The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

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R. Frankel
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#901 Post by R. Frankel » June 28th, 2020, 9:41 am

Pricing certainly feels attractive, and I did buy a very small amount. But I also perceive (rightly or wrongly, the data isn’t really available) that the market is being manipulated in tried and true Bordeaux fashion. Yes stuff is selling out, but on what kind of quantity? It seems that a few dozen/hundred cases are selling out from producers that make tens of thousands of cases. So they “sell out” 1% of their inventory at low prices to drive interest, then jack up prices? I’ve already seen Clinet go from $74 to $90.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#902 Post by Mattstolz » June 28th, 2020, 10:00 am

R. Frankel wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:41 am
Pricing certainly feels attractive, and I did buy a very small amount. But I also perceive (rightly or wrongly, the data isn’t really available) that the market is being manipulated in tried and true Bordeaux fashion. Yes stuff is selling out, but on what kind of quantity? It seems that a few dozen/hundred cases are selling out from producers that make tens of thousands of cases. So they “sell out” 1% of their inventory at low prices to drive interest, then jack up prices? I’ve already seen Clinet go from $74 to $90.
I think thats exactly the plan. I have a feeling we see a second tranche of a lot of these wines when/if we ever start seeing US COVID numbers decreasing steadily.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#903 Post by Vince T » June 28th, 2020, 12:23 pm

I'm not sure I'd call this a market manipulation. This is exactly how a market should work, IMHO. You price your wares to sell them. If people go nuts and buy a bunch, then you raise the price. If people still buy Clinet at $90, then they've priced it correctly. If their sales have dropped to zero, then maybe they overshot. I think we as consumers benefited from Clinet at $74, even if it was a small first tranche.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#904 Post by JonathanG » June 28th, 2020, 3:47 pm

R. Frankel wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:41 am
Pricing certainly feels attractive, and I did buy a very small amount. But I also perceive (rightly or wrongly, the data isn’t really available) that the market is being manipulated in tried and true Bordeaux fashion. Yes stuff is selling out, but on what kind of quantity? It seems that a few dozen/hundred cases are selling out from producers that make tens of thousands of cases. So they “sell out” 1% of their inventory at low prices to drive interest, then jack up prices? I’ve already seen Clinet go from $74 to $90.
Pretty sure this is what happens every year. I guess they are adopting Black Friday tactics, lure people in with a low price then only a handful get them at the lowest price!
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#905 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 28th, 2020, 4:33 pm

The only wines I was unable to buy at the opening price were Mouton and Lafleur. I did buy end up buying one magnum of Mouton at 10% more than the opening, but the Lafleur was tied in with buying a ton of other products which I had no interest in, so passed.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#906 Post by Jeff Leve » June 28th, 2020, 4:49 pm

R. Frankel wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:41 am
Pricing certainly feels attractive, and I did buy a very small amount. But I also perceive (rightly or wrongly, the data isn’t really available) that the market is being manipulated in tried and true Bordeaux fashion. Yes stuff is selling out, but on what kind of quantity? It seems that a few dozen/hundred cases are selling out from producers that make tens of thousands of cases. So they “sell out” 1% of their inventory at low prices to drive interest, then jack up prices? I’ve already seen Clinet go from $74 to $90.
How is the market manipulated? If you want to buy the wine, you buy it. If it's too much money, you pass. The market sets the price. You mentioned Clinet. Clinet is a hot brand. Their production is small and every taster loved the wine. It's a serious Pomerol that is stil selling for under $100! If you like the wine, buy it! If not, do not buy it.

FWIW, Bordeaux is incredibly transparent. You know the wholesale price. You know the retail price. They do not offer 1% of their inventory. That is silly. On average, chateaux released between 50% - 70% of their wine in a single offering this year.

What other wine region lets you know their wholesale price? What world-class wineries tell you how many cases they produce, how much of it they release and their wholesale price?

How much is the wholesale price for DRC for example? Is that splashed on the Internet? How many cases to do they release etc? What other Burgundies? Or the high end Italian wines, or even California? I see library releases from Calif producers all the time. That means they hold stock back. Why not complain about that as well?

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#907 Post by Keith Levenberg » June 28th, 2020, 6:18 pm

