Have you received your DRC Allocation?

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Robert M yers
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#51 Post by Robert M yers » May 5th, 2020, 2:46 am

I’m assuming the “secret” isn’t so secret of course, it’s usually money. Spend enough and get a bit of a discount on DRC. How else would you prove to the importer your a drinker? The interesting question is what’s enough and that’s not going to be talked about publicly I’d guess. If you are “allocated” leftovers you are going to pay some degree of the markup, if it was easy the direct info would be out there and more would be doing it.

I’m not disputing anything as I have no real knowledge here, just many years (for some reason) of reading about a wine I have no expectation of ever even trying. I just find the whole thing rather fascinating.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#52 Post by Dennis Borczon » May 5th, 2020, 4:53 am

How do we know if the new vintage is even any good? Maybe someone needs to Pobega one or two bottles of La Tache to let us all know....

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#53 Post by William Kelley » May 5th, 2020, 4:57 am

Dennis Borczon wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 4:53 am
How do we know if the new vintage is even any good? Maybe someone needs to Pobega one or two bottles of La Tache to let us all know....
The 2017 La Tâche is, to put it mildly, pretty tasty champagne.gif
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#54 Post by AD Northup » May 5th, 2020, 6:18 am

William Kelley wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 4:57 am
Dennis Borczon wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 4:53 am
How do we know if the new vintage is even any good? Maybe someone needs to Pobega one or two bottles of La Tache to let us all know....
The 2017 La Tâche is, to put it mildly, pretty tasty champagne.gif
Now to just find a bottle [wink.gif]
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#55 Post by Andrew K. » May 5th, 2020, 6:39 am

c fu wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 9:13 pm
Last year retailers were offering "library" release ech and corton (2014) for $1400-1600. I think most people passed. I got offers up much below that in the last couple of weeks.

As much as you want, I don't think most people are going to talk about the pricing they get for DRC or any of the really blue chip stuff on allocation.
Appreciate all the info from you Charlie. The vintages I got were 2014 and 2013. I was definitely surprised at the prices - I expected them to be much lower - but they weren't any worse than auction so I took them. Also being new to these retailers I knew I couldn't afford to not take what they offered me and expect them to offer me something better next year. So that's the main reason I was starting this thread to see what kind of price points others in the US have been offered by their retailer. I didn't expect that would be very secret as we talk about different retailer pricing on other wines all the time.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#56 Post by billnanson » May 5th, 2020, 6:43 am

AD Northup wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 6:18 am
William Kelley wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 4:57 am
Dennis Borczon wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 4:53 am
How do we know if the new vintage is even any good? Maybe someone needs to Pobega one or two bottles of La Tache to let us all know....
The 2017 La Tâche is, to put it mildly, pretty tasty champagne.gif
Now to just find a bottle [wink.gif]
Well, I won't be opening mine for a little while... [snort.gif]
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#57 Post by Andrew K. » May 5th, 2020, 6:47 am

jbray23 wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 11:29 pm
If you get any allocation of DRC then price isn’t a matter and you’re not getting gouged if you pay the price...
Of course price matters. It's the same reason that list prices on US wineries matter. Why would I buy my allocation every year, good vintages and lesser vintages, as well as be compelled to buy other wines I may or may not really want just to stay on the list, if the price is the same I can cherry pick exactly what I want in the market at any time? Affording DRC doesn't mean you're stupid with money. Usually quite the opposite.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#58 Post by Andrew K. » May 5th, 2020, 6:49 am

Robert M yers wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 1:34 am
Sounds like maybe the OP is getting an offer to buy from the retailer rather than an allocation. Those with long standing allocations as I understand have been buying for eons or somehow been let into the club. I sincerely doubt anyone who is in that fight club is going to tell the secrets on a public full name forum. Transparency is nice but this game isn’t built on it.
Yes you're right. I'm not taking about a direct allocation from an importer. In Europe it's a one tier system and the prices are quite reasonable - if you can get an allocation. And I understand there's a special list with WD in the US where you can also get an allocation at reasonable prices.

