Wine Talk

Snooth User: Rupert Degas

Bordeaux 2009 En Primeur

Original post by Rupert Degas, Mar 27, 2010.

Hey everyone, what's the buzz in the US right now about buying Bordeaux 2009 En Primeur?

I have never known a vintage to be so 'talked-up' by the press.  Investors are hanging on to Parker's index fingers waiting with drooling tongues and wagging tails for it to spout forth its Midas touch.  This is THE vintage of the last 100 years folks.  Brokers and merchants have proverbial blank cheques from their millionaire clients.  What will happen?  

Do you think the Bordelais will over-price?

Does anyone have any money to take the plunge into what will undoubtedly be a bull market stampede?

Has anyone been caught out by wine futures and lost a small fortune?

Is there insider dealing going on?  Back-handers?  (Heaven forbid!)

Does anyone actually care?

Let's have a heated debate...! 

Replies

476
1138
Reply by John Andrews, Jun 22, 2010.

I think I've decided to go with some lower priced, lower tier futures.  Once I finalize my list, I'd love to get peoples input.  There will be at least one Sauternes in the list, so please do suggest some.  Guiraud (375 ml) is already sold out and was available at a decent price (27.99).  I assume with this 'great' vintage there will be a lot of second label Sauternes as well. 

626
1071
Reply by zufrieden, Jun 22, 2010.

The barrel samples of the 2009 Guiraud are over-the-top in terms of ratings.  I would not be surprised if the half-bottles are already sold out - though this is very unusual at so early a juncture. However, be of good cheer: the 2007 and 2008 are much cheaper and if not quite so highly lauded. 

I will load up on these for the moment in consolation...

476
1138
Reply by John Andrews, Jun 22, 2010.

@Z ... that is what I am doing.  I purchased a couple of 07 Guiraud and at a decent price $27.99 but haven't seen any 08s around. 

20
5991
Reply by dmcker, Jun 22, 2010.

Rarewineco has an offer on various bottle sizes for '09 Climens (that nowadays is considered the best Sauternes after Yquem). Though not 'lower tier' in either quality or price ($57 for a 375, $112.50 for a 750, $235 for a magnum, etc.), check it out. The wine (at least in other vintages this past decade and the one before that I have tasted) is excellent, and I consider this a relative value compared to the other wines discussed above.

0
1
Reply by bucko12400, Jun 22, 2010.

Remember the adage that a rising tide lifts all ships. In a good vintage year even less famous chateau produce very good wines at reasonable prices. Ratings on many are at the 90+ point level while retailing at give or take $20. If you are interested in status you might need to buy up to get the big name, but if you can buy wine with the same point score as an $80 bottle for a quarter of the price, why not?

 

 

626
1071
Reply by zufrieden, Jun 22, 2010.

That seems a very fair offer for Climens 09.  I might just check it out. Also the comment about the rising tide is a good one - assuming the vintage is as good as the story relates.  We can hope, but as I said a bit earlier on in the forum posts, I am a little suspicious.  This was also the lead-up to the '05 and some wines though very good actually under-performed for the price compared to the vintages immediately prior and after (Chateau Pichon Comtesse de Lalande and Chateau Montrose come to mind...).

7045
2915
Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 24, 2010.

You guys are rally ponying up for 2009 futures at these prices?

 

I'm not sure the wine will be better than 2005 for example, and we won't really know until they are released and we can taste them.

 

If I were buying Bordeaux of this type at the moment I would be focusing on other vintages, 2005, 2000, and even older where the prices are better and the wines have a generally recognized level of quality.

476
1138
Reply by John Andrews, Jun 24, 2010.

@Greg ... well, if I can good value on 05s I'd consider it but they are getting tough to find too.  

626
1071
Reply by zufrieden, Jun 24, 2010.

And expensive - even when sub-par and not comparing well with shoulder vintages (2004, 2006). If you are willing to shell out enough lucre, there are quite a few 2005 vintages still available in Vancouver, but these are mostly wines floating in the stratosphere in terms of price.  

