The Market

…to acquire Domaine Alex Gambal…

By billn on July 08, 2019 #the market

Hot off the press today:

The Boisset family announces that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with a view to acquiring the Alex Gambal estate subject to compliance with the usual regulatory provisions.

Alex Gambal, founding owner of the Burgundy estate of the same name, announces his decision to sell his estate to the Boisset family.

The American Alex Gambal, newcomer to Burgundy and passionate about wine, created his ‘Maison’ in Burgundy in 1993, then his ‘Domaine’ in 1997, followed by a rapid development of his exploitation. Today with a dozen hectares of prestigious vineyards in Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits.

The pursuit of excellence will continue, in particular by maintaining the special attention paid to vineyard work and biodynamic viticulture practices.

It is envisaged in these discussions that Alex Gambal will continue to participate in the development of the estate alongside the Boisset family.

It seems that so many people knew that these discussions were taking place, that JC Boisset decided today to make it public – even though the final contract is not yet signed. As I alluded to here, three months ago – it was a surprise sale of Domaine Dublère, as I and others were expecting another US-owned domaine to be sold – i.e. this Boisset/Gambal announcement!

Domaine René Engel – the sale…

By billn on June 16, 2019 #the market


The view is spectacular from the coffee room of the Hotel Beau-Rivage in Geneva – looking across the ‘bay’ of Lake Geneva – this hotel, long the home of expensive auctions from the likes of Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Antiquorum – is, for today, the home of Baghera.

As previously noted, Baghera have a coup – from my perspective no less of a coup than their large sale of the remaining family stocks of Domaine Henri Jayer – today we are here for the wines of Domaine René Engel, once-more the remaining(?) family stocks of a famous Vosne-Romanée domaine.

I was too young to be a buyer of Jayer when the wines were released, but not so for Domaine René Engel, wines I’d bought from the 1995 vintage; mainly Grands-Echézeaux a) because the price was so reasonable given how delicious the wine was, and b) because my friends bought the domaine’s other wines – so I could drink their other cuvées and they could drink mine!

Of course we lost Philippe far too early – all were shocked – and without any ideas for succession the family sold the domaine to Château Latour (Pinault) for a ridiculously high price – though today that sum seems so cheap – and that was goodbye to Domaine René Engel after the grapes on the vines were sold to Albert Bichot in 2005.


Just a few early thoughts: Today it seemed a smaller gathering in the salesroom – vs the Jayer sale where I was also present – but who knows how many bidders were waiting on the phones. But for a single producer sale of 1,157 bottles in 168 lots with vintages from 1921 to the final 2004 vintage, it seems to me that the family did quite well – the sale totalled 1.8 million Swiss Francs (hammer) “reaching the pre-sale high estimate.”

A taste of the bidding:
Lot 1 – 12x Villages Vosne 2004 – 5,000 swiss francs
Lot 5 – 3 magnums Villages Vosne 2003 – 2,800
Lot 9 – 3 magnums Villages Vosne 2002 – 3,400
Lot 10 – 12x Villages Vosne 2002 – 6,500
Lot 13 – 6x Villages Vosne 2001 – 2,200
Lot 15 – 3 magnums Villages Vosne 2000 – 3,500
Lot 20 – 3 magnums Villages Vosne 1999 – 4,200
Lot 22 – 3 magnums Villages Vosne 1998 – 2,200
Lot 25 – 3 magnums Villages Vosne 1996 – 3,500
Lot 53 – 12x Vosne Brulées 2003 – 9,000
Lot 68 – 6x Vosne Brulées 1999 – 9,000
Lot 69 – 6x Vosne Brulées 1998 – 4,500
Lot 81 – 12x Echézeaux 2004 – 13,000
Lot 81 – 2004 Echézeaux 12 bottles – 13,000
Lot 82 – 2003 Echézeaux 12 bottles – 12,000
Lot 103 – 12x Grands-Echézeaux 2004 – 20,000
Lot 113 – 6x Grands-Echézeaux 2002 – 13,000
Lot 115 – 6x Grands-Echézeaux 2001 – 11,000
Lot 117 – 6x Grands-Echézeaux 2000 – 13,000
Lot 120 – 12x Grands-Echézeaux 1999 – 30,000*
*I stop with this one – just as a placeholder – I bought this en-primeur, in-bond, for £41 per bottle – or 1,130 swiss francs for 12 as was the exchange rate in those days – nice that I found 6 in the cellar last year, but this 26 times growth of value pales when compared to that of Apple stock over the same period – that’s why wine’s for drinking, not speculating: “A mere $100 investment in the company’s stock at the beginning of 2002 would have grown to more than 95 times the original investment by mid-February 2019

offer of the day – domaine leflaive 2017 mâcon + rully

By billn on May 28, 2019 #the market

DOMAINE LEFLAIVE 2017 – Puligny-Montrachet
Mâcon-Verzé 2017 75cl 33.00 (Swiss francs*)
Mâcon-Verzé Les Chênes 2017 75cl 38.00
Mâcon-Verzé Le Monté 2017 75cl 38.00
Pouilly-Fuissé 2017 75cl 49.00
Rully 1er Cru Leflaive & Associés 2017 75cl 49.00
Image, right, ex-Domaine Leflaive

