Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

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Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#1 Post by J D o v e »

EDIT: For those new to this post — my use of the word criminal is hyperbolic. While I didn’t imagine that would require clarification, I don’t want anyone to be left with the impression that I think someone should be imprisoned for seeing whether the market will accept a 100% increase in the price if Produttori Crus over the span of a couple of years. And, to further clarify, my omission of the offending retailer was not, in fact, an act of conscious silliness.


I just got an offer for Produttori Crus at $100 a bottle with delivery in May. I’m not going to name the retailer, and I doubt that they are the ones that are (entirely) doing the gouging here. But this seems a little bit ridiculous. I was buying the same wines just a couple of years ago for under $50 a bottle.

Vinous expected pricing at $78 and they always factor in an overly generous markup. I rarely pay the price they note for a wine.

Anyone have any inside information as to what’s going on here? I thoroughly expected having no difficulty finding these for under $70 when they were released later next year.
Last edited by J D o v e on November 9th, 2020, 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#2 Post by Mar3 Koslowsky »

+1 on this. Crazy pricing

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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#3 Post by Dennis Atick »

Criminal?
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#4 Post by J D o v e »

Dennis Atick wrote: November 9th, 2020, 1:41 pm Criminal?
Criminal - definition:

INFORMAL
(of an action or situation) deplorable and shocking.
"he may never fulfill his potential, and that would be a criminal waste"

So yes, criminal.
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#5 Post by Greg K »

I’m pretty sure I got the same email, and my brows went up too. But criminal? I dunno. All wine purchasing is a value proposition. I like Produttori, but it’s always been a bit of a value play. If it stops being a value play, I’ll buy other stuff. Lots of great Nebbiolo at those prices, including some great 16s.
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#6 Post by Jim Stewart »

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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#7 Post by Dennis Atick »

OP should have gone with "deplorable"
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#8 Post by John Morris »

Has anyone received offers at lower prices?

It seems silly to complain without naming the retailer, to me.
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#9 Post by R. Frankel »

I got the same offer - from Morrell. Will be curious to see if this holds up. I passed.
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#10 Post by John Morris »

That's interesting because Morrell is often quite competitive on Barolo and Barbaresco.
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#11 Post by Justin Bonner »

Wholesale is $49/btl for these and theyre still available so yes....I'd say thats a healthy markup.

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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#12 Post by Markus S »

But it includes free shipping! And, it's the best vintage in, like, FOREVER. Buy...buy...BUY!
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#13 Post by Michael S. Monie »

Dennis Atick wrote: November 9th, 2020, 2:49 pm OP should have gone with "deplorable"
I've always preferred "predatory".
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#14 Post by J D o v e »

Michael S. Monie wrote: November 9th, 2020, 3:34 pm
Dennis Atick wrote: November 9th, 2020, 2:49 pm OP should have gone with "deplorable"
I've always preferred "predatory".

I must admit, that would have been apt and maybe even a better choice of words.

Reference to the $49 wholesale above is likely for the 2015.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#15 Post by Jim Stewart »

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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#16 Post by Jon Drummond »

Fair play to them if PdB is to retail at $100.

Ends up being in a very competitive sector, and likely to result in stock hanging around on shopfloors for a lot longer in less acclaimed vintages.

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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#17 Post by Greg K »

John Morris wrote: November 9th, 2020, 3:22 pm That's interesting because Morrell is often quite competitive on Barolo and Barbaresco.
I’ve also found this, but again, I’m not sure I’m a buyer at $100 generally.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#18 Post by J D o v e »

I guess there are a couple of ways to look at this:

(1) For each of the 9 cru, they have somewhere in the range of 1,400 cases to sell or probably ~12k - ~13k cases total. That compares, for example, to <600 cases of F. Alessandria Monvigliero and many other similar small Barolo Cru. So, there’s no shortage of the wine...
(2) On the other hand, Pichon Lalande (as an example) makes 15k cases of their first wine a year and I wouldn’t pay 50% more for it than Rabaja unless it were some investment (and I wouldn’t invest $150 a bottle in newly released Pichon Lalande)

So yeah — qualitatively it might be ‘worth’ $100 a bottle — but, that’s a pretty bold increase at the retail level, and 2017 and 2018 won’t be 2016...