But the best the rest of us can do is have a good relationship with a retailer that gets an allocation from WD. Those are the prices I'm interested in talking about.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#59 Post by Andrew K. » May 5th, 2020, 7:56 am

m. ristev wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 9:09 pm
i am sure it is definitely higher on the most recent releases, but even if it is $350 at cost, fair retail would be about $450.
The direct allocation price in the UK for Corton was just under $400 this year. Because of the 3-tiered system in the US, even if that's the price WD sells to the distributor, the restaurant would still be paying at least $525 from the distributor, maybe more. If they were giving the restaurants such a great deal, why would they funnel the bulk of the allocations to the restaurants when they could sell it to retailers for more? But I'd love to be proved wrong if anyone has any ITB info on what merchants are actually paying.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#60 Post by m. ristev » May 5th, 2020, 8:06 am

i don't have exact numbers for you, those are simply approximations to give you an idea of what i believe the wines you mentioned to cost in an ideal circumstance. what is an acceptable price for you is certainly up to you to decide.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#61 Post by Troy Stark » May 5th, 2020, 8:16 am

RyanC wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 9:00 pm
m. ristev wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 8:56 pm
Andrew K. wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 8:45 pm


You think $650 is high? Just trying to understand where you're getting that idea? I do appreciate linking to that post as that poster got an incredible deal that even he acknowledged.
i believe that is a bit high for corton, but within reason. a restaurant by me was selling several vintages of corton for around $500. they had a standard 2x markup on their list. i think that should give you some insight what the approximate wholesale cost is.
I would be shocked if restaurants got DRC Corton for $250/btl. That said, I know that a huge % of the Corton goes to restaurants. I'm also a big fan of the Corton. I feel like it gets overlooked as the new kid on the block, and b/c so much ends up in restaurants, but I've had a few vintages and each has been superb and up to DRC standards.
I am a huge fan of Corton. Not DRC Corton, but Corton in general. I generally prefer Cote de Beaune reds over Cote de Nuits, but Corton especially is my jam.

Never had DRC, but I actually saw a bottle of DRC Ech in a Total Wine for about $500 one time. Now ask me why I didn't buy it!? Still kicking myself.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#62 Post by Chris Seiber » May 5th, 2020, 9:57 am

Russell Faulkner wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 2:11 am
You just have to buy a load of stuff you don’t want to get it. ;)
That would be awesome if, for each bottle of DRC allocated, you had to buy a case each of Domaine de Villaine Mercurey and HdV "Californio" Syrah.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#63 Post by Yao C » May 5th, 2020, 10:27 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 9:57 am
Russell Faulkner wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 2:11 am
You just have to buy a load of stuff you don’t want to get it. ;)
That would be awesome if, for each bottle of DRC allocated, you had to buy a case each of Domaine de Villaine Mercurey and HdV "Californio" Syrah.
I'd willingly buy cases of the de Villaine Bouzeron for the ability to buy Montrachet pileon
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#64 Post by Jonathan Favre » May 5th, 2020, 10:41 am

I do believe offers to the US list were distributed in mid/late March 2019 - for the 2016s - so maybe sometime soon. Allocations to others seems to happen after this from what I can ascertain..... If y'all are wondering - yes, we're all guilty here - our contribution to the demand for DRC (our cherished domaine) is well, demanding :). As long as we're all to blame then it shouldn't be a surprise that prices will increase in an open market where supply (or control thereof) is also being portioned out.
Last edited by Jonathan Favre on May 5th, 2020, 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#65 Post by Brian Glas » May 5th, 2020, 11:13 am

Mark Y wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 5:37 pm
If i can get RC for 1200 I’m taking out a mortgage on the house ;)
That sound good to me. Next tasting group you can bring some DRC and I'll show up with Davenport Mr. B's that I got for $11. We can see what we like best. :)

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#66 Post by Joshua Kates » May 5th, 2020, 11:47 am

Slight thread drift. I cellared some Corton from the vineyards DRC bought, specifically the '08 Prince Florent de Merode Corton Les Bressandes. Anybody want these for 1/2 the price of the DRC? :) Just kidding.

Actually, I am wondering if anyone is familiar with the wine--had some lately, and, if so, what they think. CT seems positive, but thin reporting. (I see I also have an '88 Corton des Marechaudes, backfilled, which I will have to open soon.)
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#67 Post by A Platt » May 5th, 2020, 2:08 pm

Last Corton I received was in 2010 for ~300bucks.

Price for Tache is exactly same as last year at ~1500bucks.

Delivery here in Central Europe already took place; California normally takes a quarter or so more asaik.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#68 Post by jbray23 » May 5th, 2020, 3:41 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 6:47 am
jbray23 wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 11:29 pm
If you get any allocation of DRC then price isn’t a matter and you’re not getting gouged if you pay the price...
Of course price matters. It's the same reason that list prices on US wineries matter. Why would I buy my allocation every year, good vintages and lesser vintages, as well as be compelled to buy other wines I may or may not really want just to stay on the list, if the price is the same I can cherry pick exactly what I want in the market at any time? Affording DRC doesn't mean you're stupid with money. Usually quite the opposite.

