The Market

‘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? 😉

terres de velle + dublère = now it’s official…

By billn on May 14, 2019 #the market

It’s official, as from today: Domaine Dublère is no more, and Terres de Velle have grown.

You can read today’s press release here.

offer of the day – 2016 de montille…

By billn on May 14, 2019 #the market

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

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

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.

domaine dublère – sold…

By billn on April 17, 2019 #the market

This afternoon, as I was leaving Beaune, I saw Blair Pethel – pictured doing what he loved – and he looked in good spirits. I stopped my car and we started to chat but then (of-course!) with no room to pass, other cars started to form a queue behind me – I quickly had to say ‘Ciao!’ – before we got into any nitty-gritty.

By the time I got home to Bern, Blair had sent me the following, which he, kindly, said that I could reproduce here. It’s a big surprise. I’ve visited Blair every year since his 2007 vintage – he’s always made great reds, typically in a, driving and intense, fresh style, but there were many vintages that I thought his whites extra special – a top 10 white wine domaine, hence, I included him in my book.

So extra luck to Fabrice and Sophie for what they will ‘inherit,’ and my thanks to Blair for the memories – I wonder (out loud) what he’s going to get up to now – he’s not one for sitting back.

I’d heard a few weeks back that ‘Domaine X‘ was for sale – but Blair’s is actually ‘Domaine Y,’ hence, a big surprise – so, it seems that such news will continue in 2019…

“To the clients and friends of Domaine Dublère,

It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you of the sale of Domaine Dublère to Domaine Terres de Velle in Auxey-Duresses, effective May 10. I will be retiring from winegrowing on that date, and with the exception of a short period helping with the transition, will move on to new projects.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 16 years since my first vintage, and the time has certainly flown past. I appreciate beyond measure your support over the years, and your willingness to put your faith in an American winemaker in Burgundy, not the most commonplace of beasts. I have greatly enjoyed getting to know you all over the years, and have always enjoyed your visits and our conversations.

What this sale means is that there will be no 2017 Domaine Dublere wines offered. The managers of Domaine Terres de Velle, Fabrice and Sophie Laronze, are in the process of deciding which of my wines will be offered under their label. The same goes for the 2018s.

Fabrice and Sophie, aside from being my next-door neighbors, are also friends, and very talented and dedicated winegrowers who have an identical philosophy to me when it comes to work in the vines and the winery. I trust you will contact them not only to purchase my remaining wines, but to discover their range, which I am sure you will find remarkable. You can read more about them on their web site:, and you can contact them at

If you would like to order any of the remaining stocks of bottled Domaine Dublère wines, please let me know and I will send you availabilities – but we’ll have to hurry. Otherwise, I will just say again how grateful I am and always have been for your faithfulness and support over the past 16 years.

And now: Onwards and upwards!

Best regards,

Blair Pethel


offer of the day – Christophe Perrot-Minot 2017…

By billn on April 12, 2019 #the market

No lagging in the price department – I wonder (out loud!) who are the clientelle here. Of-course if Bernstein and Le Moine can reach these sort of levels, why not the person who owns the land and the vines and works those vines?

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 – 2016 prices:

Morey Saint-Denis La Rue de Vergy 2017 75cl 120.60 (94.50) (*Swiss Francs)
Gevrey-Chambertin Justice des Seuvrées 2017 75cl 120.60 (94.50)
Nuits St-Georges 1er ‘Les Murgers des Cras’ 2017 75cl 120.60 (100.80)
Chambolle-Musigny Orveaux des Bussières 2017 75cl 138.60
Vosne-Romanée Ormes des Chalendins 2017 75cl 138.60
Vosne-Romanée Les Champs Perdrix Vieilles Vignes 2017 75cl 156.60 (128.70)
Morey Saint-Denis 1er Cru La Riotte Vieilles Vignes 2017 75 cl 174.60 (163.80)
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts Vieilles Vignes 2017 75cl 249.00 (193.50)
Nuits Saint-Georges 1er Cru La Richemone “Ultra” Vieilles Vignes 2017 75cl 389.00 (385.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Combe d’Orveau 1er Cru “Ultra” Vieilles-Vignes 2017 75cl 389.00
Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2017 75cl 444.00 (420.00)
Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2017 75cl 444.00 (420.00)
Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2017 75cl 444.00 (420.00)
Chambertin Clos-de-Bèze Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2017 75cl 1,059.00 (840.00)
Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2017 75cl 1,059.00 (840.00)


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

rené engel – baghera wines score again…

By billn on April 02, 2019 #the market

rene-engel-vosne-brulees-1982The bipolar organisation that is Baghera seem to have another big hit on their hands!

Bipolar? – Well they keep having sales with bottles that stretch not just credulity, but also their narrative behind the ownership of the bottles in the last sale was completely inconsistent too. Then we have a sale that follows seems to be from a dream, offering perfect provenance – like the Jayer sale did – but now with the aid of the Engel family, we will seemingly have the same with bottles from the old Domaine René Engel.

I have a few of those myself – almost all of mine are Grands-Echézeaux – I may not have the wines of the 1920s which will be in the sale, but I’ve got something that they don’t have – the 2005 Grands-Echézeaux. It was Albéric Bichot who bought the Domaine Engel crop on the vines just before the harvest (Philippe died on his summer holiday) and whilst they sold-on the Brûlées, they bottled the Grands-Echézeaux with their négoce label. I bought 9 and still have (perhaps) 6, plus their Clos Frantin wine to compare it with one day…

Anyway, this sale will doubtless be a big hit – and perhaps, hopefully, be bought by a wider selection of buyers than the unobtainium that was the Jayer sale. Linked here.

I’m happy that they posted this video only about 12-13 hours ago – if it had been 24 hours ago – April 1st – I probably wouldn’t have believed it!

‘tran-scend-ent’ prices

By billn on April 01, 2019 #the market

‘The sale was led by Romanée Conti 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, with three 12-bottle lots selling for HK$2,728,000 / US$347,520 each’

I first mentioned this three-day sale at the end of January – it completed over the weekend, and, as expected, lots of dollars were spent.

Coche-Dury was the largest domaine represented with over 600 individual lots, and whilst they hardly feature in the headlines of the sale, the prices for their wines also far exceeded the pre-sale estimates. To quote Sotheby’s:

“…three-day sale of Tran-scend-ent Wines concluded with a grand total of HK$233,582,518 / US$29,756,077, far surpassing its pre-sale low estimate of HK$147 million / US$19 million, and with 98% of lots sold.”

Too late! I bet you forgot to put it in your agenda – eh?

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