The Market

the summit of sotheby’s?

By billn on July 01, 2020 #the market

1942 DRCI guess probably not!

It’s kind of ironic that the pdf for this sale is too large for me to upload to this site – rather like the size of many of the bottles that it features.

Rudy Kurniawan may be getting an early release from his 10-year prison sentence, this month, but Sotheby’s seem to be keeping their wine-ship straight with decently involved checking of provenance behind all their sales. That said, I’d want to have a lot more information about those pristine (almost new looking – right) 1942 DRCs…

We can complain about the pricing bubble of today – what else would we have to talk about if not(?!) But, from a certain perspective, great wine has never been easier to source. What do I mean by that?:

For a long time in Burgundy, those with access to the best took what they could and ‘that was that!‘ – the wines overwhelmingly disappeared, presumably largely drunk as their makers intended. It’s a different world now; many of those with access to the best see the wines more as investment vehicles than as something to consume – less the enthusiasts, more the collectors – why else so many jeroboams and larger? – Oops! Said the man with ‘too many’ magnums in his cellar 🙂

But what did I mean by a certain perspective? Well, of-course I mean money – the resources to buy these wines. There’s no getting away from the financial aspect of this, but if money is a trivial discussion point for you, you have never had it so good in terms of the opportunities to buy great burgundy. Sales like this are now every year, perhaps 2-3 times per year, and they offer wines that you couldn’t dream of acquiring 20 years ago – by practically any route!

It’s a great new world for the players – times have never been so egalitarian for the millionaires…

offer of the day – clos de tart 2018

By billn on June 24, 2020 #the market


I never did see an offer for the 2015s, then came the 2016s but I missed 2017. Today, here are the 2018s and you can compare to the 2016 price which is in the brackets. The new owner are never going to get their €300 million back with only a 50 francs per bottle price increase, are they(?)! 🙂

Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2018 75cl 498.00, (448.00)* Swiss francs
Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2018 150cl 1,050.00 (926.00)
Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2018 300cl 2,300 (2,042.00)

* Including delivery, but not including Swiss purchase tax of 7.7%

Beaujolais: the Pasteur Institute is selling the Château des Ravatys

By billn on June 08, 2020 #the market

I see this reported in the French press today:

The Pasteur Institute, owner of the Château des Ravatys, has decided to sell the estate to help fund their research. Apparently, this follows long reflection and there is no link between this decision and the backdrop of covid-19 infections.

Set at the foot of the Mont Brouilly, the Pasteur Institute has owned this property in Saint-Lager since 1937, the sale price is estimated at 6.9 million euros. In the context of the CĂ´te d’Or that’s practically nothing for holdings that extend to:

  1. 56 hectares, including 28 ha planted with vines (20 ha in the CĂ´te-de-Brouilly appellation and 8 ha in Brouilly – 2019 figures).
  2. 5,500 m2 of buildings
  3. 150,000 bottles of annual production, excluding sharecropping

Ravatys also have a small plot of Chassagne-Montrachet white (pictured) it’s not clear if that is included in the transaction – their version is rather oaky.

Although the quality was not quite to the same level in 2018, the reds from here in 2017 could be favourably compared to those of a near neighbour – Château Thivin – save for Laurent Martray, there is no higher benchmark in the area.

actively auctioneering…

By billn on June 04, 2020 #the market

des ChĂ©zeauxIf there’s one part of the wine industry that seems very active during lockdown – at-least, judging by my inbox – then it’s wine auctions.

Sotheby’s are hammering it with practically simultaneous auctions in London, New York and Hong Kong; it’s the former with all those rather rare Domaine des ChĂ©zeaux bottles and magnums that I’ll be following the most – The Cointreau Collection – not least because I have quite a bit of those wines myself!

But their other auctions remain far from academic despite wall-to-wall DRC and Roumier in New York, and with so many magnums too, though I particularly loved the juxtaposition of lots 325 and 326 – bottles of Faiveley’s Musigny, next to Drouhin’s CĂ´te de Nuits Villages 🙂

As for Sotheby’s Hong Kong ‘Summit‘ sale, many of the DRC, Rousseau and Dujac bottles are so large, and relatively young, that I seriously doubt that they were ever bought for drinking – and that’s sad.