R. Frankel wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:41 am
Pricing certainly feels attractive, and I did buy a very small amount. But I also perceive (rightly or wrongly, the data isn’t really available) that the market is being manipulated in tried and true Bordeaux fashion. Yes stuff is selling out, but on what kind of quantity? It seems that a few dozen/hundred cases are selling out from producers that make tens of thousands of cases. So they “sell out” 1% of their inventory at low prices to drive interest, then jack up prices? I’ve already seen Clinet go from $74 to $90.
But that's how futures are supposed to work, and how they used to work in the good ol' days. You buy early and get a good price. Then they jack up prices. For too long, they weren't able to jack up prices afterwards because they were obsessed with squeezing every penny they could on futures. Needless to say, there wasn't much reason to buy them under those circumstances.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#908 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 28th, 2020, 7:18 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 4:49 pm
R. Frankel wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:41 am
Pricing certainly feels attractive, and I did buy a very small amount. But I also perceive (rightly or wrongly, the data isn’t really available) that the market is being manipulated in tried and true Bordeaux fashion. Yes stuff is selling out, but on what kind of quantity? It seems that a few dozen/hundred cases are selling out from producers that make tens of thousands of cases. So they “sell out” 1% of their inventory at low prices to drive interest, then jack up prices? I’ve already seen Clinet go from $74 to $90.
How is the market manipulated? If you want to buy the wine, you buy it. If it's too much money, you pass. The market sets the price. You mentioned Clinet. Clinet is a hot brand. Their production is small and every taster loved the wine. It's a serious Pomerol that is stil selling for under $100! If you like the wine, buy it! If not, do not buy it.

FWIW, Bordeaux is incredibly transparent. You know the wholesale price. You know the retail price. They do not offer 1% of their inventory. That is silly. On average, chateaux released between 50% - 70% of their wine in a single offering this year.

What other wine region lets you know their wholesale price? What world-class wineries tell you how many cases they produce, how much of it they release and their wholesale price?

How much is the wholesale price for DRC for example? Is that splashed on the Internet? How many cases to do they release etc? What other Burgundies? Or the high end Italian wines, or even California? I see library releases from Calif producers all the time. That means they hold stock back. Why not complain about that as well?
Jeff,
Where did you get the 50-70% release information?
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#909 Post by Jeff Leve » June 28th, 2020, 7:50 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 7:18 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 4:49 pm
R. Frankel wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:41 am
Pricing certainly feels attractive, and I did buy a very small amount. But I also perceive (rightly or wrongly, the data isn’t really available) that the market is being manipulated in tried and true Bordeaux fashion. Yes stuff is selling out, but on what kind of quantity? It seems that a few dozen/hundred cases are selling out from producers that make tens of thousands of cases. So they “sell out” 1% of their inventory at low prices to drive interest, then jack up prices? I’ve already seen Clinet go from $74 to $90.
How is the market manipulated? If you want to buy the wine, you buy it. If it's too much money, you pass. The market sets the price. You mentioned Clinet. Clinet is a hot brand. Their production is small and every taster loved the wine. It's a serious Pomerol that is stil selling for under $100! If you like the wine, buy it! If not, do not buy it.

FWIW, Bordeaux is incredibly transparent. You know the wholesale price. You know the retail price. They do not offer 1% of their inventory. That is silly. On average, chateaux released between 50% - 70% of their wine in a single offering this year.

What other wine region lets you know their wholesale price? What world-class wineries tell you how many cases they produce, how much of it they release and their wholesale price?

How much is the wholesale price for DRC for example? Is that splashed on the Internet? How many cases to do they release etc? What other Burgundies? Or the high end Italian wines, or even California? I see library releases from Calif producers all the time. That means they hold stock back. Why not complain about that as well?
Jeff,
Where did you get the 50-70% release information?
I asked every estate I spoke with when tasting 2019. I also ask negociants about their allocations and neighboring chateaux for the gossip. FWIW, I also ask about yields and percentages of the harvest that go into the Grand Vin, so I also have a relatively good idea about the production of the wines as well.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#910 Post by Craig G » June 28th, 2020, 9:58 pm

I have no inside info, but I suspect that the issue when wines are selling out is that the stores didn’t commit to that much, as in previous years they couldn’t sell very much EP. Then they sell out and if they go back for more, the price may be higher.

Just for example, JJB sold out of Pichon Lalande. It’s clearly not because there isn’t any PLL to buy.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#911 Post by DanielP » June 28th, 2020, 10:03 pm

I don't think the market is manipulated. It's just that effect of the negociant business is such that it basically insulates the chateaus from consumer demand. So the pricing does not really logically follow supply-demand (consumer demand) curves like you would expect given that unlike other wine regions, the pricing is supposedly reflective of demand (in the form of market forces, vintage quality, etc).

If pricing truly reflected consumer demand, then I don't think negociants would be holding as much stock of recent vintages.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#912 Post by HMechbal » June 29th, 2020, 2:37 am

Transparency is debatable when the Chateaux never release the % of wine made available for EP (and EP 1st tranche in particular).

But I agree with Daniel, the main issue is the negociant system, I don't understand your statement "the market sets the price" Jeff with such a system.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#913 Post by Frank Z » June 29th, 2020, 8:44 am

First year getting into Bordeaux futures and thought I’d get my toes wet by only grabbing some Mouton. Thanks for all the information from the numerous pages in this thread.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#914 Post by R. Frankel » June 29th, 2020, 8:59 am

Well this discussion took a turn that surprised me. I didn’t expect to see such vigorous defense of the Bordeaux pricing regime. Yes, the word ‘manipulate’ isn’t fair - it implies something illegal or dishonest which is absolutely not what I meant. And I agree completely that we each participate at will and buy or not as we so choose. If I don’t like it, I can sit out.