But, if anyone benefits from crazy price increases — better it be farmers in Barbaresco than scarf-makers in Paris.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#19 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

Glad I have scads of the Riservas from prior vintages.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#20 Post by AD Northup »

Plenty of 15 still out there at good prices that’s more than good.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#21 Post by David_K »

J Dove wrote: November 9th, 2020, 4:04 pm I guess there are a couple of ways to look at this:

(1) For each of the 9 cru, they have somewhere in the range of 1,400 cases to sell or probably ~12k - ~13k cases total. That compares, for example, to <600 cases of F. Alessandria Monvigliero and many other similar small Barolo Cru. So, there’s no shortage of the wine...
(2) On the other hand, Pichon Lalande (as an example) makes 15k cases of their first wine a year and I wouldn’t pay 50% more for it than Rabaja unless it were some investment (and I wouldn’t invest $150 a bottle in newly released Pichon Lalande)
I wouldn't go that far. With PdB you have a situation where a couple of the crus (Rabaja, Asili) are in far higher demand than the others - yet they are usually all priced the same upon release. So either those fly off the shelves or you have to buy in mixed cases. Then there's kind of a second tier and then the stragglers. Honestly they seem like a nightmare to sell. But it's not as though you have 13,000 cases of Rabaja for the taking.
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#22 Post by Dav1d S@wyer »

John Morris wrote: November 9th, 2020, 3:22 pm That's interesting because Morrell is often quite competitive on Barolo and Barbaresco.
My thoughts as well.

Considering that I've ordered over a case of various '16 Barolo from Morrell, I'm also disappointed that I didn't even get the chance to be offended by receiving such an offer! Didn't get it at all.

If this ends up being market, I'm just going to backfill.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#23 Post by Cris Whetstone »

Yeah. "Criminal" seems bizarrely first world myopia but I do have to wonder if Taittinger and Produttori are in cahoots.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#24 Post by Rob M »

Zachys offered today for more like $80/btl on average.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#25 Post by Chris Seiber »

I prefer “Veblen pricing”

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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#26 Post by J D o v e »

I sent a note via their website and got a response from the man himself, Aldo Vacca. He offered a strong defense of the value of the wines and of the fact that the pricing is for the betterment of the 54 grower families who participate in the Produttori.

He said that prices have been increasing steadily and that they aren’t ‘the steals’ they have been in the past. He also noted that the sold out last spring in the middle of the pandemic at even higher prices.

So — if the benefit really flows to PdB and not to middlemen in the channel, I feel better about it. At some point though, Rio Sordo is going to be a tough sell. And, my planned purchase of a six-pack of each of the Cru will probably be pulled back. What do I want, another bottle of Pora or one of the myriad of very fine $80 - $100 wines from Barolo, Barbaresco, or elsewhere. It was a much easier call at $50-$60 a bottle.

Anyway, kudos to them. Damn criminals... neener
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#27 Post by John Morris »

Michael S. Monie wrote: November 9th, 2020, 3:34 pm
Dennis Atick wrote: November 9th, 2020, 2:49 pm OP should have gone with "deplorable"
I've always preferred "predatory".
Actually, “predatory pricing” refers to extremely low prices intended to put competitors out of business.
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#28 Post by Craig G »

Dennis Atick wrote: November 9th, 2020, 2:49 pm OP should have gone with "deplorable"
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#29 Post by J D o v e »

John Morris wrote: November 10th, 2020, 2:57 pm
Michael S. Monie wrote: November 9th, 2020, 3:34 pm
Dennis Atick wrote: November 9th, 2020, 2:49 pm OP should have gone with "deplorable"
I've always preferred "predatory".
Actually, “predatory pricing” refers to extremely low prices intended to put competitors out of business.
Yes, or to preying on people who don’t realizing they are spending $100 for a wine that will be easily findable for $75 if they wait.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#30 Post by Michael_H »