Of course, it’s not just Sotheby’s and their clients; witness Australian author and critic James Halliday selling off (some/all?) of his collection of DRC. At 80-years-old and a couple of years senior to Aubert de Villaine of the that Vosne-RomanĂ©e domaine, this seems nothing more than sense. I just hope that a) I’m still around and b) can still, unaided, operate a corkscrew at the same age!

Enjoy your auction lots!

restaurants & the elephant in the room…

By billn on May 13, 2020 #the market#warning - opinion!

It’s true of course – how could it be any different? Without restaurants – either ordering or potentially closing for good – the wine-producers of all regions have currently lost a significant part of their client-base. At this point, only Burgundy seems to be openly discussing this and that’s why they have the headline.

Major retail channels are not making up for lost sales.” Again, of course. The orders that have been placed by hotels and restaurants, less than 2 months ago, will not have been re-allocated yet, it’s too soon.

Nobody knows how the restaurant scene will look 2 years down the line, but typically it is the older, more coveted, domaines that have higher exposure to the restaurant trade. The ‘slack’ of unsold/un-ordered wine could easily be taken up by the consumer channels for these sought-after domaines – just look at how buoyant the online sales are during ‘lockdown’ – but it’s the unpaid bills from restaurants that won’t reopen, or who need to ‘re-finance’ – that’s the much bigger elephant in the room…

offer of the day – Christophe Perrot-Minot 2018…

By billn on April 24, 2020 #the market

Just to give you that fuzzy and warm feeling that you could buy these – if you really wanted!

As usual, the prices are delivered in Switzerland – but here, include purchase tax. Note that these were special introductory prices – the price goes up at the end of the offer 🙂
In the brackets – 2017, then 2016 prices:

Gevrey-Chambertin Justice des Seuvrées 2018 75cl 117.00 (120.60, 94.50) (*Swiss Francs)
Nuits St-Georges 1er ‘Les Murgers des Cras’ 2018 75cl 117.00 (120.60, 100.80)
Chambolle-Musigny Orveaux des Bussières 2018 75cl 135.00 (138.60, —)
Vosne-RomanĂ©e Ormes des Chalendins 2018 75cl 135.00 (138.60, —)
Vosne-Romanée Les Champs Perdrix Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 170.00 (156.60, 128.70)
Morey Saint-Denis 1er Cru La Riotte Vieilles Vignes 2018 75 cl 171,00 (174.60, 163.80)
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 240.00 (249.00, 193.50)
Nuits Saint-Georges 1er Cru La Richemone “Ultra” Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 337.50 (389.00, 385.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Combe d’Orveau 1er Cru “Ultra” Vieilles-Vignes 2018 75cl 375.00 (389.00, —)
Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 425.00 (444.00, 420.00)
Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 382.50, (444.00, 420.00)
Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 382.50 (444.00, 420.00)
Chambertin Clos-de-Bèze Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl ‘on application!’ (1,059.00, 840.00)
Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl ‘on application’ (1,059.00, 840.00)

On Application‘ – as we are presumably (already) insufficiently shell-shocked, despite some modest price decreases!!!

*As noted, these are delivered prices, but this email offer is discounted – whatever is sold from their normal catalogue is at a higher price!

offer of the day – clos des lambrays, d’angerville – 2018s

By billn on April 21, 2020 #the market

Domaine Clos des Lambrays
Previous offer:
Clos des Lambrays 2011 150cl 278.00* (Swiss Francs)
Clos des Lambrays 2013 75cl 159.00
Clos des Lambrays 2014 75cl 159.00
Clos des Lambrays 2014 150cl 323.00
Clos des Lambrays 2016 75cl 225.00
Clos des Lambrays 2016 300cl 960.00
New offer:
Clos des Lambrays 2017 75cl 238.00
Clos des Lambrays 2017 150cl 481.00
Clos des Lambrays 2017 300cl 1,012.00
Clos des Lambrays 2018 75cl 258.00
Clos des Lambrays 2018 150cl 536.00

