The Market

offer of the day – Jacques Prieur 2017 & 2018

By billn on March 03, 2020 #the market

I think the last offer that I saw from this local merchant was for the 2010s – so bit of a pause!
So the first price is for 2017, the second for 2018 and one in brackets, for comparison, is from 2010. — means ‘not offered…’

Vins blancs
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Combettes 75cl 89.00*, 89.00 (66.00) *Swiss Francs
MEURSAULT Perrières 75cl 149.00, —, (99.00)
CORTON CHARLEMAGNE 75cl —, — (129.00)
CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET 75cl —, — (209.00)
MONTRACHET 75cl —, — (399.00)

Vins rouges
BEAUNE Champs-Pimonts 75cl 48.00, — (29.80)
VOLNAY Santenots 75cl —, 79.00 (56.00)
VOLNAY Clos des Santenots 75cl 109.00, 118.00 (69.50)
CORTON Bressandes 75cl 125.00, 129.00 (109.00)
CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 129.00, 135.00 (118.00)
CHAMBERTIN 75cl 389.00, 389.00 (179.00)
ECHEZEAUX 75cl 399.00, 399.00 (179.00)
MUSIGNY 75cl 598.00, 598.00 (249.00)

As always, these are delivered prices, but excluding the Swiss purchase tax of almost 8%. The Corton and Clos de Vougeot seem like relative bargains when you consider how little their prices have appreciated!

the inevitability: grands jours de bourgogne cancelled

By billn on March 02, 2020 #the market#warning - opinion!

Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2020

Given the backdrop of coronavirus infections, I think that for almost 2 weeks now, there has been a creeping inevitability that the Grands Jours de Bourgogne would have to be cancelled or postponed. The once every two years gathering in Burgundy for tasters and wine ‘professionals’ would have to fall into line with not just the politics of the moment, but also reality; what could be worse than 1,000 people meeting together in one large space – how about only 100, but all spitting into ‘communal’ spittoons? – The red trousers won’t save you there!

Large sporting events, the Geneva Motorshow and local festivals have all been cancelled in the last 10 days. Then, at the end of last week ProWein was cancelled (postponed?) and VinItaly in April must be a large doubt. In the end, it really seemed inevitable!

Of course, it’s a shame for anyone who may lose money over this – if you have flights or hotels that seem reluctant to reimburse – but I think that’s a better outcome than reacting insufficiently well to treatment in a hospital!

I’m personally down by 14 different tastings – so I’ll have less for my March Report – but I am still planning to make the trip for my appointments at the end of March – private appointments are no different to visiting your local supermarket – today, anyway. Still, I’m yet to see a successful ‘spitter’ wearing a mask!

Dear customers, dear partners,
As you know, the Covid-19 epidemic currently affecting our planet has taken on a new dimension in Europe and more locally in France.
The last known elements as well as our exchanges with local authorities enabled us to make an informed and responsible decision.

We are no longer able to offer the expected health and safety conditions to our visitors and exhibitors. It is therefore with a heavy heart that we inform you that the Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2020 event, initially scheduled for March 9 to 13 will not take place.

We are aware of the impact of this decision on the agendas and activities of each of you but our priority is and will always remain the health of every one.

We thank you for your confidence and hope to see you soon on other events honoring Bourgogne wines.
Sincerely Yours,
The executive board of the Grands Jours de Bourgogne


By billn on February 26, 2020 #the market

This email just landed in my inbox. It seems we are getting ever-closer to the £100 villages wine – from a vintage of modest repute too – so is that over £350 in a restaurant? When, then, am I supposed to drink all of my Clos St.Jacques and Griotte from this domaine?* I remember when the Clos St.Jacques was £300 for 12 and from this same merchant too!

*You know that’s a rhetorical question – I’ll surely be opening them for my next Boeuf Bourguignon!

Fourrier 2013 villages Gevrey

[Edit] As semi-balance, I note another UK merchant offering 2018s at practically a reasonable price “Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Rossignol-Trapet 2018 – £315 per 12 bottles and £350 per 6 magnums” Despite the UK tax that you will need to add, that’s a bargain – I thought it a ‘great wine‘ for its label when tasting back in July…

on the move – Boris Champy…

By billn on February 05, 2020 #producer update#the market

Hot off the press: Boris Champy, after leaving Clos du Lambrays, has just announced that he’s taking over the domaine of Didier Montchovet in the Hautes Côtes.