I don’t see a lot of bargain hunting for DRC based on cost.... of you pass up your allocation then someone else will jump.. of course, at least in the states you have to jump through a lot of hoops to even get an allocation if your a bottle shop so some of the price is built in... I’ve seen where a lot of DRC goes in our state and people don’t really care about price... now you might,but the next guy up will take whatever you don’t want and not at close to real pricing.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#69 Post by c fu » May 5th, 2020, 8:25 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 6:39 am
c fu wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 9:13 pm
Last year retailers were offering "library" release ech and corton (2014) for $1400-1600. I think most people passed. I got offers up much below that in the last couple of weeks.

As much as you want, I don't think most people are going to talk about the pricing they get for DRC or any of the really blue chip stuff on allocation.
Appreciate all the info from you Charlie. The vintages I got were 2014 and 2013. I was definitely surprised at the prices - I expected them to be much lower - but they weren't any worse than auction so I took them. Also being new to these retailers I knew I couldn't afford to not take what they offered me and expect them to offer me something better next year. So that's the main reason I was starting this thread to see what kind of price points others in the US have been offered by their retailer. I didn't expect that would be very secret as we talk about different retailer pricing on other wines all the time.
Another reason why people don't talk about price, if they get a particularly good price it can be almost guaranteed they'll get messaged asking where, if there are leftovers, if they can get connected.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#70 Post by Mark Y » May 5th, 2020, 8:34 pm

Andrew, which retailer did you get it from? are there left overs? if so, can you connect me?
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#71 Post by Doug Schulman » May 6th, 2020, 8:49 am

Andrew K. wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 8:13 pm
If my stores are gouging me and other stores are giving their customers better prices I want to know so I can go talk to them.
The thing is, stores that are selling these wines at reasonable markups usually have to buy a whole bunch of other stuff to get their allocations. Then they use those allocations to reward their best long-standing customers. One can't just go in there and say "hey, will you please sell me DRC at prices way below market value?" and expect anything to happen beyond an eye roll. Those stores could sell what they get at higher prices. The point for them is rewarding their best customers and hopefully earning some ongoing loyalty. I don't mean to condescend or give you a hard time if you already know some of this, but you seem not to. If someone tells you where they get that kind of pricing and then you go asking for it, that retailer might not be so happy with that customer.

As for importer direct pricing, maybe it's easier to come by in Europe, but here in the US, it is definitely not anywhere near as easy to become a Wilson Daniels direct customer has William has made it sound. I have no idea how many of those customers get added each year, but I do know the importer uses DRC allocations to pressure their distributor partners to sell more of the other wines in the portfolio. So, there's direct incentive for WD to sell DRC through distribution rather than directly to consumers, and DRC really has no say in that even if they might want it to go another way. I am in no way trying to demonize Wilson Daniels. To some extent and with some variations, this is how the wine business tends to work in the US for those few importers who get wines where demand is so high. It's not always such a quid pro quo situation as it definitely is in this case, but every distributor and retail/restaurant buyer knows that if you want those wines, you do your best to support that company as a whole.

So, yeah, the prices you're paying are significantly higher than what some people pay, and lower than what some other people pay. The market for these wines is bizarre. If you want to pay less, you can move on and try to be an important customer to another retailer that probably gets a decent allocation. It's only gambling at that point.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#72 Post by Tom Taylor » May 6th, 2020, 9:53 am

Wilson Daniels selling direct to consumers in the US legally? Huh?
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#73 Post by Andrew K. » May 6th, 2020, 9:57 am

Doug Schulman wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 8:49 am
Then they use those allocations to reward their best long-standing customers. One can't just go in there and say "hey, will you please sell me DRC at prices way below market value?" and expect anything to happen beyond an eye roll. Those stores could sell what they get at higher prices. The point for them is rewarding their best customers and hopefully earning some ongoing loyalty.
Thanks, absolutely agree. Sorry for any confusion, I'm well aware of the quid pro quo, which is why I've established relationships with these retailers and purchased quite a bit of other wine from them in the past year. I'm going to buy a lot of wine anyway, so I've targeted my purchases when possible through these retailers to give them as much business as possible. That's precisely why I'm on the list to get part of their allocation this year. But that's also why my expectation is that they will give me reasonable prices on what they get. The thing is I just don't know what constitutes a "reasonable price". I want them to make money, of course, but I would expect no more than a standard 20-30% markup. If they are marking it up 100% to sell it to me, after all the other business I've given them, I would certainly be upset.

