The Market

a voracious appetite…

By billn on November 18, 2020 #the market

Fourrier barrel...The hype of the sale-room? The pent-up demand due to the lack of a Hospices de Beaune auction?

Yes, I know this sale was the day before the cancelled event in Beaune! But you decide…

At the weekend, Zachys held their first-ever wine auction in London. The selection of Burgundy was a good one, but this sale was notable for the possibility to ‘buy‘ a whole barrel (image, right, from Zachy’s catalogue) – of-course, this barrel never leaving the cellar of the producer – and that producer happened to be one Jean-Marie Fourrier.

Nearly 50 lots of Jean-Marie Fourrier’s wines were on offer, all coming direct from the domaine. The barrel in question was Fourrier’s Chambolle 1er Les Sentiers which until 2007, Fourrier had blended into his Chambolle-Musigny Villages. Since 2007, it has been separately vinified – vinified but never sold commercially. Fourrier only ever bottled his Les Sentiers in magnums, which he used as giveaways for friends as gifts, or brought to dinners.

The elevage for this wine was/is in a one-year-old barrel, vinified with 20% stems, to be bottled in the buyers wish for formats, ready for shipment in April of 2021. And the price?

Final price including the buyers premium: £136,400 compared to the pre-sale estimate of GBP £90,000-140,000, I’ll let that sink in…

So assuming no other costs and all bottled in 75cl bottles (let’s assume 300 of them) that works out to just under £455 per bottle for a 1er cru Chambolle – honestly, I’d rather have de Vogüé’s Bonnes-Mares for this price, plus any number from a long list of other wines, though I’d take a couple of these, just for the interest 🙂

offer of the day – Domaine Leflaive 2019…

By billn on October 26, 2020 #the market

As always, from the same supplier each year. Priced in Swiss Francs (chf)
Image courtesy Domaine Leflaive:

DOMAINE LEFLAIVE 2019 – Puligny-Montrachet
In brackets are the prices for 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015 – though most of the 2018 prices are missing (—), sorry …

Bourgogne 75cl 55.00* (49.00, 45.00, 42.00, 38.00)
Puligny-Montrachet 75cl 99.00 (—, 89.00, 82.00, 69.00)

Puligny-Montrachet Les Clavoillons 75cl 148.00 (139.00, 128.00, 118.00, 89.00)
Meursault Sous Le Dos d’Âne 75cl 148.00 (—, 128.00, 118.00, 99.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 75cl — (—, 198.00, 185.00, 145.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 75cl — (—, 198.00, 185.00, 185.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 75cl 299.00 (—, 259.00, 245.00, 195.00)

Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet 75cl 595.00 (—, 498.00, 459.00, 325.00)
Bâtard-Montrachet 75cl 648.00 (—, 565.00, 498.00, 348.00)
Chevalier-Montrachet 75cl 840.00 (—, 695.00, 685.00, 445.00)

*As always the Swiss purchase tax (7.7%) is not included but otherwise, these are delivered prices.

Some of the usual suspects are also missing from this offer. There is (always) only one direction for the prices chez Leflaive. As is always the case, the two entry wines can be benchmarks for their respective labels, but for perspective, you can buy some very great Puligny 1ers for under 100 chf. At least in the most recent vintages – for my tastebuds 2016 onwards – the quality was very fine chez Leflaive but I won’t be able to taste the 2019s this year as the domaine is not accepting tasters until 2021 – maybe – it will depend on the covid…

offer of the day – henri boillot 2019

By billn on October 06, 2020 #the market

Domaine Henri Boillot 2019 – en primeur
As always, from my local Swiss merchant who makes this offer about the same time each year.
I leave you with the 2018, then the 2017, pricing in brackets. Well, you didn’t expect it to go down did you?

