut-Brion that 100 Parker points brings!

PS I know it’s still a silly price (330 Swiss Francs), but clearly still cheaper than the above Haut-Brion 2004. Today I picked up the only bottle I ever saw, and one of only 146 (according to the label, and mine’s number 00099), of Faiveley’s Musigny. It’s the 2004 and will be opened at a great dinner when I’m 65 – how’s that for planning? – only 19.5 years to go!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 8 responses to “more silly prices and server problems”

  1. Ed7th April 2008 at 11:00 pmPermalinkReply

    People appear to have lost sight of the fact that these are bottles of wine. However good, that is all they are. I love my wine but these prices are just nonsense.

  2. Jeffrey Lin8th April 2008 at 2:29 pmPermalinkReply

    It is a big fantasy to think that these prices are appropriate. What will be interesting is that in 15 yrs when these wines will be starting to enter maturity, their character, quality and interest may be quite different. Mr. Parker would be the first to admit the limitations in judging infant wines but the market does not seem to recognize this fact. I am thankful that I have adequate reserves of these lovely wines to escape the global market madness.

  3. J.Č.9th April 2008 at 6:34 amPermalinkReply

    As long as there are people willing to pay such ammounts fo money for bottle of wine, it will be more and more complicated for ordinary wine lovers to just try these bottles at least once… unfortunately it’s the case with Burgundy too. And in our country (Czech Republic) prices even for quite normal bottles are insane (it’s not uncommon it’s 2 – 3x more than when buying in France)…

  4. bill nanson10th April 2008 at 4:17 pmPermalinkReply

    Ed, Jeffrey, J.Č.

    Let’s be clear no wine is really worth even $1,000 – even wines like 1947 Cheval Blanc or 1945 Romanée-Conti. They might be worth that price as historic articles, but not as beverages. The fact is that Châteaux with production runs (it’s not for artisans at this level) numbering multi-tens of thousands of cases have now managed to become the Prada or Louis Vuitton of wines – i.e. not wines, rather objects of desire, or worse, pure status symbols.

    Any right-minded person would be looking for a ‘correction’…

  5. J.Č.12th April 2008 at 9:17 amPermalinkReply

    Bill Nanson: You are righ. Louis Vuitton is very good example, as we can see their LVHM empire raven as much “luxury wine brands” as possible.

  6. Dave Lester14th April 2008 at 3:34 pmPermalinkReply

    Bill writes: “Let’s be clear no wine is really worth even $1,000”.

    Short shameful confession: I did once take a bottle of DRC Grands Echezeaux 1959 along to the Manchester “Everyday drinking” off-line. Sadly, I fear that that bottle was indeed worth the money…

  7. bill nanson15th April 2008 at 6:22 amPermalinkReply

    Clearly we all have guilty secrets in the cellar that should not be discussed with the domestic management (some more than others!), my comment is really that as a ‘beverage’-pure, nothing really has $1,000 worth when you put into context what that amount of money would mean in some parts of the world.

  8. Richard Brooks16th April 2008 at 7:02 amPermalinkReply

    It is really interesting that the relationship between the scarcity and price of a wine is not at all straight forward. To become an iconic brand, there needs to be enough supply. Bordeaux producers are greatly helped by having a relatively simple classification and land owning policy in this respect, but we as Burgundy consumers benefit from the converse. Imagine if five Burgundy domaines owned all the 1er and GC land, and made one top wine and one second wine each! It would be massively more expensive and less interesting to drink.

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