Apparently Didier, one of the first in biodynamics in Burgundy, had no succession at his domaine and together with Boris, they decided that this was the best way to continue the domaine. Hopefully more info later in the year – first-hand.

Domaine Montchovet, Key facts
– Created in 1984 by Didier Montchovet
– 12 ha mostly in Nantoux, Beaune and Pommard
– Certified Organic and Biodynamic viticulture (Ecocert/Demeter)
– 4 employees
– Website:

offer of the day – thibault liger-belair 2017s

By billn on January 30, 2020 #the market

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair 2017 EP/Pre-Arrivals

Prices arrived today from my Swiss merchant. The 2016 & 2015 prices (from the same time, previous years) are in brackets for comparison. This year the Richebourg returns, still no Beaujolais though! :

2017 NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES La Charmotte 75cl 52.00* (55.00, 49.50) (Swiss Francs)
2017 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 75 cl 69.00 (69.00, – )
2017 VOSNE-ROMANEE Aux Réas 75cl 69.50 (76.00, 69.50)
2017 NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Saint-Georges 75cl 119.00 (118.00, 109.00)
2017 NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Saint-Georges 150cl 248.00 (256.00, – )
2017 CORTON CLOS DU ROI 75cl 159.00 (159.00, – )
2017 CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 159.00 (169.50 (158.00)
2017 Charmes-Chambertin 75cl 169.00 ( – , – )
2017 RICHEBOURG 75cl 425.00 ( – , 395.00)
2017 CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 75cl 189.00 (198.00, – )

So, almost a softening – versus 2016 at any rate! I remember when I moved to Switzerland in 2000, I was buying grand crus for 69 chf – the price of Thibault’s villages today. I know my salary would not have doubled (equivalent job) in 20 years, but I ask myself if the prices are really all that bad for 20 years down the line. Comparing Richebourgs, Grivot’s version was 170 chf 20 years ago – jumping to a massive 230 chf for the 1999 – I’ve still never had a great Richebourg from Grivot, but hope my 1999s will (one day!) show something special, the 1998 is ‘okay’ the 1997 is poor.

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

offer of the day – 2018 oliver bernstein

By billn on January 12, 2020 #the market

It’s a long time since I saw an offer for this producer, and my, haven’t things developed! We are now in the DRC orbit!


Offer 1 – the 2018 1er Crus:
3x 2 bottles for 1,740.00 (*Swiss Francs)
Chambolle-Musigny Les Lavrottes 2018 75cl
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Les Champeaux 2018 75cl
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 2018 75cl

Offer 2 – the 2018 Grand Crus:
7 bottles for 5,700.00 (*Swiss Francs)
Clos de Vougeot
Clos de la Roche
Clos de Bèze

The prices include tax and delivery – and even a wooden case – thank goodness!
The only cogent thing that I can say is – ulp!

offer of the day – drouhin-laroze 2018

By billn on November 27, 2019 #the market

Prices of the 2017s and 2016s, from the same offers in previous years, from the same merchant.

Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs 2018 75cl 55.00* (49.50, 49.50) Swiss Francs
Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaut-St-Jacques 1er Cru 2018 75cl 69.50 (69.00, 65.00)

Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2018 75 cl 135.00 (125.00, 119.00)
Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2018 75cl 139.00 (129.00, 125.00)
Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2018 75cl 168.00 (149.00, 145.00)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2018 75cl 188.00 (165.00, 158.00)

*There is 8% Tax to add in Switzerland, but then these are delivered prices

It seems quite rare for the 2018s to come down in price – eh?

offer of the day – faiveley 2018…

By billn on November 21, 2019 #the market

I missed the 2014s, but here you can see the ‘progression’ of the prices (in Switzerland) for the 12s, 13s, 15s, 16s, 17s and now the 2018s from the same Swiss merchant. The format here for the prices is simple: 2018 (2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012) and — if not previously offered…