But neither is the market especially transparent. Jeff I love your reviews/research and your participation in the community but you are by definition an insider with access to special information. The numbers and data seem obscure to me. The pricing regime up and down the chain and the storage of ‘non-released’ bottles is fairly bewildering.

Yes you share this info with us (and thank you) but we still have a lot of guessing to do to figure out what barrel/non-final blend samples might become for a product that we won’t be able to taste for 2 - 3 years and then we have to store carefully for 10-30 or more for it to become what we like.

So we can sit on the sideline and wait, which is what I usually do. The wine world has many structures (three tier system in the US, Bordeaux distribution system e.g.) that seem to build in pricing that is annoying to consumers. It feels unfair at an irrational level, but as a business guy I understand it for what it is - a bunch of businesses trying to optimize their profits. In the old days that optimization (i.e. highly incentivized futures pricing to less incentivized pricing) happened slowly because the information to do so moved slowly. Now it all happens super fast.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#915 Post by R. Frankel » June 29th, 2020, 9:07 am

Oh, here’s an example of lack of transparency in pricing regime: where are price adjustments coming from? We have five layers (producer, negociant, importer, distributor, retailer) in most cases if I understand this right. So the pricing optimization/market management could potentially come from any of those layers. My guess is that here in the US price fluctuation in the first few months is coming from the 4th or 5th layers, but it’s impossible to know. I really doubt the first two are involved now, but certainly watch and learn from future tranches. I could be wrong - contracts can be awesomely complex.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#916 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 29th, 2020, 9:39 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 7:50 pm
Mark Golodetz wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 7:18 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 4:49 pm


How is the market manipulated? If you want to buy the wine, you buy it. If it's too much money, you pass. The market sets the price. You mentioned Clinet. Clinet is a hot brand. Their production is small and every taster loved the wine. It's a serious Pomerol that is stil selling for under $100! If you like the wine, buy it! If not, do not buy it.

FWIW, Bordeaux is incredibly transparent. You know the wholesale price. You know the retail price. They do not offer 1% of their inventory. That is silly. On average, chateaux released between 50% - 70% of their wine in a single offering this year.

What other wine region lets you know their wholesale price? What world-class wineries tell you how many cases they produce, how much of it they release and their wholesale price?

How much is the wholesale price for DRC for example? Is that splashed on the Internet? How many cases to do they release etc? What other Burgundies? Or the high end Italian wines, or even California? I see library releases from Calif producers all the time. That means they hold stock back. Why not complain about that as well?
Jeff,
Where did you get the 50-70% release information?
I asked every estate I spoke with when tasting 2019. I also ask negociants about their allocations and neighboring chateaux for the gossip. FWIW, I also ask about yields and percentages of the harvest that go into the Grand Vin, so I also have a relatively good idea about the production of the wines as well.
That is a new and welcome development, as chateaux NEVER discussed price at the tastings except in general terms let alone allocations with journalists. Yields yes, and doing the simple Maths as to what went into first and second wines (and third where appropriate). Not sure what they gain by releasing this information. Did you get the sense that these tranches were less, average or more than usual?
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#917 Post by MitchTallan » June 29th, 2020, 9:44 am

R. Frankel wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:41 am
Pricing certainly feels attractive, and I did buy a very small amount. But I also perceive (rightly or wrongly, the data isn’t really available) that the market is being manipulated in tried and true Bordeaux fashion. Yes stuff is selling out, but on what kind of quantity? It seems that a few dozen/hundred cases are selling out from producers that make tens of thousands of cases. So they “sell out” 1% of their inventory at low prices to drive interest, then jack up prices? I’ve already seen Clinet go from $74 to $90.
I bought six Clinet at $74 from Wine House last evening. My order was confirmed just now.

As to this entire transparency topic, I understand how and why the issue arises with the tranches of Bordeaux, but in the big picture, how is Bordeaux pricing any different than the pricing of any other wine?
There was a time period in which Chave Hermitage pricing (at least here in Ohio) was being manipulated drastically upward by the importer and distributor over the price charged by Chave simply for the sake of profiteering off of the limited supply and high demand. This was true of Pegau too at one time. This practice still goes on with other wines. Usually the producer eventually catches wind and puts a stop to it by threatening to change importers and distributors.
And completely aside from the Chave/Pegau example, we just have the mostly arbitrary pricing of all highly sought after wines compared to cost of production. We have all been victims (strong word) of paying one price direct from a domestic winery only to find out later that the unsold wine has been sold off to a clearing house retailer at a fraction of the price paid directly to the winery and then offered to the public at a lesser price than paid directly to the winery. In fact, some Board Darlings have done this multiple times with barely a word said of it. I stopped buying from one such winery over fifteen years ago due to this practice. And yes, I know the winery has reasons for needing cash flow and selling off wine that failed to sell out completely direct. I just don't care, it still hurts.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#918 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 29th, 2020, 9:49 am

R. Frankel wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:07 am
Oh, here’s an example of lack of transparency in pricing regime: where are price adjustments coming from? We have five layers (producer, negociant, importer, distributor, retailer) in most cases if I understand this right. So the pricing optimization/market management could potentially come from any of those layers. My guess is that here in the US price fluctuation in the first few months is coming from the 4th or 5th layers, but it’s impossible to know. I really doubt the first two are involved now, but certainly watch and learn from future tranches. I could be wrong - contracts can be awesomely complex.
You missed out the courtier between the producer and negotiant, the middle man who helps with pricing and allows the transaction to go smoothly.

