The Market

Well, it was too quiet today!

By billn on July 28, 2021 #the market#vines for sale

Let me know if you’re shocked at such unsubstantiated drivel in these pages or whether you’d like to see much more 🙂

I’ve been storing up the rumours and other ‘non-announced’ changes for some time, so why not let’s run through a few of them – I can only get in trouble for suggesting such heresies!

The highest category of unconfirmed rumour:
La Grande Rue & La Tâche(Right: La Grande Rue and La Tâche.) I recently visited Domaine Lamarche in Vosne – and what a beautiful range of 2020s Nicole Lamarche has produced!

Only afterwards, discussing my visits with others, was I exposed to the rumours of an imminent €800 million payment by LVMH for the domaine – this seemed to be corroborated by a second source who, according to them, noted that LVMH is currently interviewing for senior winemaking position for the Côte d’Or – assuming they are not looking for the 3rd head of Lambrays in 3 years and that Domaine Eugenié is remaining stable in its 15th year!

But from sources much closer (geographically) to Vosne-Romanée, it seems that maybe the domaine will actually be splitting without the intervention of LVMH’s financial largesse. La Grande Rue to Nicole Lamarche and all the remaining vineyards to Nathalie Lamarche – note that the domaine has labelled all the wines as Nicole Lamarche since 2018. Nathalie doesn’t have an ‘agricultural structure‘ so those who suggest that they are in the know are placing those remaining vines/appellations with Louis-Michel Liger-Belair in a fermage deal – let’s see – but it would be very good timing for his shiny new cuverie!

There remains the subject of the reported €800 million LVMH acquisition – if such a thing exists – which others suggest it still does – but they are now pointing their fingers in the direction of a famously under-performing domaine in Gevrey-Chambertin. Of course, if such sums of cash are to be believed, then it would have to be Gevrey’s biggest owner of grand crus – no?

And the following are not really rumours – there are simply no press-releases.

1. Domaine Bernard Moreau
For me, a doyenne of Chassagne. This domaine has been run for a number of years by the brothers Alex and Benoit Moreau. The split between the two, apparently, has been coming for a long time but with Benoit well underway building his new winery, possibly ready for the upcoming harvest, I’m awaiting some kind of confirmation on the way forward…

2. Domaines Duc de Magenta & Vougeraie
The Duc de Magenta’s choice slice of Chassagne, their 4.57 hectare 1er Cru Morgeot Clos de la Chapelle (Monopole), has been leased to Domaine de la Vougeraie from this 2021 vintage. The Magenta estate was 12 hectares, I’ve not heard that any other parts are on the move. It will be virtually the only wine in Vougeraie’s line-up that’s not certified organic – but they are already underway to start this (3-year) certification process.

offer of the day – louis jadot 2019

By billn on July 13, 2021 #the market

DOMAINE LOUIS JADOT 2019

As always, from my local, Swiss merchant. Maybe I missed it earlier this year but the offer seems later than usual. The 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 offer prices in the brackets to compare, and — means not offered)

LES REDS
Beaune Clos des Ursules Monopole 1er Cru 2019 75cl 59.00* (64.00, 59.00, 59.00, 55.00) (Swiss Francs)
Beaune Clos des Ursules Monopole 1er Cru 2019 150cl 123.00 (133.00, 123.00)

Corton Grèves Grand Cru 2019 75cl 85.00 (85.00, 79.50, 79.50, 79.00)
Corton Grèves Grand Cru 2019 150cl 175.00 (175.00, 164.00)
Corton Pougets Grand Cru 2019 75cl 85.00 (85.00, 79.50, 79.50, 79.00)
Corton Pougets Grand Cru 2019 150cl 175.00 (175.00, 164.00)

Chambolle-Musigny Fuées 1er Cru 2019 75cl 89.00 (89.00, 85.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Baudes 1er Cru 2019 75cl 89.00 (89.00, 85.00)

Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er Cru 2019 75cl 149.00 (155.00, 149.00, 145.00, 138.00)

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2019 75cl — (149.00, 139.00, 138.00, 128.00)
Echézeaux Grand Cru 2019 75cl — (209.00, 159.00)

Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2019 75cl 209.00 (209.00, —, 188.00, 169.00)
Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru 2019 75cl 288.00 (288.00, —, 269.00, 259.00)
Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2019 75cl 328.00 (328.00, —)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2019 75cl 349.00 (349.00, 339.00)
Musigny Grand Cru 2019 75cl 798.00 (798.00, 795.00)

LES BLANCS
Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1er Cru 2019 75cl 85.00 (89.00, 89.00, 89.00, 88.00)
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2019 75cl 165.00 (158.00, 148.00, 139.50, 119.00)
Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2019 75cl 318.00 (298.00, 285.00)
Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles Grand Cru 2019 75cl 389.00 (376.00, 348.00)
Montrachet Grand Cru 2019 75cl 559.00 (549.00, —, 499.00, 428.00)

*Prices delivered, but without the 7.7% Swiss purchase tax…
Almost a softening here, certainly some restraint!

