The market for en-primeur 2014 Burgundy:
I noted, for the first time this year, that during the offers for ‘Burgundy 2014’, there was often a second mailshot – ‘Still a few wines available…’ I thought that this was worth questioning.
- 2014 whites have sold rather well, most have sold-through the various channels
- 2014 reds are a different story:
Sought-after domaines, those usually over-subscribed, have sold-out as usual, though the level of over-subscription is a little lower than other vintages. Those good ‘middle-rank’ producers have in many cases only sold about 50% of previous vintages – the average meaning that probably less than 80% of the offered reds have been sold. Some merchants will not be taking up their full allocation from domaines, others will, hoping to place those unsold wines over the coming months/years.
It’s worth looking at the general (admittedly UK-centric) market for wine. Everyday wines (let’s say up to villages level), whilst not buoyant, are running very slightly ahead of previous years. ‘Fine Wine’ is a very hard sell – ‘more frustrating than a nightmare’ – but remains very unpredictable. ‘Asia has almost come to full-stop!’ The ‘En-Primeur’ Burgundy ‘really didn’t fly out of the door and needed hand-selling – it was almost as if some people were looking for a reason not to buy.’ Blue chip domaines are mainly sold-out, but the others not. Certainly the domaines may not see much difference, but wine is beginning to ‘back-up’ further down the supply chain.
“But compared to Bordeaux, everything is still working!”
To DIAM or not to DIAM…
The resilience of the market for white burgundy is quite something when you consider the issues surrounding early onset oxidation (p.ox!) perfectly exemplified by the fast-selling 2014s. This is also despite a vocal minority railing against such ‘p.ox.’
Given my experience with some Jadot 2010s (and it’s clearly not just them) the base wines are clearly still prone to early oxidation. If I’m honest, for my own cellar – i.e. actually for cellaring – I now only buy wines sealed with DIAM, except for magnums – I’m yet to find DIAMs in magnum formats, but I’ve also never had an oxidised magnum! I’ve never had a bad DIAM sealed wine and seem immune to the ‘DIAM bitterness’ that some people describe, if it’s actually a real thing. The oldest DIAM sealed wines I’ve drunk have come from 2005 (DIAM5 sealed).
Whilst many domaines still prevaricate over whether DIAM is the way or not, or over its cost vs ‘natural’ cork, my wallet has been much more binary…