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a structural shift in burgundy?

Interesting, if something of a re-hash (others might say ‘building upon’) the recent piece by Jancis (1 month ago) that I recommended here.

5 responses to “a structural shift in burgundy?”

  1. jonwyand

    Bill, As we say in UK “I could not possibly comment”, but I will !
    Strikes me it is the nature of Burgundy that new winemakers continually get discovered, bought and drunk
    ( thanks to some Burgundy guides 🙂 ) because the more established names just get more and more sought after due to ( other guide books? ) new markets opening up and, of course depleted harvests. We have had 3 years of the latter and Christies going to China, so what else is to be expected? The guys at the bottom end are suffering I think and could do with some trickle down. At the same time we have good, dynamic winemakers taking the (expensive) plunge into becoming negoces and getting better wine out of the vineyards. So I think its more development than change. Along the way the poor and weak producers will sell up and the quality of Burgundy will become more reliable. You, more than most, know how much room there is for improvement. I think we should all be contentedly buying and drinking village level wines and leave the PC and GC to the trophy hunters with more money than experience.
    I heard someone at lunch the other day talking about thinking of switching his cellar from Bordeaux to Burgundy but did not know where to start looking. An agent said ” write me a check for $10,000 and I’ll set it up for you….. He got his money and the Bordeaux drinker got his Burgundy for rich friends. Everyone happy. But not the way to do it….. is it ?

  2. phil eaves

    I’m always saddened by the news of another lurch towards the Corporate buy out buts that’s the nature of
    things, some will sell for the vast amounts the vineyards command and some will not, this does not mean those of us who work for a living can afford them either way. On a positive note I still can find small family domaines with a handful or less of Premier Cru that is not only very well made but unknown in the general market, perhaps because they do not have sufficient to sell to the usual UK/US brokers or perhaps it is just not to their taste, their loss. One can only hope these micro domaines can continue after such recent harvests, I for one am more than happy to search them out, as Jon points out they could all do with some trickle down so maybe if others did the same instead of hitting the big name labels their future would be more secure?

    I’m just a romantic at heart.

    cheers
    Phil

  3. claude.kolm@gmail.com

    It’s become highly name-focused on a small number of appellations and a small number of producers (although both numbers have been continually expanding).

    So, for example, the going secondary market price for Roumier Bourgogne is $100-200/bottle. Christophe would be the first to say that’s ridiculous and you can get considerably better wine for the money, but some people want to say that they have Roumier in their cellar, never mind that it’s just Bourgogne.

    Similarly, until some years ago, most Richebourg and Romanée-St-Vivant were not that highly priced/prized vs. other grands crus, but now they are, without regard to the producer or overall quality of the wine in question; more recently, Bonnes-Mares, Chambertin, and Clos-de-Bèze are starting to join them in that category. (Ironically, many used to consider Bonnes-Mares one of the weaker grands crus.)

    What may have a healthy effect is that in Burgundy the last few weeks, I began to hear several merchants who sell such wines to people willing to pay the prices shake their heads and say that it’s just fermented grape juice.

  4. gilberto

    “What may have a healthy effect is that in Burgundy the last few weeks, I began to hear several merchants who sell such wines to people willing to pay the prices shake their heads and say that it’s just fermented grape juice.”

    Claude, I didn’t quite get what you wanted to say. What is the healthy effect?

  5. claude.kolm@gmail.com

    They think it’s ridiculous that their customers are paying the prices that they pay. You may say that’s always been the case, but not from the people I’m referring to (at least not that they’ve expressed it in the past). Could be sign of a bubble starting to get a little wobbly.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?