offer of the day – thibault liger-belair’s 2019s

By billn on July 08, 2021 #the market

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair 2019 EP/Pre-Arrivals

Prices arrived today from my Swiss merchant. When offered, the prices of the 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015s (from the same time, previous years) are in brackets for comparison. Still no Beaujolais:

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 75 cl La Charmotte 75cl 55.00* (55.00, 52.00, 55.00, 49.50) (Swiss Francs)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Belles Croix 75cl 55.00
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 1er Les Saint-Georges 75cl 135.00 (125.00, 119.00, 118.00, 109.00)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 1er Les Saint-Georges 150cl 285.00 (260.00, 248.00, 256.00, – )
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Aux Beaux Bruns 75cl 75.00
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Fouchères 75cl 75.00
VOSNE-ROMANEE Aux Réas 75cl 75.00 (75.00, 69.50, 76.00, 69.50)

CORTON CLOS DU ROI 75cl 159.00 (159.00, 159.00, 159.00, – )
CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 165.00 (165.00, 159.00, 169.50, 158.00)
CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN 75cl 175.00 (175.00, 169.00, – , – )
RICHEBOURG 75cl 445.00 (425.00, 398.00, – , 395.00)
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 75cl not offered (189.00, 189.00, 198.00, – )

*As always, these wines are without the 7.7% Swiss purchase tax, but include the cost of delivery…
So, a mixed bag – despite a backdrop of lower yields in 2019 versus 2018 – most of the lower wines remain with consistent pricing. Those more iconic wines of the domaine – it’s no problem to add a little more, eh?

The changing ownership landscape of the Côte d’Or

By billn on June 29, 2021 #the market#warning - opinion!

The waxing and waning of vineyard ownership – or rather the relative size of ownership – has always been the subject of external forces; times of higher demand, times of lower demand, times of disease or simply times of consistently poor weather. Burgundy has never been a stranger to those things…

Outwardly, and from this perspective, things seem little different today to what has happened in previous generations but dig deeper and I’d say that the current situation is different.

My current musings on this were partly prompted by the recently announced sale of the Christian Confuron estate to the Evenstad family of Domaine Serene, to add to their ownership of Domaine de la Crée in Santenay. Actually, I’d been aware of both the sale and the (undisclosed but ballpark) price of €40 million – for under 7 hectares but with grand and 1er cru appellations – for a few weeks after visiting a domaine that had bought grapes from this Confuron estate but was seemingly going to lose their grape contract this year due to the sale – but, hopefully, they will manage to come to some short-term accommodation on that front.

On the positive side for this Confuron acquisition, we have a business that is focused on wine – whether that wine comes from Oregon or Burgundy – we can all appreciate the synergy and, of course, there are domaines in Burgundy that have estates in Oregon too – so all is fair! On the negative side – and negative purely from my gut feeling – is the ever-growing concentration of vineyard land in the hands of a) buyers from outside of Burgundy and b) groups and individuals who are not primarily in the wine business. Some buyers still count wine as an important part of a portfolio of assets whilst others buy due to their ‘interest’ in wine but the essential issue today is the significant geographic change of ownership of the vineyards of Burgundy. Outside of the pre-revolutionary times of the French monarchy/aristocracy and ownership by the church – Burgundian vineyards have never seen such dwindling local ownership.

New ownership still has an important French dimension and at the most exclusive end of the vineyard scale, many hectares are being rolled into the portfolios of some of France’s richest individuals. And do continue to watch this space, a certain domaine in an important Côte de Nuits village has tongues wagging of an imminent €800 million transaction – you heard it here first 😉

Less transparent still, are the organisations that are buying up estates and parcels here and there and paying off the incumbent producers. These organisations have no winemaking so ‘donate’ the vines to important domaines in both the red and white villages of the Côte d’Or, guaranteeing themselves or their ‘club members’ the majority or all of that production – it’s hard to imagine many illustrious names being used as ‘toll manufacturing’ facilities but this is the effective result and you need not feel sorry for the domaines – they are being well recompensed, though don’t expect them to show you the wines when you visit.

Whilst I have uncomfortable feelings about the loss of local ownership of Burgundian vineyards, the inward investment that this has generated and the relative clarity of ownership that we see, clearly has many benefits. The reduction of local ownership of the vines is something that I instinctively feel to be a sub-optimal direction for the region but I feel significantly less positive about the lack of clarity surrounding the growth of the 1er and grand cru ownership and then toll-manufacturing approach – and just occasionally I feel the need to beat out a few words on my keyboard about it!

[Edit:] Posted today (30-June):

The Baghera Jayers, part 2 – the results…

By billn on June 21, 2021 #the market

1999 Cros ParantouxI’m sure that you might remember this.

Well, yesterday the auction took place and nearly everything was sold – bringing in a tidy sum of just over 6 million Euros.

The top lot, no surprise, was the case of 1999 Jayer Vosne 1er Cros Parantoux, a snip at 561,200 Swiss francs including the (high!) buyer’s premium. In fact, the top ten lots brought in a remarkable 2.5 million Euros.

