Why Big Red Diary?

offer of the day – olivier bernstein…


GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN 2009 75cl 69.00 (Swiss francs)


CLOS DE LA ROCHE 2009 75cl 298.00
MAZIS-CHAMBERTIN 2009 75cl 345.00
BONNES-MARES 2009 75cl 345.00
CHAMBERTIN CLOS DE BEZE 2009 75cl 398.00
CORTON CHARLEMAGNE 2009 75cl 168.00

Grands Crus are sold only together with Village or Premiers Crus – apparently. Aspirational pricing that loses the soul of the place in my opinion – it gives the impression of somebody more focused on cash than place I’m afraid to say (is it him or his importers?).

I think a fair question is ‘why would you pay twice the price for a Clos de la Roche from this producer (by the way, his cheapest GC red), than from Laurent Ponsot?’…

15 responses to “offer of the day – olivier bernstein…”

  1. Thomas De Waen

    I don’t know where you can buy for Ponsot’s clos de la roche 2009 for CHF 150 but i’d love to know. I bought it en primeur from L&W for almost twice that (Laurent did increase his prices pretty substantially vs. 08)…

    This being said, I agree with your main point.

  2. David Bennett


    This makes me feel alot happier spending a small fortune on other newcomers in the cote!

  3. Don Cornwell


    Ponsot’s pricing for the Clos de la Roche and CSD is up more than 100% over 2008 (apparently ex-cellar too). I’ve only seen three sets of prices for CDLR offered in Europe in the last month that were below 300€ per bottle. The lowest was 215€ and the other two were closer to 280€. Those bottles sold out almost instantly. This compares with widely available prices of 100€ per bottle for the 2008 Clos de la Roche a year ago. I’ve also seen insanely high offers of the Clos de la Roche at 700€ per bottle.

    Laurent seems determined to not leave any money on the table for the 2009’s. The real question is, if you can buy the 2008 Ponsot Clos de la Roche for 100€, do you really want to spend three to five times as much for the 2009?

  4. Will

    €264 (all in) for 2009 Ponsot’s CdlR in Ireland this year. I find all of his prices in 09 to be a bit of a joke.

    Needless to say though, that the Bernstein prices are even more rediculous in light of his recent arrival in the region. I’m horrified by the inexorable increase in Burgundy prices, if this continues it looks like I might have to bow out of buying my favourite wines altogether…

  5. JT

    The prices are about 20% more than what I see in Singapore, assuming I can get allocations for them though.

  6. Rick Dalia

    An importer here in California lists prices similar to these as a “steal,” and “extremely well-priced premier cru burgundy!”

    Bill, I too agree with your main point, however from a business standpoint, I’d have to place the blame on the consumer and the press. The wines will sell (if they haven’t already). How can one blame a business or individual for meeting the price to demand? And with all the hype surrounding the 09’s, it’s no wonder people are paying what he’s asking. My answer (not with his wines) is to look to (in my opinion) the better 08’s at much more reasonable price.

  7. Adrian

    Olivier Bernstein’s Clos de la Roche and Bonnes Mares are GBP150 in UK.

  8. Antoine

    Good for him…and for his buyers! Looks like I will never be one of them! Just bought a case of Fourrier Gevrey villages for much much less and probably way way better

  9. Mark in Pernand

    I’ve been reading this thread with interest & had convinced myself not to ‘get involved’ but I can’t resist now – on two counts :-

    1) Ever since, and its not recently, I first saw BBR’s hyperbole (and it is) around Bernstein and the prices of his wines I thought ‘you’ve got to be kidding’. When the thread here first started I thought to myself “Well, fancy that” and quietly applauded, as I’d been thinking all sorts about the marketing of Bernstein wines for quite a while. Jasper may not like it but, and I’ve nothing against the gentleman, I do though just find the whole Bernstein attitude, and I’ve been through the website again tonight, just almost insufferably arrogant, mickey taking, and practically insulting of one’s intelligence. I’ll be quite honest in saying I’ve not tasted the wines but neither can I find a compelling reason to make me want to do so – quite the contrary. Bill’s last para above just says it all to me and there’s more besides. How can Bernstein just ‘arrive’ as a negociant (what’s all this micro stuff ?) and make out, and charge, like he’s ‘top dog’ over several longstanding, multi generation, hard working, committed domaines – let alone other serious negociants ? Is his Charmes-Chambertin better than Roty’s TVV for example ? I could go on with more comparisons if I had the time – but Vosne Suchots 2009 £92.90 a bottle ???? Similarly his whites – incroyable ! Does he think he’s Dominique Lafon, M Coche Dury, P-Y C-M or what ? Not for me thanks. I hope the buyers like them and reckon they’ve got VFM, or do we might expect to see the wines reduced in sales or bin end lists, or in auctions in years to come ? His claims re grape producton in the vineyard, and winemaking practices are I’m sure no different in care and quality terms than quite a few, thankfully more self effacing, individuals.

    2) Laurent Ponsot’s views. I cannot disagree with him one iota. Sure, I’d love to have more of his wines than the few, older, vintages I have. An afternoon years ago (late 90’s) I spent visiting the domaine, one on one with M Ponsot, was one of the most unforgettable burgundy visit experiences of my vinous life – he was great value. I suppose that makes me biased – guilty as charged then. I haven’t forgotten his tackling that New York I think it was auction were wines were being passed off as domaine wines that weren’t or similar – I forget the details exactly. He’s the end to end producer, he takes risks (his team were the last one standing I saw in 2010), he’s obviously made huge investment in Morey. Why should he not charge what he thinks the market will stand ? Its not his fault I can’t afford the wines any longer. Everything he says is valid. I suppose the only way to address (some of ) the issues he raises, but totally impractical I guess would be for him to sell the wines direct ‘cellar door’ as it were, direct to the end drinker, to buyers on a ‘subscription’ list (isn’t this what high end US wineries do ?), but I guess he hasn’t got the time, inclination, or wherewithal to do this – which has lots of issues all of its own. If he did though and I was on the list, and the price was affordable, I’d be happy to drive over and collect – or collect when on the Cote for another reason !

    Wonder when I should think about trying the Ponsot 97 CDLR, 96 Griottes or 98 Griottes. Then there’s a couple of his superb Monts Luisants winking at me !

    Sorry for the rant ! That’s the effect of M Bernstein’s prices.

  10. Graham

    I searched Jancis Robinsons tasting notes for 2011 and searched by highest points first. The bernstein clos beze is the highest scoring red burgundy that one actually has a chance of buying. All the other wines in this rating bracket are simply not available to the man on the street either through price or allocation.

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