I will wait until the major releases arrive in 2012 for the 2009 vintage. I'm pretty sure I will have access to just about anything I want - if I use my contacts at the right time.  The question remains: are these going to be worth it?  Greg is probably right - go to the known for now.

20
5991
Reply by dmcker, Jun 24, 2010.

One issue, of course, is whether you follow and generally buy certain chateaux regardless of the vintage. Unfortunately, history has taught us that the prices for Bordeaux famous names never drop below those at first-tranche release, but rather the contrary. So if there's any particular wine you know you're going to buy anyway, now is better to 'pony up' than later. Obviously, adjustments to purchase volume for this vintage can be made....

1
240
Reply by cigarman168, Jun 24, 2010.

Better go for 07, 04 vintage while 09 is really that high price.

626
1071
Reply by zufrieden, Jun 25, 2010.

There are a lot of bargains in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008 - if you are prepared to look.  Of course, the persistent collector will probably shell out some extra dough for the odd favorite.  Look closely at the unclassified (but respected) estates for those little gems in '09.

D., as to price, one of the few advantages of a state monopoly in most liquors is a well-paid and well-credentialed group of wine buyers that purchase futures and pass on some of the benefits therefrom to the average consumer.  As I am not an average consumer, I am hoping for even better than average savings, of course. 

476
1138
Reply by John Andrews, Jun 28, 2010.

After all my talk, I still haven't pulled the trigger on the 2009s.  For some reason I keep feeling like I am getting suckered here. 

I may still pull the trigger here but not sure I feel justification to do it right now.  

UGHHH ... the indecision. 

1
240
Reply by cigarman168, Jun 29, 2010.

Just got quote "2009 Ch. Mouton Rothschild, HK$106,800 (equiv GBP9,128) per case of 12 bottles" Feel justification??

 

0
2681
Reply by gregt, Jun 29, 2010.

The prices are stupid.  I was reading Le Monde on the plane back and they quoted Lurton as saying that he had to raise the prices 50% because it was an exceptional vintage. 

Right.

And there's a lot of undrinkable swill around too.  So you can pick up "off" vintages like 2006 and 2007, and if you get a good winemaker/chateau, you may be happy to have paid a lot of money for a wine that's OK but unexceptional, or you can mortgage the house and pay for a wine that's good but overpriced, or you can buy real crap and still be happy that you have Bordeaux, or you can simply pass on the entire region until they all come to their senses.

I see no reason at all to buy their wine.  It's not like it's the only wine around, or even the best.  And I'm including the top names.  For $1000 or more a bottle, I can think of plenty of other places to put my money.  Bordeaux has largely become a wine for suckers IMO.  Any time someone gets a decent score, he raises his price.

There are a couple of wineries that started up recently and have done everything right - hire Michel Roland or some other Parker favorite, pick at the right time, etc.  And some of those don't yet have scores.  Buy those.  When they get scores, they will double prices.  If you can find them of course.

But most importantly - why buy futures?  You lock your money up for 2 - 3 years and you could just buy it on release.  They say they're selling out their releases.  Right.  You have 100,000 cases to sell.  You release 25.  They sell out.  Now you can say you're releasing your second tranche, maybe 15 - 20 cases and you expect it to sell out, so people should buy right away.  Thus you create a little bit of hype.  Eventually you raise the price again and release the rest.  Remember, you're selling to negociants, so you get your money up front.  Then the wine hits the market, sits there, and the dealers who have it in their warehouses have to quietly discount it to move it, or they offer sweetners to the retailers/importers who will have to sell it.  In any case, you get no advantage as a consumer by buying futures.  And the Bordelais acknowledge as much.

20
5991
Reply by dmcker, Jun 29, 2010.