Bourgogne Chardonnay 2019 75cl 29.00* (26.00, 23.00) Swiss Francs
Meursault 2019 75cl 58.00 (55.00, 49.00)
Meursault Les Charmes 2019 75cl not offered (95.00, 89.00)
Meursault Les Gouttes d’Or 2019 75cl 95.00 (new)
Meursault Clos Richemont 2019 75cl 105.00 (new)
Meursault Les Genevrières 2019 75cl 125.00 (115.00, 108.00)
Meursault Les Perrières 2019 75cl not offered (125.00, 115.00)
Puligny-Montrachet 2019 75cl 58.00 (55.00, 52.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Folatières 2019 75cl 125.00 (not offered)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 2019 75cl 125.00 (115.00, 108.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2019 75cl 128.00 (115.00, 108.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Perrières 2019 75cl 115.00 (115.00, 108.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Mouchère 2019 75cl 128.00 (115.00, 108.00)

Corton Charlemagne 2019 75cl 188.00 (175.00, 168.00)
Montrachet 2019 75cl 895.00 (845.00, 795.00)

Criots-Bâtard Montrachet 2019 75cl not offered (319.00, 296.00)
Bâtard Montrachet 2019 75cl not offered (469.00, 455.00)
Chevalier-Montrachet 2019 75cl not offered (698.00, 688.00)

Volnay 2019 75cl not offered (49.00, 49.00)
Volnay Les Chevrets 2019 75cl 89.00 (89.00, 89.00)
Volnay Les Caillerets 2019 75cl 99.00 (99.00, 99.00)
Pommard Clos Blanc 2019 75cl 89.00 (new)
Pommard Les Rugiens 2019 75cl not offered (99.00, 99.00)
Clos de Vougeot 2019 75cl 179.00 (169.00, 158.00)
Latricières-Chambertin 2019 75cl not offered (219.00, not offered)
Echézeaux 2019 75cl 229.00 (229.00, not offered)
Bonnes-Mares 2019 75cl 330.00 (319.00, 298.00)
Chambertin 2019 75cl not offered (319.00, 298.00)

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

offer of the day – thibault liger-belair’s 2018s

By billn on September 21, 2020 #the market

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair 2018 EP/Pre-Arrivals

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

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES La Charmotte 75cl 55.00* (52.00, 55.00, 49.50) (Swiss Francs)
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 75 cl 69.00 (69.00, 69.00, – )
VOSNE-ROMANEE Aux Réas 75cl 75.00 (69.50, 76.00, 69.50)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Saint-Georges 75cl 125.00 (119.00, 118.00, 109.00)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Saint-Georges 150cl 260.00 (248.00, 256.00, – )
CORTON CLOS DU ROI 75cl 159.00 (159.00, 159.00, – )
CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 165.00 (159.00, 169.50, 158.00)
Charmes-Chambertin 75cl 175.00 (169.00, – , – )
RICHEBOURG 75cl 425.00 (398.00, – , 395.00)
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 75cl 189.00 (189.00, 198.00, – )

Relatively steady pricing at this time from Thibault.

*As always, these wines are without the 8% Swiss purchase tax, but include the cost of delivery…

offer of the day – 2018 Billaud-Simon

By billn on September 16, 2020 #the market

Olivier Bailly, 2020From my normal Swiss source. I don’t remember seeing previous offers from this currently excellent producer:

2018 Chablis
Chablis Montée-de-Tonnerre 1er Cru 2018 75cl 41.00 (*Swiss Francs)
Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru 2018 75cl 72.00
Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru 2018 75cl 74.00
Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2018 75cl 79.00
Chablis Les Blanchots VV Grand Cru 2018 75cl 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%!

I’ve a few more offers in my inbox but I’ll drip-feed you them over the coming 10 days or-so – so that the Diary is not too boring or mouth/eye-watering 🙂

offer of the day – domaine leflaive 2018 plus a new boy!