If you chose to watch the football on Sunday, rather than attend the auction, and would like to read the press release to see what you missed, look here and enjoy!

offer of the day – lambrays 2019

By billn on June 08, 2021 #the market

It looks like this domaine have a lot of investments to recoup!

You can see the prices from my usual Swiss merchant with 2018, 2017 & 2016 pricing in the brackets!
— indicates not offered.

Domaine Clos des Lambrays:
Clos des Lambrays 2019 75cl 445.00 (258.00, 238.00, 225.00) * (Swiss Francs)
Clos des Lambrays 2019 150cl 910.00 (536.00, 481.00, —)

The price you see is ‘delivered’ but ex 7.7% Swiss purchase tax.

So, not quite up to Clos de Tart levels – but Lambrays look to be on their way to ‘equivalence‘ – eh?

It seems but a blink of the eye (to me) when I could buy magnums from this estate for well under 150 Swiss francs. Okay, I’m also old enough to remember the last bottles of Clos de Tart I bought on release for 70 UK pounds a bottle – the 2001 vintage – it seemed too much at the time but they remain grand vin!

offer of the day – 2017 comtesse de chérisey

By billn on June 07, 2021 #the market

From a Swiss merchant. I have only tasted their 2018s and 2019s but here is a producer who I admire very much – they were one of my star domaines for the 2019 vintage. Don’t go looking for great bargains but the context of the current market these are not outrageously priced bottles:

Domaine Comtesse de Chérisey
Meursault, Bois de Blagny 2017 75cl 69.00* (Swiss Francs)
Meursault La Genelotte Monopole 1er Cru 2017 75cl 109.00
Meursault La Genelotte Monopole 1er Cru 2017 150cl 223.00
Puligny-Montrachet, Hameau de Blagny 1er Cru 2017 75cl 109.00
Puligny-Montrachet, Hameau de Blagny 1er Cru 2017 150cl 223.00
Puligny-Montrachet, Les Chalumeaux 1er Cru 2017 75cl 109.00
Puligny-Montrachet, Les Chalumeaux 1er Cru 2017 150cl 223.00
Puligny-Montrachet, La Garenne 1er Cru 2017 150cl 223.00

Rouge
Blagny La Genelotte Monopole 1er Cru 2017 75cl 109.00
Blagny La Genelotte Monopole 1er Cru 2017 150cl 223.00

*These prices include the local 7.7 purchase tax but not the cost of delivery – which will depend on order size.

offer of the day – bruno clair – 2019s

By billn on May 27, 2021 #the market

Last week, from my usual Swiss merchant. In brackets, where offered, are the previous prices of the 2018s, 2017s and the 2016s, — indicates not offered:

Domaine Bruno Clair
Marsannay Blanc 2019 75cl — (28.00, —, —) * (Swiss Francs)
Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2019 75cl — (145.00, —, —)

Marsannay 2019 75cl 34.00 (—, 32.00, —)
Marsannay Les Grasses Têtes 2019 75cl 42.00 (39.00, —,—)
Marsannay Les Longeroies 2019 75cl 42.00 (40.00, —, —)

Savigny-les-Beaune Les Jarrons 1er Cru 2019 75cl 49.50 (48.00, 48.00, —)
Savigny-les-Beaune La Dominode 1er Cru 2019 75cl — (59.00, —, —)

Gevrey-Chambertin Clos du Fonteny 1er Cru 2019 75cl 119.00 (119.00, 105.00, 115.00)
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er Cru 2019 75cl 145.00 (145.00, 139.00, —)
Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er Cru 2019 75cl 228.00 (215.00, 189.00, —)
Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er Cru 2019 150cl 476.00

Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2019 75cl 335.00 (335.00, 298.00, 325.00)
Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2019 150cl 690.00

Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2019 75cl 335.00 (335.00, 298.00, 385.00)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2019 150cl 690.00

The prices are always high for this combination of producer and merchant – but the Bèze is always one of the best wines of the vintage for me…
*As always with this merchant – there’s an additional Swiss purchase tax of 7.7% to add, but then the prices are delivered…

offer of the day – 2019 Billaud-Simon

By billn on May 13, 2021 #the market

From my normal Swiss source. In brackets you also have the price of the 2018s from this time last year, — means not offered:

2019 Chablis
Chablis Montée-de-Tonnerre 1er Cru 2019 75cl 41.00 (41.00) (*Swiss Francs)
Chablis Montée-de-Tonnerre 1er Cru 2019 150cl 87.00 (—)
Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru 2019 75cl 72.00 (72.00)
Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru 2019 150cl 149.00 (—)
Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru 2019 75cl 74.00 (74.00)
Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru 2019 75cl 153.00 (—)
Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2019 75cl — (79.00)
Chablis Les Blanchots VV Grand Cru 2019 75cl 79.50 (85.00)

*As usually noted, these are delivered prices (for 6 bottles and over) but will additionally incur the Swiss sales tax of 7.7%!

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