I know with the 3-tiered system in the US, the wines that are well sought after, everybody wants to take their cut. So the importer marks them up more than usual, the distributor marks them up more than usual and the retailer marks them up more than usual. I just really don't know how much markup there is before it even gets into the retailer's hands. If they are paying high prices from their distributor, I can't expect them to give me DRC at their cost or a loss.

That's why I was hoping to gather some data points from others on what I should expect. (My library purchase last year is not a valid data point since it was unusual.) If, for example, others are getting Corton for $700 and they offer it to me again this year for $1400, I would like to be able to say, "what's the deal? You pay $550 for this wine. Other retailers are offering it for $700. If you want to gouge me I'll take my business elsewhere." But if $1400 is what everyone else is paying for Corton because the retailers pay $1100, it is what it is. I just don't feel like I have enough information to know for sure at this point.

I do appreciate (most :P) everyone's comments and I do believe it has given me more information to at least believe that the prices they charge me should be significantly below market price and if they are not, I'm going to have a conversation with them.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#74 Post by Troy Stark » May 6th, 2020, 11:43 am

Tom Taylor wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 9:53 am
Wilson Daniels selling direct to consumers in the US legally? Huh?
They probably have a retailer who gets an allocation clear the sale for them.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#75 Post by c fu » May 6th, 2020, 12:02 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 9:57 am
Doug Schulman wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 8:49 am
Then they use those allocations to reward their best long-standing customers. One can't just go in there and say "hey, will you please sell me DRC at prices way below market value?" and expect anything to happen beyond an eye roll. Those stores could sell what they get at higher prices. The point for them is rewarding their best customers and hopefully earning some ongoing loyalty.
Thanks, absolutely agree. Sorry for any confusion, I'm well aware of the quid pro quo, which is why I've established relationships with these retailers and purchased quite a bit of other wine from them in the past year. I'm going to buy a lot of wine anyway, so I've targeted my purchases when possible through these retailers to give them as much business as possible. That's precisely why I'm on the list to get part of their allocation this year. But that's also why my expectation is that they will give me reasonable prices on what they get. The thing is I just don't know what constitutes a "reasonable price". I want them to make money, of course, but I would expect no more than a standard 20-30% markup. If they are marking it up 100% to sell it to me, after all the other business I've given them, I would certainly be upset.

I know with the 3-tiered system in the US, the wines that are well sought after, everybody wants to take their cut. So the importer marks them up more than usual, the distributor marks them up more than usual and the retailer marks them up more than usual. I just really don't know how much markup there is before it even gets into the retailer's hands. If they are paying high prices from their distributor, I can't expect them to give me DRC at their cost or a loss.

That's why I was hoping to gather some data points from others on what I should expect. (My library purchase last year is not a valid data point since it was unusual.) If, for example, others are getting Corton for $700 and they offer it to me again this year for $1400, I would like to be able to say, "what's the deal? You pay $550 for this wine. Other retailers are offering it for $700. If you want to gouge me I'll take my business elsewhere." But if $1400 is what everyone else is paying for Corton because the retailers pay $1100, it is what it is. I just don't feel like I have enough information to know for sure at this point.

I do appreciate (most :P) everyone's comments and I do believe it has given me more information to at least believe that the prices they charge me should be significantly below market price and if they are not, I'm going to have a conversation with them.
Most retailers gotta spend a ton to get DRC with Wilson Daniels.. and most of Wilson Daniels portfolio is... not that good to say the least. So i don't really begrudge them if it's above their normal markup. As long as it's a good chunk below auction pricing i think it's still a fair deal.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#76 Post by Robert M yers » May 6th, 2020, 1:24 pm

Any thoughts on why DRC would give the gift to WD? If WD is getting a huge boost to their otherwise underperforming portfolio, what is DRC getting out of the relationship?

