drc corton-charlemagne… ‘what has gone so wrong, so fast?’


The quality of the vineyard work and resulting wines of the new team of DRC are assured, as are the open arms of DRC customers wishing to buy these wines, so, initially, I only have a couple of thoughts on this news:

  1. Price. Well, it didn’t take people long did it? In the first minute that the news was posted on the interweb, all the talk was about how the price of Corton-Charlemagne was going to massively increase. But why? There are over 70 hectares of Corton-Charlemagne – 3 hectares is peanuts. The same was said about Corton after the DRC + Florent de Merode agreement, and it never happened. Of-course the DRC Corton is expensive (even from first tier DRC distributors) but a) it remains cheap versus Leroy’s Corton, and b) the wider market pricing for Corton is, seemingly, unaffected since the first DRC wine in 2009. So I don’t see it happening. Of-course Corton-Charlemagne is more sought-after than its red brother and DRC’s Corton-Charlemagne will certainly be expensive, 3-4 times more expensive than Bonneau de Martray were asking, but I’m not expecting the wider market to be significantly affected.
  2. Why? My main thought is ‘What has gone so wrong, so fast?‘ Why can’t (new) Bonneau du Martray sell their own wine? Is this a marketing strategy that just hasn’t worked out – or quite the reverse – the pragmatic result of their review of strategic options? They historically held a lot of wine back, so are, anyway, not used to (attempting) full commercialisation of each vintage – but given a lot of oxidation problems, the stock that they hold has to have questionable value. Of-course this announcement is intriguing but, honestly, it’s a bit of a stain on the history of Bonneau du Martray. That renting out their vines to DRC is financially more attractive, is hardly surprising news, but to actually choose to follow such a business strategy is shocking…

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

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