*As each year from the same merchant. These prices are delivered in Switzerland, without the additional 8% Swiss purchase tax which you should include. The Pouilly-Fuissé and the Rully were previously offered (same price, September 2018) so are presumably not sold out – it’s the first time that I saw the Mâcons offered though. Of these, I tasted only the Mâcon-Verzey Le Chêne when at the domaine in October 2018.

Good as the wines undoubtedly are, the Leflaive/Puligny tax is about 50%(+) versus fine makers from those regions…

‘the magnificent seven’ – the measly montrachet 2016 follow-up

By billn on May 15, 2019 #the market#vintage 2016

I gave you this update, almost 1 year ago. Finally there is something concrete:

600 bottles are to be distributed, though some will be kept back by the domaines. Wax-topped, in special presentation boxes and all will wear the same label: “L’Exceptionelle Vendange des Sept Domaines“. It’s unsurprising, given that they had to take out a négoce licence so as to do the elevage, that all this work is being undertaken by the Domaine Leflaive, despite that their name is not on the label – but it’s the same level of anonymity for all the seven owners who contributed grapes.

The domaines and their distributors were tasked with picking suitable names from their client lists – to honour those chosen, with the possibility to buy a bottle. I haven’t received a letter – not yet anyway!

And the price? As always, if you need to ask… But just entre-nous, €5,500 the bottle when exported – or €6,600 including French tax. That’s nearly double the price, for those on the list, of a 2016 Romanée-Conti. Keep an eye out for your letter…

Oh, and what do you guess – cork or DIAM? 😉

offer of the day – 2016 de montille…

By billn on May 14, 2019 #the market

VINS ROUGES*
Beaune 1er Les Sizies 2016 75cl 53.55 (Swiss Francs)
Beaune 1er Les Grèves 2016 75cl 71.55
Volnay 1er En Champans 2016 75cl 107.10
Volnay 1er Taillepieds 2016 75cl 112.50
Corton Clos du Roi 2016 75cl 139.50

VINS BLANCS
St.Romain 2016 75cl 32.85
Meursault 1er Poruzots 2016 75cl 80.10
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Gains 2016 75cl 80.55
Corton-Charlemagne 2016 75cl 134.10

*A similar pre-listing offer from the same Swiss merchant that offered the Château de Puligny wines – like before, after this ‘introductory offer’ the prices will be higher! Another late offer of the frost affected 2016 vintage.

Note that these prices include Swiss purchase tax.

offer of the day – 2016 château puligny…

By billn on May 06, 2019 #the market

VINS BLANCS*
Bourgogne Clos du Château 2016 75cl 29.50 (Swiss Francs)
St.Aubin 1er ‘En Remilly’ 2016 75cl 44.10
Chassagne-Montrachet 2016 75cl 57.60
Puligny-Montrachet 2016 75cl 62.10
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières 2016 75cl 103.50
Chevalier-Montrachet 2016 75cl 377.10

*A pre-listing offer from this Swiss merchant, after this ‘introductory offer’ the prices will be higher! I note that this is a late offer of the frost affected 2016 vintage – maybe there are mitigating circumstances for these prices and the 2017s will be cheaper 😉

I laugh at the price in my local supermarket for the latest vintage of Drouhin’s (admittedly excellent) villages Puligny, which has jumped to nearly 60 swiss francs, the 2016 was 52. So, as you can imagine, excellent as these wines are, they certainly stretch pricing credibility at the lower end – for the Chevalier, there is never enough and this will quickly sell out.

Note that these prices include Swiss purchase tax.

offer of the day – old tarts…

By billn on April 18, 2019 #the market

A deluge of cheap wine from my usual Swiss source – at least cheap compared to last week’s Perrot-Minot!

La Forge de Tart 1er Cru 2007 75cl 148.00* (Swiss Francs)
La Forge de Tart 1er Cru 2008 75cl 119.00
La Forge de Tart 1er Cru 2011 75cl 135.00
La Forge de Tart 1er Cru 2014 75cl 169.00
La Forge de Tart 1er Cru 2016 75cl 188.00

Clos de Tart Grand Cru (Library Release) 1996 75cl 498.00
Clos de Tart Grand Cru (Library Release) 2001 75cl 498.00
Clos de Tart Grand Cru (Library Release) 2007 150cl 699.00

*Prices are ‘delivered’ but subject to 8% Swiss purchase tax.

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