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#77 Post by alan weinberg » May 6th, 2020, 1:59 pm

c fu wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 12:02 pm
Andrew K. wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 9:57 am
Doug Schulman wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 8:49 am
Then they use those allocations to reward their best long-standing customers. One can't just go in there and say "hey, will you please sell me DRC at prices way below market value?" and expect anything to happen beyond an eye roll. Those stores could sell what they get at higher prices. The point for them is rewarding their best customers and hopefully earning some ongoing loyalty.
Thanks, absolutely agree. Sorry for any confusion, I'm well aware of the quid pro quo, which is why I've established relationships with these retailers and purchased quite a bit of other wine from them in the past year. I'm going to buy a lot of wine anyway, so I've targeted my purchases when possible through these retailers to give them as much business as possible. That's precisely why I'm on the list to get part of their allocation this year. But that's also why my expectation is that they will give me reasonable prices on what they get. The thing is I just don't know what constitutes a "reasonable price". I want them to make money, of course, but I would expect no more than a standard 20-30% markup. If they are marking it up 100% to sell it to me, after all the other business I've given them, I would certainly be upset.

I know with the 3-tiered system in the US, the wines that are well sought after, everybody wants to take their cut. So the importer marks them up more than usual, the distributor marks them up more than usual and the retailer marks them up more than usual. I just really don't know how much markup there is before it even gets into the retailer's hands. If they are paying high prices from their distributor, I can't expect them to give me DRC at their cost or a loss.

That's why I was hoping to gather some data points from others on what I should expect. (My library purchase last year is not a valid data point since it was unusual.) If, for example, others are getting Corton for $700 and they offer it to me again this year for $1400, I would like to be able to say, "what's the deal? You pay $550 for this wine. Other retailers are offering it for $700. If you want to gouge me I'll take my business elsewhere." But if $1400 is what everyone else is paying for Corton because the retailers pay $1100, it is what it is. I just don't feel like I have enough information to know for sure at this point.

I do appreciate (most :P) everyone's comments and I do believe it has given me more information to at least believe that the prices they charge me should be significantly below market price and if they are not, I'm going to have a conversation with them.
Most retailers gotta spend a ton to get DRC with Wilson Daniels.. and most of Wilson Daniels portfolio is... not that good to say the least. So i don't really begrudge them if it's above their normal markup. As long as it's a good chunk below auction pricing i think it's still a fair deal.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#78 Post by c fu » May 6th, 2020, 2:04 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 1:59 pm
c fu wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 12:02 pm
Andrew K. wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 9:57 am


Thanks, absolutely agree. Sorry for any confusion, I'm well aware of the quid pro quo, which is why I've established relationships with these retailers and purchased quite a bit of other wine from them in the past year. I'm going to buy a lot of wine anyway, so I've targeted my purchases when possible through these retailers to give them as much business as possible. That's precisely why I'm on the list to get part of their allocation this year. But that's also why my expectation is that they will give me reasonable prices on what they get. The thing is I just don't know what constitutes a "reasonable price". I want them to make money, of course, but I would expect no more than a standard 20-30% markup. If they are marking it up 100% to sell it to me, after all the other business I've given them, I would certainly be upset.

I know with the 3-tiered system in the US, the wines that are well sought after, everybody wants to take their cut. So the importer marks them up more than usual, the distributor marks them up more than usual and the retailer marks them up more than usual. I just really don't know how much markup there is before it even gets into the retailer's hands. If they are paying high prices from their distributor, I can't expect them to give me DRC at their cost or a loss.

That's why I was hoping to gather some data points from others on what I should expect. (My library purchase last year is not a valid data point since it was unusual.) If, for example, others are getting Corton for $700 and they offer it to me again this year for $1400, I would like to be able to say, "what's the deal? You pay $550 for this wine. Other retailers are offering it for $700. If you want to gouge me I'll take my business elsewhere." But if $1400 is what everyone else is paying for Corton because the retailers pay $1100, it is what it is. I just don't feel like I have enough information to know for sure at this point.

I do appreciate (most :P) everyone's comments and I do believe it has given me more information to at least believe that the prices they charge me should be significantly below market price and if they are not, I'm going to have a conversation with them.
Most retailers gotta spend a ton to get DRC with Wilson Daniels.. and most of Wilson Daniels portfolio is... not that good to say the least. So i don't really begrudge them if it's above their normal markup. As long as it's a good chunk below auction pricing i think it's still a fair deal.
two things—W-D has, I’m told, has in recent times moved to more of a restaurant model and has shortchanged even long time retail buyers. Secondly, the secret list does exist—I tried without success to get on it. Somehow favorite people of W-D or its reps get access at great pricing. Now w restaurants shuttered, I don’t know if there will be re-evaluation of their model.
for sure, i know a few people on the WD client list.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#79 Post by Chris Seiber » May 6th, 2020, 2:05 pm

It's a fascinating glimpse into a world I'll never inhabit, people trying to spend a ton of money in order to get on a secret list to be able to buy the world's most expensive wines, but being careful not to tell other people how much those wines cost, and so forth. It's like DRC is the secret orgy society from Eyes Wide Shut.

