Interesting and well argued points from Mike; it’s also worth working your way through the comments too.
Mike has spent a few years in the ‘old world’ and it shows: It’s relatively rare to have somebody ‘US-based’ that can see the wider picture – the US market of middle-men and middle-middle-men is an island of profit potential that does service to neither the producer or buyer.
Of-course it is easy to make fun of the Bordeaux ‘circus’. I did it myself yesterday having seen the EP 2010 price of Le Petit Cheval; in due deference I opened my last bottle of the 1998, bought for about a fifth of the new offer price – it’s my last bottle, and clearly I won’t be re-stocking.
It was good by the way!
There are 2 responses to “pricing, outrage and burgundy…”
I think “Corey” is right on with his analysis of the problem. Demand is high, supply is low. I’m no economist, but this is what determines market price, not the number of middlemen.
I can’t remember where I read this, but Aubert de Villaine commented in some interview to the point that he would prefer DRC wines more affordable to more people, but if the wines were released at lower prices, they would simply be gobbled up by speculators and flippers.
One other frightening prospect: because great Burgundy can taste so well young, I think the risk of certain markets catching the “Burgundy bug” is real and imminent.
Hi Rick; the eventual market price is of-course the market price – as you say – or rather what a certain group of buyers are prepared to pay, ignoring all motives. But the US system unlike ROW doesn’t allow people (enthusiasts) to buy at a base price and cellar. These are, 95%, not the same people as those who flip. I bought my 99 and 02 Duvault-Blochets for under $120 and will drink them all – whether I have to pay more because somebody in San Fransisco or Shanghia is prepared to pay 5x the price? That is a completely different matter…
The enthusiasts who really drink DRC would be very happy to buy at 25% of current DRC (first tier) retail – they are not the people who drive the ‘market price’…
For the British buyer another ‘issue’ driving current prices is the exchange rate of the € to the £ (or is it vice versa ?) in recent years – a big difference from 1.50 to 1.10 obviously of a few years ago when even meals out en francaise seemed good value with one’s holiday money seeming to go a long way (no more).
Otherwise, as the Mike thread refers to, and as commented on here a few times (recent post on a Singapore auction & Chinese ‘millionaires’ hoovering up DRC), the longtime European & US afficionados of Burgundies are looking down the ‘gun barrel’ of the yuan / renminbi and Far East ‘tidal wave’ buying power.
I wonder if 2010, with its reduced crop, will be our denouement ? I’ve already lost my respect for one or two UK merchants who I suspect of very sharp practices including one in St James.
Ultimately, the long time forces of supply and demand, deep pockets et al will win out – with maybe fine wine simply reflecting the sweeping new world economic order ? Maybe I should just be glad my cellar is a certain size to see me into my retirement and I have friends on the Cote who I can go direct to. Mind you, if I’d started out years ago buying Bordeaux now I could be selling those for lots of Burgundy !
Tonight’s Ch Larrivet-Haut-Brion 1996 and Chandon de Briailles 1997 Corton Le Charlemagne are both tres bon !