Most of the time profits are minimal around 10%. Only really for cash flow. Retailers such as Zachys deal directly with negotiants, and negotiants themselves have established a retail presence, notably Millesima.

I am sure Zachys or Wallys etc are hedging currency, and I am also convinced that they are buying wines for stock, so know the cost involved, and can raise prices if possible when wines are released. But buying futures has been an iffy way to spend money, and nine times out of ten, will be a losing proposition. If 2019 is an exception, think of the poor buggers who spent heavily on 2018, where the wines look really expensive now.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#919 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 29th, 2020, 9:52 am

MitchTallan wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:44 am
R. Frankel wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:41 am
Pricing certainly feels attractive, and I did buy a very small amount. But I also perceive (rightly or wrongly, the data isn’t really available) that the market is being manipulated in tried and true Bordeaux fashion. Yes stuff is selling out, but on what kind of quantity? It seems that a few dozen/hundred cases are selling out from producers that make tens of thousands of cases. So they “sell out” 1% of their inventory at low prices to drive interest, then jack up prices? I’ve already seen Clinet go from $74 to $90.
I bought six Clinet at $74 from Wine House last evening. My order was confirmed just now.

As to this entire transparency topic, I understand how and why the issue arises with the tranches of Bordeaux, but in the big picture, how is Bordeaux pricing any different than the pricing of any other wine?
There was a time period in which Chave Hermitage pricing (at least here in Ohio) was being manipulated drastically upward by the importer and distributor over the price charged by Chave simply for the sake of profiteering off of the limited supply and high demand. This was true of Pegau too at one time. This practice still goes on with other wines. Usually the producer eventually catches wind and puts a stop to it by threatening to change importers and distributors.
And completely aside from the Chave/Pegau example, we just have the mostly arbitrary pricing of all highly sought after wines compared to cost of production. We have all been victims (strong word) of paying one price direct from a domestic winery only to find out later that the unsold wine has been sold off to a clearing house retailer at a fraction of the price paid directly to the winery and then offered to the public at a lesser price than paid directly to the winery. In fact, some Board Darlings have done this multiple times with barely a word said of it. I stopped buying from one such winery over fifteen years ago due to this practice. And yes, I know the winery has reasons for needing cash flow and selling off wine that failed to sell out completely direct. I just don't care, it still hurts.
It is a shame to blame Bordeaux when Burgundy at the top end is so much worse. Cellar door prices at Roumier, Coche, Tremblay etc are a fraction of what they go for once greedy merchants have got their hands on them.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#920 Post by Jeff Leve » June 29th, 2020, 9:56 am

R. Frankel wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:59 am
The numbers and data seem obscure The pricing regime up and down the chain and the storage of ‘non-released’ bottles is fairly bewildering.
I’m not able to follow your issue. What data are you unsure of? And what what wine regions provides it?

I’ll try to help, but I don’t understand what you mean by storage of non released bottles. Can you explain?

Yes you share this info with us (and thank you) but we still have a lot of guessing to do to figure out what barrel/non-final blend samples might become for a product

This is not true. All Left Bank wines are blended. Right Bank wines are approximate blends, buy can vary slightly. Honestly, do you really need to know the exact blend of a wine before buying it?

we won’t be able to taste for 2 - 3 years and then we have to store carefully for 10-30 or more for it to become what we like.

Huh? What’s stopping you from popping a cork when you get a bottle? I do not get your logic.

In the old days that optimization (i.e. highly incentivized futures pricing to less incentivized pricing) happened slowly because the information to do so moved slowly. Now it all happens super fast.

I’m sorry but I don’t get you. Today you have more information than ever to let you know all you need to make a decision. And with 2019 buyers have been rewarded for purchasing early. Your unwillingness to buy early is not an indictment of the system.

FWIW, from 1982 - 2009, futures prices moved quickly. I’ve bought wines that jumped in price in less than a week. After 2009, futures have not been rewarding until 2019.


I’m trying to help explain things the best I can.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#921 Post by Ethan Abraham » June 29th, 2020, 9:57 am

Bordeaux is the only region where you can (99% of the time) buy as much of a wine on release as you want at exactly the same price (net of tariffs, taxes, etc) as everyone else in the world. In that sense it is by FAR the most transparent and liquid.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#922 Post by Jeff Leve » June 29th, 2020, 10:03 am

R. Frankel wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:07 am
Oh, here’s an example of lack of transparency in pricing regime: where are price adjustments coming from?
Initial prices are set by the chateau. All negociants pay the same and in theory, for the initial offering window, sell for the same price. After that market forces agree with the price and the wines well, or not and prices remain flat, move up or drop based on demand and of course layers of people in the chain.