DOMAINE FAIVELEY 2018 – En Primeur

Pommard Rugiens 2018 75cl 82.00 (75.00, 86.00, —)
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 2018 75cl 85.00 (79.00, 84.00, 78.00, 72.50, 69.80) Swiss Francs*
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 2018 150cl 175.00 (163.00, 173.00, 161.00, —, —)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint-Georges 2018 75cl 105.00 (99.00, 115.00, 98.00, 98.00, 98.00)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint-Georges 2018 150cl 215.00 (—, 235.00, —)
Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées 2018 75cl 139.00 (125.00, 135.00, 128.00, 119.00, 119.00)
Chambolle-Musigny la Combe d’Orveau 2018 75cl 135.00 (119.00, 132.00, 124.00, 119.00, 119.00)

Corton Clos des Cortons 2018 75cl 169.00 (149.00, 169.00, 149.00, 139.00, 139)
Corton Clos des Cortons 2018 150cl 343.00 (303.00, 343.00, 303.00, 283.00, 283)
Corton Clos des Cortons 2018 300cl 736.00 (656.00, 736.00, 656.00, —, —)
Echezeaux 2018 75cl 169.00 (—, 165.00, 149.00, —, —)
Mazis-Chambertin 2018 75cl 198.00 (178.00, 198.00, 179.00, 167.00, 169)
Mazis-Chambertin 2018 150cl 401.00 (361.00, 401.00, 363.00, —, —)
Mazis-Chambertin 2018 300cl 852.00 (776.00, 852.00, 776.00, —, —)
Grands Echezeaux 2018 75cl 198.00 (188.00, 208.00, 198.00, 198.00, —)
Latricières-Chambertin 2018 75cl 189.00 (165.00, 189.00, —)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2018 75cl 285.00 (249.00, 299.00, 278.00, 249.00, 235)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2018 150cl 575.00 (503.00, 603.00, 561.00, 503.00, 475)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2018 300cl 1,200.00 (1,056.00, 1,256.00, 1,172.00, —, —)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Les Ouvrées Rodin 2018 75cl 875.00 (698.00, 745.00, 659.00, 598.00, 598)

Corton Charlemagne 2018 75cl 189.00 (189.00, 189.00, 169.00, 169.00, 159)

*There is 8% Tax to add in Switzerland, but then these are delivered prices
After the decreases (red) in 2017, we are once-more on the way up – but Côte de Nuits pricing is generally equal or still lower than in 2016.

records are made to be broken!

By billn on November 17, 2019 #events#the market

It was roughly 19h45 when I quit the salesroom of the 159th Hospices de Beaune wine auction – the sale didn’t actually finish until about 21h15 as there remained the small matter of almost 100 more lots to get through, but the writing was on the wall – records are made to be broken.

As a starting point, there was less wine for sale in 2019 versus 2018 – this was simply a question of the lower 2019 yields – 589 barrels of 2019 going under the hammer, down from 828 in 2018, including 118 barrels of white wine and 471 of red. A lower volume, but the early word on the quality of the 2019 vintage was positive, however, tasting was complicated. Those who tasted earlier in the week loved the wines, but those who tasted from Thursday onwards, when the weather turned much colder, were met with tight, often dissociated wines – would that change the minds of potential purchasers?

It seemed not.

The dynamics of the sale are interesting to watch – the major buyers often starting the bidding, but with much discipline, rarely offering even €100 more for a barrel when outbid. Except for poor old Frederic Drouhin, where discipline goes out of the window for certain lots; Drouhin traditionally buy all of the Beaune 1er Cuvée Maurice Drouhin – though plenty in the room still bid against him – so his barrel prices slowly crept up to over €11,000 for a barrel – probably it’s a game!

And the barrel prices? The first wine in the sale is traditionally the Beaune 1er Dames Hospitalières and it really strated the ball rolling in strong fashion – €13,000 a barrel. Outside of ‘show lots’ – such as the President’s Barrel of Corton for €260,000! – the prices were still often double the 2019 bulk prices. Despite the low volumes, reds were selling for nearly 8 percent more than in 2018 and the whites going for a ripping 18 percent more (with 100 lots still to go). So with the volume down by nearly 30%, I didn’t really expect the total from last year to be challenged – but it was looking closer than I expected. Prices have, on the whole, risen every year since 2016, though many 2019 prices still lag behind the exuberance of 2015.

I asked one of the most important purchasers (volume-wise) of the sale, Alberic Bichot, if he was happy with the prices tonight, to which he answered, “I’m very happy for the hospital!

And the weekend itself? The usual fare, an untold number of defenceless garlics were killed, merely to sit on plates with snails…

Burgundy Report

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