One thing to note is this it the price at Morrell. They currently have quite high prices for other vintages of produttori riserva - for example.... 2011 paje 'sale price' of $102. I think the eye popping price is may just be this particular retailer, but I wouldn't be surprised to see prices higher than normal for these.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#31 Post by Max S. »

Michael_H wrote: November 11th, 2020, 8:18 am One thing to note is this it the price at Morrell. They currently have quite high prices for other vintages of produttori riserva - for example.... 2011 paje 'sale price' of $102. I think the eye popping price is may just be this particular retailer, but I wouldn't be surprised to see prices higher than normal for these.
What would you expect for pricing on a 10 year old vintage? That doesn't seem too crazy to me, but I dont have that much experience.
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Re: Criminal pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#32 Post by Neal.Mollen »

Craig G wrote: November 10th, 2020, 4:49 pm
Dennis Atick wrote: November 9th, 2020, 2:49 pm OP should have gone with "deplorable"
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#33 Post by Hal Blumberg »

Sure it's criminal, but is it impeachable?

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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#34 Post by Eric Lundblad »

I did a Zoom tasting (with Aldo Vaca) of some PdB a couple of weeks ago. The 16 'regular' Barbaresco was terrific on it's own merits and esp for the price. It doesn't have the glamour of the crus, but I'd get this (and did) over the 15 Muncagota, which we also tasted. The 1970 'regular' Barbaresco was the star, and proof that the 'regular' can do great things.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#35 Post by P L owet »

J Dove wrote: November 10th, 2020, 9:36 amHe [Aldo Vacca] said that prices have been increasing steadily and that they aren’t ‘the steals’ they have been in the past.
Ignoring whether it's criminal/gouging/predatory/silly, the crux of the matter is that the Produttori wines (normale as well as crus) have historically been wonderful value plays (if not outright steals -- is that criminal?), and now they want to be priced at/above their quality peers in Barbaresco. I admit that i've personally bought the wines as values, so it'd be a big change in my mindset.

Tonight we opened the 2012 Produttori normale. It was quite tasty. A QPR champ at $25. Glad I own some 2015 at a similar price. I also went back and saw that I paid $40 for 2008 crus and $60 for a couple of 2015 crus. I'm not tempted at 2016s at $100 but YMMV.

Pricing strategy is complicated, and so is changing a brand's identity. Perhaps unfairly, I don't think of PdB crus as riservas; I compare them to other producers' non-riserva single vineyard wines. Maybe I would change my mind with blind tasting, but I consider PdB as good but not top tier, so I won't pay more than prices of non-riservas from other good Barbaresco producers. That means easy pass for now, given the good deals usually available. It also worries me that wineries will try to reset the market prices by promoting 2016 greatness, and could get surprised if the market turns its back in future years.

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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#36 Post by Mattstolz »

heck even the $80 mentioned above is a pretty steep jump from the past 3 vintages, which have all been very good quality. granted, I think we all know 16 is the best of the bunch, but a 25% jump compared to a very good vintage in 15? I still get emails from retailers trying to sell the 13s, 14s, and 15s

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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#37 Post by GregUrsino »

Eric Lundblad wrote: November 12th, 2020, 10:28 am I did a Zoom tasting (with Aldo Vaca) of some PdB a couple of weeks ago. The 16 'regular' Barbaresco was terrific on it's own merits and esp for the price. It doesn't have the glamour of the crus, but I'd get this (and did) over the 15 Muncagota, which we also tasted. The 1970 'regular' Barbaresco was the star, and proof that the 'regular' can do great things.

Totally agree. The regular 2016 is fantastic and in low 30's. I picked up a bunch of the 2015 CRUs and they are really nice. May not be the same as 2016 but they are in low 60's.

