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...! 

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 30, 2010.

Well, it's not just 2009 that's selling well. Nor does it look like our wishful forecasts of just six months ago, that the downward trend in pricing even for famous wines would continue for another year or so, were anything more than pipedreams. Here's a press release I received today from an auction house out of Chicago. Looks like business is pretty good for them, and damned fine for the big names in Bordeaux (and Burgundy).


Lafite Lots Top $1 Million as Hart Davis Hart Chicago
Finishes First Half of 2010 with $16,049,543 in
Total Auction Sales, a 28% Increase Over 2009

June 26 Auction brings $4,295,511
100% of lots sold

(June 29, 2010 - Chicago, IL) - Wine prices eclipsed the high auction estimate at the auction this weekend in Chicago, realizing $ 4,295,511 against a pre-sale auction estimate of $2,867,660- $4,288,950. 100% of the lots offered were sold. Collections of Bordeaux and Burgundy brought intense bidding with many prices hammering over the high estimate. A six bottle case of 2000 Château Le Pin brought in $23,900 against a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$15,000 and a bottle of 1982 Romanée-Conti achieved $4,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $1,500-$2,200.

The heaviest bidding on the day was for the wines of Château Lafite Rothschild, which brought $1,023,034 against an estimated $644,870-$970,050. Eleven lots of 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, valued at $213,000-$318,500, sold for $329,940, while twelve lots of the 2000 vintage, valued at $153,200-$229,600, brought $233,025. Carruades de Lafite, the second wine of Lafite-Rothschild, saw enormous demand as 9 cases of the wine from various vintages surpassed the high estimate by 38% at an average price of $313 per bottle. These wines were available for $40 to $60 per bottle just a few years ago. Results for Mouton-Rothschild also surpassed the high end of the estimate range.

“Château Lafite-Rothschild continues to be in great demand worldwide. It is clearly the most sought-after wine in the auction market. Prices for Mouton-Rothschild are also moving higher.” commented Vice-Chairman, Michael Davis.

Eager bidders participated from 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Luxembourg, Macao, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

During the first half of 2010, Hart Davis Hart held four wine auctions in Chicago, bringing $16,049,543 (up 28% from 2009) against a total estimate for the season of $10,088,900- $15,068,570. HDH sold an industry-leading 99.9% of its lots, passing four lots out of 4,924 offered.

Commented Chairman John Hart: “This sale was a very strong finish to an excellent first half of 2010. We wish to thank all of our consignors and bidders worldwide and look forward to an exciting fall season.”

Reply by dmcker, Jun 30, 2010.

John, someone who lives in the Claremont area turned me on to the Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet. It's at NapaCab, in Chino, east of LA. I think that person saw it on the floor, but it's also offered on their website. If you look around the store, they're also offering a 2002 of the first label for a decent price.

Cigarman, SoCal is local terminology for Southern California. I haven't had Pontet-Canet's second label before, because the first label was always so reasonable, at least until recently. My guess is that it's probably pretty good, though, since the first label is made so well and the chateau has pretty serious aspirations. At that price it's worth a flyer anyway, don't you think?

Reply by dmcker, Jun 30, 2010.

And Greg, I'm not surprised about the Entres-Deux-Mers. I've had so many shockingly refreshing, great-value bottles from there over the years that it's really made me turn a jaundiced eye on pricier, out-of-balance SB offerings from the New World, esp. N.Z. and parts of California.

And yes, I, too, still like the wines from Bordeaux very much. My complaints are not that they don't stand up against other regions, but mainly about the obscene marketing practices that have taken over the past decade or so...

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