Or you can just buy a case or two of Les Hauts de Pontet 2000. I'm seeing prices around $25/bottle (with a discount of 10% or more when quantities are six or greater) in SoCal. Should be in a decent drinking window now...

476
1138
Reply by John Andrews, Jun 29, 2010.

@GregT ... you basically summed up my resistance to buying the futures.  There is very little incentive other than 'it may be sold out upon release'.  At least with the some of the futures I do buy here in California you can get it at discounted rate from the retail price (upon release).  I am struggling with the 3 year wait to get the wine that I purchase now.

@DM ... now that sounds like a plan.  Did you find the store here on Snooth?  Can you message me the location?  That definitely sounds like a better option to me. 

0
2681
Reply by gregt, Jun 29, 2010.

Honda - Pierre Lurton himself, as well as Parker and many others, have said that if the French want to get the futures working again, they need to offer a discount to the buyers for buying early.  That used to be the case in fact.  As it is, there is no discount any more and everyone knows it. 

As to whether the wines will be sold out or not, maybe, maybe not.  A lot of people buy to flip. Hopefully some of those guys get burned and can't sell.  Who knows.  But I'm convinced that the numbers showing these days are manipulated. I just saw some stats showing that 88 pct of the first tranche has been sold, whatever that is supposed to mean.  Having just spent a week over there and talked to many producers, I wonder what the numbers represent.  As I posted above, I think they manipulate them to generate more hype than is warranted.  Again, for me it's a big PASS.

And I'm not sure it even pays to buy from CA in advance any more.  I bought a wine from Napa directly from the winery, anxious to get my allocation.  About three months later I saw some guy selling the same wine for 1/2 what I paid!  So I bought it again.  And other wines I've considered are hitting the retail or secondary markets at roughly the price from the winery, so I'm starting to think that the only real way to buy wine now is on dumps.

 

7045
2915
Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 29, 2010.

One reason the futures market appears to be working, and I have heard that the top 09s are in fact "flying off the shelves", is that the first and second tranche are now smaller percentages of the wine on offer. the supply is artificially being kept tight to support the demand.

It will all come crashing down.

Having said that, and having just returned from Bordeaux, I was surprised at how much I still iked some of the wines!

Guess which ones!

Yup, the less expensive ones, the unpretentious ones, the ones that have a price, and it seems to sometimes keep pace with inflation but not much more.

We have a terrible habit of tarring Bordeaux with the reputation and practives of a few scores of famous classed growths, but as with any and every wine regin there are still folks making good wines there.

I had some great light Entre deux Mers balnc, realy deliciouswines from the Cotes de Bourg (bag in box no less) not to mention delicous Clairettes!

And even some of the big boys, ok so I can't afford them but Matgaux is still special, and wines like Maucaillou and Boyd Cantenac are still very competative at their rpice points. Just not in 2009. 2005 Boyd Cantenac or 2000 Lafon Rochet for $50 and Moucaillou for $30 are still pretty good deals, and wines I've bought, and will enjoy. 

Bordeaux is Bordeaux, and when it is on it can be great. When it is off it can be particulaly bad The real problem with Bordeaux is not the wines, it;s the prices being asked for, and paid for them.

Truth is a drink a heck of a lot less Bordeaux than I used to, for many reasons: changing styles, my evolving palate, the foods I eat, and of course the absurd pricing of many of the wines.

But I still like the wines in the abstract, and enjoy drinking them, especially the one's a stashed in the cellar over the past 2 decades!

 

 

 

 

1
240
Reply by cigarman168, Jun 30, 2010.

DM : hv you taste this second wine of Potet Canet Les Hauts de Pontet 2000? Good? What is SoCal?



Continue to the end of the thread to reply
Back to Categories

Top Contributors This Month

125836 Snooth User: dmcker
125836dmcker
86 posts
847804 Snooth User: EMark
847804EMark
69 posts
324443 Snooth User: outthere
324443outthere
62 posts

Categories

View All





Snooth Media Network