FWIW, generally speaking there are no additional tranches outside of the First Growths. Most estates release what they want to sell all at once.

Going back to your initial post I responded to, I asked you a question. Can you tell me what wine region is more transparent with the sales information you want to know?

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#923 Post by Jeff Leve » June 29th, 2020, 10:12 am

HMechbal wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 2:37 am
Transparency is debatable when the Chateaux never release the % of wine made available for EP (and EP 1st tranche in particular).

But I agree with Daniel, the main issue is the negociant system, I don't understand your statement "the market sets the price" Jeff with such a system.
Chateaux release the amount of wine they want to sell for EP. Some release a larger or smaller percentage than others. It’s always been like that. Why is that a problem?

Can you tell me any wine region that you know how much wine the top estates produce and release?

Can you tell me the wholesale price charged by Chave, Gaja, DRC, Coche Dury, Opus along with their production and the amount of wines released?

The market always sets the price. Several wines will be discounted to sell because consumers are not willing to pay the price. Other wines escalate in price because consumers are willing to pay more. That’s how the market sets the price.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#924 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 29th, 2020, 12:31 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:57 am
Bordeaux is the only region where you can (99% of the time) buy as much of a wine on release as you want at exactly the same price (net of tariffs, taxes, etc) as everyone else in the world. In that sense it is by FAR the most transparent and liquid.
I cannot agree with this. Prices vary much more on release than en primeur. Also wines on release go through different distribution systems, for instance buying in Tennessee will likely cost you more than the competitive NY markets.

I do agree though it is very liquid. champagne.gif
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#925 Post by R. Frankel » June 29th, 2020, 12:56 pm

I'll try answer your questions ... my comments in Italics. Forgive the formatting snafus.
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:56 am
R. Frankel wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:59 am
The numbers and data seem obscure The pricing regime up and down the chain and the storage of ‘non-released’ bottles is fairly bewildering.
I’m not able to follow your issue. What data are you unsure of? And what what wine regions provides it?
It's not clear what decisions are made where in the supply chain. It's especially odd because right now all the 2019 Bordeaux is in barrels, so we're not actually talking about physical wine. Instead we're talking about a bunch of contracts and on-paper releases. So when K&L says they are sold out of Clinet, what that actually means is that the allocation they got from their distributor/importer/negociant has been sold, and they can then go get another allocation. If the price goes up, who is increasing it (i.e. negociant, importer, distributor, K&L)? Or everyone? Who gets to allocate how much? This is the data I am unsure of.

No wine region supplies all of their contractual details and obligations to the public. They are private businesses and these details are private. I wouldn't expect anything else. But they are certainly not transparent. In terms of production volume, amount released to list/distributors/restaurants, actually lots and lots of producers/regions provide this info. Some have case volume on their web sites. Most will tell you when you ask and visit (as I have done with my local wineries in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino). I don't see how Bordeaux is more transparent.

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:56 am
I’ll try to help, but I don’t understand what you mean by storage of non released bottles. Can you explain?
Wine that isn't sold by whoever is holding on to it. Hold backs. Seems like Bordeaux holds back a lot more in wineries and negociant warehouses then other regions, but I don't have much data on that, so this is more anecdotal.
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:56 am
Yes you share this info with us (and thank you) but we still have a lot of guessing to do to figure out what barrel/non-final blend samples might become for a product

This is not true. All Left Bank wines are blended. Right Bank wines are approximate blends, buy can vary slightly. Honestly, do you really need to know the exact blend of a wine before buying it?
Every article I read about Bordeaux EP-timed tastings is that these are barrel samples and not final blends. I wouldn't expect them to change a lot, but if my only information is from reviewers, and they're not reviewing final product, then there is some room for the product to change.
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:56 am
we won’t be able to taste for 2 - 3 years and then we have to store carefully for 10-30 or more for it to become what we like.

Huh? What’s stopping you from popping a cork when you get a bottle? I do not get your logic.
I buy 2019 now. I can't taste it until the bottles ship in 2+ years. Yes I can taste then.
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:56 am
In the old days that optimization (i.e. highly incentivized futures pricing to less incentivized pricing) happened slowly because the information to do so moved slowly. Now it all happens super fast.

I’m sorry but I don’t get you. Today you have more information than ever to let you know all you need to make a decision. And with 2019 buyers have been rewarded for purchasing early. Your unwillingness to buy early is not an indictment of the system.