By billn on September 13, 2020 #the market

DOMAINE LEFLAIVE 2017 & 2018 – Puligny-Montrachet
Mâcon-Verzé 2017 & 2018 75cl 33.00 (Swiss francs*)
Mâcon-Verzé Les Chênes 2017 & 2018 75cl 38.00
Mâcon-Verzé Le Monté 2017 & 2018 75cl 38.00
Pouilly-Fuissé 2018 75cl 49.00
Rully 1er Cru Leflaive & Associés 2017 & 2018 75cl 49.00
Bourgogne 2018 75cl 49.00
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Clavoillon 2018 75cl 139.00
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroie 2018 75cl 145.00
Image, right, ex-Domaine Leflaive

Many of the usual suspects are missing from this offer but it’s also the first time I’ve seen an offer for this Chassagne – it wasn’t in the slection of wines tasted at the domaine in October.

so you want to work in burgundy?

By billn on September 01, 2020 #the market

Vita Bourgogne

A project that has been over three years in gestation. And the seed for this new approach all began with the ‘tractor-driver war!

No, not really a war! But a few years back, due to a lack of communication/transparency, tractor-drivers (in particular it seemed) had the ability to get a job at a good domaine, work there for several months then move to another domaine for a higher salary offer – then move again and again every six months. It was not so much the escalation of salaries that stung people into action, as much as the clear indication that for all the jobs at domaines and their suppliers, there had to be an easier way to find people for open positions.

A 2019 survey of 500 Domaines and 50 Maisons de négoce (carried out jointly by the CAVB and the FNEB) revealed nearly 700 open positions for wine sales-people, for maintenance employees, tractor operators, administrative employees, packaging operators, vineyard employees etcetera. It should be pointed out that Burgundy comprises more than 4,500 Domaines, 400 Maisons and 17 cooperative cellars – so the actual figure for open positions was certainly much, much higher.

With nearly €1 million Euros of investment, you can already get more than a flavour of it from the 1st September, that’s the new website launch-date to put potential employers and employees together.

*”The website is a platform that brings together information on the vine and wine sector in Burgundy, to put candidates and professionals in touch with each other:

For candidates: this is a website for information on the various specialisations, training courses and partner training organisations in the sector. There are many videos, job descriptions and other information available. Additionally, there are the contacts for training organizations, admission conditions, funding possibilities as well as the procedures to be followed. VITA Bourgogne is also the site to find all the job offers in the sector in Burgundy and apply online in a few clicks.

For professionals: the website streamlines the recruitment of future employees, particularly offering consulting advice and information on hiring, work-study programs etcetera.

“This website will be supplemented with an increased presence on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn with the aim to grow the VITA Bourgogne community. As soon as sanitary conditions allow, the entire VITA Bourgogne team will be present at events in the Bourgogne Franche-Comté Region i.e. career forums, student fairs, career days, etcetera.

“Vita Bourgogne warmly thanks the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne for its support from the very beginning of this great program.”

*My translation and summary of the Press-Release.

adieu poncié-ponciago

By billn on July 25, 2020 #the market

Or at least the version of that producer who was part of the Henriot group.

I had known for a few years, since the time of the previous Bouchard CEO, that for the right price, Château Poncié in Fleurie was ‘available.’ It seems that at the end of June a deal was signed – it just became public at the end of this week:

Lyon entrepreneur Jean-Loup Rogé has just acquired the Château de Poncié, formerly Villa Ponciago. The largest Domaine of Fleurie* thus leaves the group of the Henriot family.

*40 hectares

The new team announces that it is fully committed to the objective of organic certification for the entire vineyard by 2022 – so not much change from the time when Joseph Bouchard was running things locally. On the cellar side, Jean-Loup Rogé and Marion Fessy – yes previously of Henry Fessy who will take on responsibility for the domaine – also intend to continue the work started during the Henriot era. “The wines are well vinified, straight, with good acidity, and show respect for the terroir. It’s a spirit that we like.

[EDIT] I hear that, at least, initially, Joseph Bouchard will be helping the new team get to grips with their new acquisition.

What with this and the (still available?) Château Ravatys – that would be a great combination for the ambitious 😉

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…

Burgundy Report

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