I don't begrudge anyone what they do with their money, but it's a pretty amazing model.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#80 Post by Tom Taylor » May 6th, 2020, 2:58 pm

Two things:

First @Andrew K. In my experience (27 years in WS), Wholesalers do not mark up highly sought after, very allocated items more than anything else. We sell a few of these, Rousseau, B Mascarello, Jacques Selosse etc..., and they are marked up just like some Chinon or Napa Zin. I can’t speak for Importers and obviously there is much variation among Retail. 40-50% is normal Retail markup, I think it is unrealistic to expect less than this no matter how much you buy.

Secondly WD has made a strong push to self distribute in a number of States. Here in CT they opened up their own Wholesale operation about 18 months ago. It is my understanding that DRC allocations will be more generous in those markets they self distribute.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#81 Post by Andrew K. » May 6th, 2020, 3:03 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 1:59 pm
Now w restaurants shuttered, I don’t know if there will be re-evaluation of their model.
They're not dumb. I fully expect at least this year they'll be tossing much larger than usual allocations to their retail buyers. They need to sell wine. That's certainly what my stores are expecting as well based on their conversations with their reps.

And of course when restaurants open back up again next year or whatever year, if it suits them, they'll go back to screwing the stores.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#82 Post by Andrew K. » May 6th, 2020, 3:12 pm

Tom Taylor wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 2:58 pm
Two things:

First @Andrew K. In my experience (27 years in WS), Wholesalers do not mark up highly sought after, very allocated items more than anything else. We sell a few of these, Rousseau, B Mascarello, Jacques Selosse etc..., and they are marked up just like some Chinon or Napa Zin. I can’t speak for Importers and obviously there is much variation among Retail. 40-50% is normal Retail markup, I think it is unrealistic to expect less than this no matter how much you buy.

Secondly WD has made a strong push to self distribute in a number of States. Here in CT they opened up their own Wholesale operation about 18 months ago. It is my understanding that DRC allocations will be more generous in those markets they self distribute.
Thanks, Tom. Appreciate your insight on the WS world.

Interesting to hear about self-distributing. Unfortunately in my state the distributorship is for life, mafia style, so they will never extract my distributor without paying a mighty penny.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#83 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » May 6th, 2020, 4:50 pm

Chris - I agree that it is fascinating, but I do not find it surprising at all. This is because quite clearly, for many buyers, the market for highly allocated wines is a long long way from a "free" one, let alone a transparent one. Given that increasing production is not an option for unicorns (except... go Faiveley :)!), the conventional way that these wines would be allocated is the producer raising prices until demand = supply. If the producer doesn't increase prices, then that passes the buck for allocating down the chain - and in the USA that means multiple hand-offs and a range of different approaches. All of those in the chain (producers, importers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers...) are not maximising price at supply = demand for each individual wine because there are a range of commercial, personal and long-range business factors in play. Of course, the precise mix and behaviour varies significantly - e.g. one retailer who gets 12 Rousseau Chambertin at "wholesale" might sell a bottle each to six of their best customers for $1200 and market the rest at $2500. I would contend that in the long run, this is unlikely to be sustainable - generational changes at wineries will change attitudes to loyalty, pricing, and "cheap" allocations and so on down the chain. In the meantime, there are people who "benefit" from buying unicorns at less than "market" price. The higher the market price, the greater the potential benefit and therefore the greater the risk of losing such benefit - e.g. by sharing information.

I would think most of the people on this board have direct experience of buying wines where demand >> supply, and they're getting some sort of bargain. Where that's a great Village, CdR or other high production / readily available wine, there's plenty for all, even after each has optimised their own benefit. That's very different for Ramonet or DRC Montrachet. So it comes as little surprise that a lot of this stuff is not transparent, leaves lots of room for speculation about both mechanisms and motives, and looks pretty weird to anyone with an ounce of objectivity :)!
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#84 Post by Doug Schulman » May 7th, 2020, 5:27 am