FWIW, from 1982 - 2009, futures prices moved quickly. I’ve bought wines that jumped in price in less than a week. After 2009, futures have not been rewarding until 2019.
Today we absolutely have more info than ever before, that is certainly true. And 2019 is attractive, for sure. About past future price movement speed -- thanks for that info. I actually wasn't a buyer then.
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:56 am
I’m trying to help explain things the best I can.
Yes, and highly appreciated!
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#926 Post by R. Frankel » June 29th, 2020, 1:05 pm

One more comment - Bordeaux is definitely doing a good job with 2019 in terms of my interest. Prices are down and quality is good - I actually broke down and bought a mixed case. The last vintage I bought was 2012 (even though I really like Bordeaux and that hasn't changed). It has seemed like EP wasn't a good deal, the wines I liked were available in good quantity forever, often at or below EP prices, and I liked the wines with a lot of age (20+ years). Given all these factors, it seemed like the rational choice was to not buy Bordeaux on EP but instead keep buying back vintages. Which is exactly what I've done for the last few years - buying mostly 1989/90/96/98/2000/2001.

Other regions that I like with bottle age like Champagne, Burgundy and Piedmont are quite different in terms of volume, availability and price escalation. So I focus my new release purchases on those areas.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#927 Post by HMechbal » June 29th, 2020, 1:09 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 10:12 am

Chateaux release the amount of wine they want to sell for EP. Some release a larger or smaller percentage than others. It’s always been like that. Why is that a problem?

Can you tell me any wine region that you know how much wine the top estates produce and release?

Can you tell me the wholesale price charged by Chave, Gaja, DRC, Coche Dury, Opus along with their production and the amount of wines released?

The market always sets the price. Several wines will be discounted to sell because consumers are not willing to pay the price. Other wines escalate in price because consumers are willing to pay more. That’s how the market sets the price.
If I know that only a very limited % of the wines are released for EP, then it's probably because the Chateau is trying to create artificial shortages and hype.
If I know that they are holding out on the majority of their wine which has been the trend in recent years or similarly if I know that most of the wine of other recent vintages (let's say 2015 and 2016) hasn't found a buyer, it might change my assessment of the EP price and lead to a different purchasing decision.
The fact that it's always been like that isn't an argument in itself. I wasn't talking about how much wine an estate produce or even wholesale price vs. retail. I was commenting on the artificial nature of the EP market. To my knowledge, Chave isn't releasing 5% of his production to gauge wholesaler and customer interest, or showing his wine as sold out everywhere in the hopes of releasing later a larger portion of its wine at +30%. He sets a price, he sells to his wholesalers, importers etc. probably keeps a small portion of the vintage in his estate and he moves on to the next year.

I agree that in terms of information, you can find roughly (or even number of cases) total quantities of the wine produced by an estate, release price ex-negociant. I think that the other information not available would also be pertinent to make better purchasing decisions.


On the market always set the price : yes, probably ultimately, down the line price adjust to final customers' demand. But,
from many accounts, negociants bought too many 2017 Bordeaux from Chateaux, partly because they can't afford to lose their allocations, and they haven't sold much since. EP Price hadn't been lowered enough vs. 2015 and 2016 to make that campaign interesting for retail customers. Sales dropped by half vs 2016, negociants have a lot of 2017s in their inventory, how long before prices get adjusted down enough to truly match supply/demand of that vintage ?
I'm wondering how long the "buffer" of négociants could support such situations that strain their cash flows and put in jeopardy their margins. They must have been experiencing difficulties and annoyance from the 2011-2013 EP campaign, no ?
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#928 Post by Markus S » June 29th, 2020, 1:48 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:56 am
R. Frankel wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:59 am

we won’t be able to taste for 2 - 3 years and then we have to store carefully for 10-30 or more for it to become what we like.

Huh? What’s stopping you from popping a cork when you get a bottle? I do not get your logic.
Nothing to stop anyone, but it seems such a waste when these are wines made for long(er) aging.
$ _ € ® e . k @

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#929 Post by Ethan Abraham » June 29th, 2020, 2:49 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 12:31 pm
Ethan Abraham wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 9:57 am
Bordeaux is the only region where you can (99% of the time) buy as much of a wine on release as you want at exactly the same price (net of tariffs, taxes, etc) as everyone else in the world. In that sense it is by FAR the most transparent and liquid.
I cannot agree with this. Prices vary much more on release than en primeur. Also wines on release go through different distribution systems, for instance buying in Tennessee will likely cost you more than the competitive NY markets.

I do agree though it is very liquid. champagne.gif
Right but you do have that one chance, 100%. Remind me where I can buy liger-belair columbiere at less than a 400% markup to the average price paid on cellartracker?

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#930 Post by Jeff Leve » June 29th, 2020, 3:35 pm

HMechbal wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 1:09 pm

If I know that only a very limited % of the wines are released for EP, then it's probably because the Chateau is trying to create artificial shortages and hype.
No. They are running a business and seek to maximize their return. I remember buying 2000 Futures and prices doubled in 1-2 weeks for some hot wines. Great for me. Not so good for the chateaux.

If I know that they are holding out on the majority of their wine which has been the trend in recent years

Where do you come up with this thought they are holding the "majority" of their wine?

To my knowledge, Chave isn't releasing 5% of his production to gauge wholesaler and customer interest, or showing his wine as sold out everywhere in the hopes of releasing later a larger portion of its wine at +30%. He sets a price, he sells to his wholesalers, importers etc. probably keeps a small portion of the vintage in his estate and he moves on to the next year.