Domaine Marquis d’Angerville (in brackets the 2016s – I never saw 2017s…)
Volnay 1er Cru 2018 75cl 75.00 (—)
Volnay Fremiet 1er Cru 2018 75cl 105.00 (105.00)
Volnay Champans 1er Cru 2018 75cl 129.00 (129.00)
Volnay Clos des Ducs 1er Cru 2018 75cl 198.00 (—)

The price you see is ‘delivered’ but ex 8% Swiss purchase tax. Where you see (—) this means was not offered in the previous period. Of course, the new(ish) owners of the Clos des Lambrays are slowly increasing prices – as you would expect – despite very comfortable yields for the Morey domaine in 2017 and 2018. That said, compared to the pricing of d’Angerville, I would say that they are still ‘competitive!’

so, what’s happening in Burgundy in this ‘lock-down’ world?

By billn on April 14, 2020 #the market

Wine is still a business – it’s simply an agriculture business – the work in the vines waits for neither man nor woman, so to that extent, it’s essential and ongoing.

Last week from the Beaujolais, you can read the thoughts of a number of local wine-business luminaries – in French, here.

Image from a reader…

In the CĂ´te de Nuits, I see that brothers, Didier and Jean-Louis Amiot of Domaine Amiot in Morey St.Denis are embarking on a transition to two different domaines. The full details are yet to be communicated – for instance who will be exploiting exactly which vineyards – but the basic position is that the 2 new domaines are already physically separated. Domaine Didier Amiot is situated at 27 Grande Rue in Morey St.Denis, and Domaine Amiot et Fils (Jean-Louis and his son LĂ©on) is at 33 Grande Rue.

Lastly, the team behind Domaine de la Commaraine in Pommard and Domaine Belleville in Rully have acquired 2.3 hectares of vines in the CĂ´te de Nuits. 1.12 ha of which will be attended by a local vigneron(ne?) – Nuits St.Georges villages, Nuits St.Georges 1er Cru & Chambolle-Musigny villages – the remaining vines, managed by the team of Commaraine, include:
Nuits Saint Georges Premier Cru ‘Aux Bousselots’: 0.28 ha
Nuits Saint Georges Premier Cru ‘Roncières’: 0.50 ha
Nuits Saint Georges Village: 0.3 ha
Chambolle Musigny Village: 0.15 ha
It’s planned that the 2020 wines from these new plots will be made in the new cuverie of the Château de Commaraine.

offer of the day – 2017 de montille…

By billn on April 01, 2020 #the market

The inbox is quite active with new offers – gotta do something while self-isolating, eh?

I like the fact that there’s a pause before the ‘new’ de Montille vintage is released, it was the same timing last year. The price in brackets is the same wine in 2016, where offered…

Monthelie Vin Nature 2017 75cl 35.55 (Swiss Francs)
Beaune 1er Les Sizies 2017 75cl 50.40 (53.55)
Beaune 1er Les Grèves 2017 75cl 72.00 (71.55)
Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Thorey 2017 75cl 79.20
Volnay 1er En Champans 2017 75cl 108.00 (107.10)
Volnay 1er Taillepieds 2017 75cl 112.50 (112.50)
Corton Clos du Roi 2017 75cl 139.50 (139.50)
Vosne-Romanée 1er Malconsorts 2017 75cl 300.00
Vosne-Romanée 1er Malconsorts Cuvée Christiane 2017 75cl 460.00

Montagny Les Coères 2017 75cl 32.40
St.Romain 2017 75cl 32.85 (32.85)
St.Aubin 1er En Remilly 2017 75cl 43.65
Chassagne-Montrachet 2017 75cl 55.80
Puligny-Montrachet 2017 75cl 62.10
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières 2017 75cl 109.80
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Caillerets 2017 75cl 130.50
Corton-Charlemagne 2017 75cl 135.00 (134.10)
Chevalier-Montrachet 2017 75cl 378.00

Note that these prices include Swiss purchase tax.

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