Robert M yers wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 1:24 pm
Any thoughts on why DRC would give the gift to WD? If WD is getting a huge boost to their otherwise underperforming portfolio, what is DRC getting out of the relationship?
Wilson Daniels has been importing DRC to the US since something like 1979. The wines were not easy to sell back then. Consumers, and even critics, complained about the high prices all the way up to the 1990 vintage. I am pretty sure it's one of the founders of WD who I read stories about giving DRC away as Christmas gifts in the early years because they couldn't sell through their entire allocation and didn't want to hurt their relationship with the domaine by ordering less. Wilson Daniels is the only national importer to the US that DRC has ever had. I think it's a longstanding relationship of such trust, respect, and loyalty that is unusual in today's wine world (probably in today's business world in general). Plus, the relationship has no doubt evolved over the years, with WD trying to sell the wines in ways that the domaine wants. Many importers and distributors say they will do that and then do not do it. I think a better question is why DRC would even consider going elsewhere. It's not like they want to increase sales.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#85 Post by Markus S » May 7th, 2020, 7:15 am

Andrew K. wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 9:57 am
...my expectation is that they will give me reasonable prices on what they get. The thing is I just don't know what constitutes a "reasonable price". I want them to make money, of course, but I would expect no more than a standard 20-30% markup. If they are marking it up 100% to sell it to me, after all the other business I've given them, I would certainly be upset.
What's the big deal? You say you can afford it, buy it. Similar to seeing meat in the supermarket, if they have any, you don't ask How much?
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#86 Post by Markus S » May 7th, 2020, 7:19 am

Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 4:50 pm
.... So it comes as little surprise that a lot of this stuff is not transparent, leaves lots of room for speculation about both mechanisms and motives, and looks pretty weird to anyone with an ounce of objectivity :)!
A lot of things in life are not transparent, like for example, if I was living in Florida I would kinda like to see the tallies of COVID patients, but they are not. As the internet becomes the arbiter of price, I think a lot of more obscure pricing mechanisms would rather not see the light of day and the powers that be want to keep it that way.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#87 Post by Bryan Price » May 7th, 2020, 10:14 am

Andrew M wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 6:12 pm
I don’t see why this poster deserves the kind of snark he’s gotten in response to a reasonable question, when half of this message board gets a collective hardon over spending $300-500 on whatever burg or n. rhone is fashionable at the moment. Nothing pretentious about his post, let him buy what he wants even if it’s not one of your sacred cows.
Do you think if you started a Faberge egg or Aston Martin thread that person wouldn't catch some flack from the common folk?
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#88 Post by Fred Bower » May 7th, 2020, 10:23 am

The last time I saw any DRC offered through my normal source with a standard markup was the 2013 vintage...about when WD went to the new allocation model, I believe. At that time, the after-market premium was on the entry wines - Corton, Echezeaux, and Duvault-Blochet and on the top wines - Romanee-Conti, La Tache, and Montrachet. The pricing on Grands Echezeaux, Richebourg, and Romanee St. Vivant was just about the same as i could find it available online. Assuming that has more or less held true, I would use the comparison pricing of the bookends of the portfolio as your basis for gauging "fairness" of pricing. Of course, you have to be offered (or quoted) the retail price to do such a comparison.

I love the spirit of wanting to see the wines go to their fans who drink them and sympathize with the domaine's challenge in making that happen. I am unfortunately left on the outside, looking in despite being someone who does cellar and drink the wines. That might change some day. I hope to be able to afford it when it does.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#89 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » May 7th, 2020, 11:04 am

Bryan: on jewellery berserkers or performance car berserkers I wouldn’t! But then again, maybe I would because there’s always idiots.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#90 Post by Andrew K. » May 7th, 2020, 12:27 pm

Markus S wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 7:15 am
What's the big deal? You say you can afford it, buy it. Similar to seeing meat in the supermarket, if they have any, you don't ask How much?
If they want $100/lb for filet and $20/lb for strip steak, I'm going to buy the strip steak even if I can "afford" the filet and might prefer it. I'd rather have a strip all week than one filet. same thing with DRC for me.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#91 Post by Robert M yers » May 7th, 2020, 1:07 pm