And you know this how? It could be true, or not. How do you know this?

I agree that in terms of information, you can find roughly (or even number of cases) total quantities of the wine produced by an estate, release price ex-negociant. I think that the other information not available would also be pertinent to make better purchasing decisions.

Knowing the wholesale price and quantities produced is a lot of info. Where can you find that much info on any other major wine regions?

At least to me, the pertinent info required is, how good is that wine? Have it tasted it before and liked it? Or do I trust the reviewer enough to take a flyer?

negociants bought too many 2017 Bordeaux from Chateaux, partly because they can't afford to lose their allocations, and they haven't sold much since.

This is true and part of the game. So 2 things happen. The negociant lowers the price or packages lesser vintages with hot wines or other attractive offerings to make it work. Or they hold the stock. 2017 will be fine in a decade and they will make a bit of money for holding it.

Every consumer is not seeking the best vintage or wines to cellar for decades. A lot of folks simply want a wine to drink that night or soon. Restaurants also need wine and so do the big supermarkets. Every wine has a home. it is only a matter of price. But it is expensive to hold vintages. So those negociants might also choose to hold back some of their allocations to maximize profit needed to cover the cost of holding previous vintages. Negociants have been in business for over 300 years. Some of those companies are still in the hands of the same family owners. To survive for centuries, they will need to know what they are doing. I am not for or against any of this. I am only telling you a bit about the business side.

OK, back to my Pomerol article that comes out tomorrow with reviews on 60 wines.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#931 Post by ChrisStags » June 29th, 2020, 10:04 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 3:35 pm
HMechbal wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 1:09 pm

If I know that only a very limited % of the wines are released for EP, then it's probably because the Chateau is trying to create artificial shortages and hype.
No. They are running a business and seek to maximize their return. I remember buying 2000 Futures and prices doubled in 1-2 weeks for some hot wines. Great for me. Not so good for the chateaux.

If I know that they are holding out on the majority of their wine which has been the trend in recent years

Where do you come up with this thought they are holding the "majority" of their wine?

To my knowledge, Chave isn't releasing 5% of his production to gauge wholesaler and customer interest, or showing his wine as sold out everywhere in the hopes of releasing later a larger portion of its wine at +30%. He sets a price, he sells to his wholesalers, importers etc. probably keeps a small portion of the vintage in his estate and he moves on to the next year.

And you know this how? It could be true, or not. How do you know this?

I agree that in terms of information, you can find roughly (or even number of cases) total quantities of the wine produced by an estate, release price ex-negociant. I think that the other information not available would also be pertinent to make better purchasing decisions.

Knowing the wholesale price and quantities produced is a lot of info. Where can you find that much info on any other major wine regions?

At least to me, the pertinent info required is, how good is that wine? Have it tasted it before and liked it? Or do I trust the reviewer enough to take a flyer?

negociants bought too many 2017 Bordeaux from Chateaux, partly because they can't afford to lose their allocations, and they haven't sold much since.

This is true and part of the game. So 2 things happen. The negociant lowers the price or packages lesser vintages with hot wines or other attractive offerings to make it work. Or they hold the stock. 2017 will be fine in a decade and they will make a bit of money for holding it.

Every consumer is not seeking the best vintage or wines to cellar for decades. A lot of folks simply want a wine to drink that night or soon. Restaurants also need wine and so do the big supermarkets. Every wine has a home. it is only a matter of price. But it is expensive to hold vintages. So those negociants might also choose to hold back some of their allocations to maximize profit needed to cover the cost of holding previous vintages. Negociants have been in business for over 300 years. Some of those companies are still in the hands of the same family owners. To survive for centuries, they will need to know what they are doing. I am not for or against any of this. I am only telling you a bit about the business side.

OK, back to my Pomerol article that comes out tomorrow with reviews on 60 wines.
Can you give us a better teaser on the Pomerol article? Is it 2019 or other vintages?
Stagnaro

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#932 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » July 2nd, 2020, 6:19 pm

Total Wine sold out of 2019 Pichon Lalande in all sizes.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#933 Post by J.Durham » July 4th, 2020, 7:15 am

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 2nd, 2020, 6:19 pm
Total Wine sold out of 2019 Pichon Lalande in all sizes.
I’m shocked they are still taking orders for Canon. That was the one that I jumped on given the excellent pricing
-Josh

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#934 Post by Mark Golodetz » July 4th, 2020, 7:23 am

J.Durham wrote:
July 4th, 2020, 7:15 am
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 2nd, 2020, 6:19 pm
Total Wine sold out of 2019 Pichon Lalande in all sizes.
I’m shocked they are still taking orders for Canon. That was the one that I jumped on given the excellent pricing
The three deals for me were
LMHB
Pichon Lalande
Palmer

Honorable mention
Mouton Rothschild
Pontet Canet
ITB

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#935 Post by Benjamin Hand » July 6th, 2020, 12:17 pm

A little late to the game, but I am looking at various retailers and while I remember KL advertising their policy of allowing purchasers to cancel their order if the tariff is still in place at the time of delivery into the US, I cannot find that policy on their website today. Am I simply missing it, or have they dropped that option?