Doug Schulman wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 5:27 am
Robert M yers wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 1:24 pm
Any thoughts on why DRC would give the gift to WD? If WD is getting a huge boost to their otherwise underperforming portfolio, what is DRC getting out of the relationship?
Wilson Daniels has been importing DRC to the US since something like 1979. The wines were not easy to sell back then. Consumers, and even critics, complained about the high prices all the way up to the 1990 vintage. I am pretty sure it's one of the founders of WD who I read stories about giving DRC away as Christmas gifts in the early years because they couldn't sell through their entire allocation and didn't want to hurt their relationship with the domaine by ordering less. Wilson Daniels is the only national importer to the US that DRC has ever had. I think it's a longstanding relationship of such trust, respect, and loyalty that is unusual in today's wine world (probably in today's business world in general). Plus, the relationship has no doubt evolved over the years, with WD trying to sell the wines in ways that the domaine wants. Many importers and distributors say they will do that and then do not do it. I think a better question is why DRC would even consider going elsewhere. It's not like they want to increase sales.
Makes sense as I had bent considered the years before the hype. Good for them for staying loyal, that’s something you don’t find a lot of these days.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#92 Post by David Glasser » May 9th, 2020, 3:48 am

Andrew K. wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 12:27 pm
Markus S wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 7:15 am
What's the big deal? You say you can afford it, buy it. Similar to seeing meat in the supermarket, if they have any, you don't ask How much?
If they want $100/lb for filet and $20/lb for strip steak, I'm going to buy the strip steak even if I can "afford" the filet and might prefer it. I'd rather have a strip all week than one filet. same thing with DRC for me.
But you’re not shopping for filet. We have two pages of people explaining that the rarity and distribution scheme make comparison shopping for DRC next to impossible and fraught with the potential of missing out completely.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#93 Post by jleedionne » May 9th, 2020, 6:44 am

a) there are tariff implications here
b) I think wine spectator published the msrp when they reviewed the wines
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#94 Post by J. Cohen » May 12th, 2020, 5:25 pm

Found this allocation release for 2017 DRC from Corney & Barrow in the UK. Prices start on page 16. Pricing seems to be very cheap coming from a retail store no? Converting from Pounds to USD. A 3 pack of Romanee Conti £9,000 ($11,037) or $3,679 per bottle? La Tache £2,910 per pack of 3 ($3,568) or $1,188 per bottle. Does that seem right from a retail wine store to their clients? And so on..

https://issuu.com/corneyandbarrowltd/do ... ase_single
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#95 Post by Andrew K. » May 12th, 2020, 5:47 pm

Yes, that's the type of pricing you will see in the EU because they don't have the 3 tier system we have in the US. C&B imports directly from DRC and sells directly to the public. That's the type of pricing you would see from the WD direct list. But it's also ridiculously hard to get an allocation from C&B.

But when you put a distributor and the retailer in between that's two more levels of vig. Which is the precise reason for this thread.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#96 Post by Marcus Dean » May 12th, 2020, 6:08 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 12:27 pm
Markus S wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 7:15 am
What's the big deal? You say you can afford it, buy it. Similar to seeing meat in the supermarket, if they have any, you don't ask How much?
If they want $100/lb for filet and $20/lb for strip steak, I'm going to buy the strip steak even if I can "afford" the filet and might prefer it. I'd rather have a strip all week than one filet. same thing with DRC for me.
Yea you say that and then one night someone slips you the best filet steak you have ever had and you have to send all of your strip steak to auction cause it dont cut it anymore

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#97 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » May 12th, 2020, 6:32 pm

Marcus Dean wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 6:08 pm
Andrew K. wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 12:27 pm
Markus S wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 7:15 am
What's the big deal? You say you can afford it, buy it. Similar to seeing meat in the supermarket, if they have any, you don't ask How much?
If they want $100/lb for filet and $20/lb for strip steak, I'm going to buy the strip steak even if I can "afford" the filet and might prefer it. I'd rather have a strip all week than one filet. same thing with DRC for me.
Yea you say that and then one night someone slips you the best filet steak you have ever had and you have to send all of your strip steak to auction cause it dont cut it anymore
So, you’re not a steak lover? If you were it would be a ribeye that led you to sell all your filet.

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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#98 Post by c fu » May 12th, 2020, 6:41 pm

Moving thread to epicurean exploits
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#99 Post by Andrew K. » May 12th, 2020, 7:03 pm

Marcus Dean wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 6:08 pm
Yea you say that and then one night someone slips you the best filet steak you have ever had and you have to send all of your strip steak to auction cause it dont cut it anymore
Well unfortunately I've had all the best filet and I know the true value. Yeah it's amazing but it has a price.
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Re: Have you received your DRC Allocation?

#100 Post by Andrew K. » June 5th, 2020, 5:28 pm

Got an offer from one retailer today. Less than impressed with the price points. Really close to auction low prices. Hoping for better value elsewhere.
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