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#936 Post by Jeff_M. » July 6th, 2020, 12:31 pm

Benjamin Hand wrote:
July 6th, 2020, 12:17 pm
A little late to the game, but I am looking at various retailers and while I remember KL advertising their policy of allowing purchasers to cancel their order if the tariff is still in place at the time of delivery into the US, I cannot find that policy on their website today. Am I simply missing it, or have they dropped that option?
K&L Notes
PLEASE NOTE: 2019 Bordeaux Futures are being offered without any added tariffs. If there are applicable tariffs at the time the wines are imported in 2022, we will contact you with the option to pay tariffs to have the wine delivered, or cancel the order with no penalty.

https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1484693&s ... rchRank=19
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#937 Post by Benjamin Hand » July 6th, 2020, 12:41 pm

Jeff_M. wrote:
July 6th, 2020, 12:31 pm

K&L Notes
PLEASE NOTE: 2019 Bordeaux Futures are being offered without any added tariffs. If there are applicable tariffs at the time the wines are imported in 2022, we will contact you with the option to pay tariffs to have the wine delivered, or cancel the order with no penalty.

https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1484693&s ... rchRank=19
Interesting, thank you. I knew I had seen it before. I wonder why I don't see it on the 2019 Cantemerle offering? (I see it doesn't list any in stock, but it still allows me to add bottles to my cart).

https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1480616

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#938 Post by Jeff_M. » July 6th, 2020, 12:50 pm

Benjamin Hand wrote:
July 6th, 2020, 12:41 pm
Jeff_M. wrote:
July 6th, 2020, 12:31 pm

K&L Notes
PLEASE NOTE: 2019 Bordeaux Futures are being offered without any added tariffs. If there are applicable tariffs at the time the wines are imported in 2022, we will contact you with the option to pay tariffs to have the wine delivered, or cancel the order with no penalty.

https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1484693&s ... rchRank=19
Interesting, thank you. I knew I had seen it before. I wonder why I don't see it on the 2019 Cantemerle offering? (I see it doesn't list any in stock, but it still allows me to add bottles to my cart).

https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1480616
Probably because its much a lower dollar value. Not much for them to lose on.
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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#939 Post by Br1an Th0rne » July 6th, 2020, 2:17 pm

J.Durham wrote:
July 4th, 2020, 7:15 am
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 2nd, 2020, 6:19 pm
Total Wine sold out of 2019 Pichon Lalande in all sizes.
I’m shocked they are still taking orders for Canon. That was the one that I jumped on given the excellent pricing
Broke down and ordered a 6-pack of the Canon today. Looking forward to some of the non-France living critics being able to taste it.

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#940 Post by Vince T » July 6th, 2020, 2:51 pm

Br1an Th0rne wrote:
July 6th, 2020, 2:17 pm
J.Durham wrote:
July 4th, 2020, 7:15 am
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 2nd, 2020, 6:19 pm
Total Wine sold out of 2019 Pichon Lalande in all sizes.
I’m shocked they are still taking orders for Canon. That was the one that I jumped on given the excellent pricing
Broke down and ordered a 6-pack of the Canon today. Looking forward to some of the non-France living critics being able to taste it.
I’m curious what difference it will make reading American critics reviews? Btw the Brits have reviewed it quite favorably. The Farr tasting notes are quite detailed:

https://www.farrvintners.com/en_primeur ... wine=60543
T s 3 n g

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#941 Post by Br1an Th0rne » July 6th, 2020, 5:50 pm

Vince T wrote:
July 6th, 2020, 2:51 pm
Br1an Th0rne wrote:
July 6th, 2020, 2:17 pm
J.Durham wrote:
July 4th, 2020, 7:15 am


I’m shocked they are still taking orders for Canon. That was the one that I jumped on given the excellent pricing
Broke down and ordered a 6-pack of the Canon today. Looking forward to some of the non-France living critics being able to taste it.
I’m curious what difference it will make reading American critics reviews? Btw the Brits have reviewed it quite favorably. The Farr tasting notes are quite detailed:

https://www.farrvintners.com/en_primeur ... wine=60543
It won’t make any difference what the non-Bordeaux based critics have to say, as I’ve already purchased Canon. Jane Anson and James Lawther while British, live in Bordeaux. I am quite familiar with the preferences of Galloni and Martin (Jeff Leve as well!) and a lesser extent Jeb Dunnuck, but am still learning Jane (quite aligned with my own tastes so far) and have no experience with Lawther. So am quite interested to hear what these critics have to say about Canon, Montrose et al...

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Re: The 2019 Bordeaux are coming out.

#942 Post by Ryan A » July 6th, 2020, 6:37 pm

Of course I lean towards WS palate so there is that; the main one that is missing.
Ryan A n s e l l

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