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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#38 Post by Max S. »

Morrell currently has the Riservas on for $99 - after the 20% discount for Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#39 Post by Dav1d S@wyer »

Max S. wrote: November 29th, 2020, 8:59 am Morrell currently has the Riservas on for $99 - after the 20% discount for Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
I don't believe the sale applied to pre-arrivals because I tried with the '16 Pira Vigna Rionda. This was a great sale though. Picked up some '13 Pira Vigna Riondas and I almost picked up some '14 PdB Riservas that were discounted to $60. Not a huge discount but still relatively attractive for those looking to backfill.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#40 Post by Jorg G »

It seems that the high(er) prices of the riservas are an American phenomenon.
I saw these wines in German online shops for 50€, and today i have ordered some in a Swiss shop for 50 Fr. (= 55$). Unfortunately the Rabaja and Asili were already sold out, but I got Montefico and Ovello.

That‘s why I thick it‘s not the winery who has massively increased the prices.

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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#41 Post by lleichtman »

Michael_H wrote: November 11th, 2020, 8:18 am One thing to note is this it the price at Morrell. They currently have quite high prices for other vintages of produttori riserva - for example.... 2011 paje 'sale price' of $102. I think the eye popping price is may just be this particular retailer, but I wouldn't be surprised to see prices higher than normal for these.
I agree. Someone said here that Morrell had good prices but this has never been my experience. They are usually 20-25% higher than other places for me. I still have several cases of vintage Produttori single vineyards so I don't really need any more of these. I use the regular bottling as a daily drinker because Nebbiolo, why not?
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#42 Post by lleichtman »

Michael_H wrote: November 11th, 2020, 8:18 am One thing to note is this it the price at Morrell. They currently have quite high prices for other vintages of produttori riserva - for example.... 2011 paje 'sale price' of $102. I think the eye popping price is may just be this particular retailer, but I wouldn't be surprised to see prices higher than normal for these.
I agree. Someone said here that Morrell had good prices but this has never been my experience. They are usually 20-25% higher than other places for me. I still have several cases of vintage Produttori single vineyards so I don't really need any more of these. I use the regular bottling as a daily drinker because Nebbiolo, why not?
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#43 Post by lleichtman »

Michael_H wrote: November 11th, 2020, 8:18 am One thing to note is this it the price at Morrell. They currently have quite high prices for other vintages of produttori riserva - for example.... 2011 paje 'sale price' of $102. I think the eye popping price is may just be this particular retailer, but I wouldn't be surprised to see prices higher than normal for these.
I agree. Someone said here that Morrell had good prices but this has never been my experience. They are usually 20-25% higher than other places for me. I still have several cases of vintage Produttori single vineyards so I don't really need any more of these. I use the regular bottling as a daily drinker because Nebbiolo, why not?
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#44 Post by lleichtman »

Michael_H wrote: November 11th, 2020, 8:18 am One thing to note is this it the price at Morrell. They currently have quite high prices for other vintages of produttori riserva - for example.... 2011 paje 'sale price' of $102. I think the eye popping price is may just be this particular retailer, but I wouldn't be surprised to see prices higher than normal for these.
I agree. Someone said here that Morrell had good prices but this has never been my experience. They are usually 20-25% higher than other places for me. I still have several cases of vintage Produttori single vineyards so I don't really need any more of these. I use the regular bottling as a daily drinker because Nebbiolo, why not?
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#45 Post by lleichtman »

Michael_H wrote: November 11th, 2020, 8:18 am One thing to note is this it the price at Morrell. They currently have quite high prices for other vintages of produttori riserva - for example.... 2011 paje 'sale price' of $102. I think the eye popping price is may just be this particular retailer, but I wouldn't be surprised to see prices higher than normal for these.
I agree. Someone said here that Morrell had good prices but this has never been my experience. They are usually 20-25% higher than other places for me. I still have several cases of vintage Produttori single vineyards so I don't really need any more of these. I use the regular bottling as a daily drinker because Nebbiolo, why not?
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#46 Post by lleichtman »

Sorry about the multiple posts. Site froze while I was posting.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#47 Post by Ian Sutton »

We've seen similar pricing challenges in the UK, with the suspicion that the prime suspects are the importers, followed to a lesser degree by increases at the winery and merchants knowing demand remains strong.

Personally, at the prices charged in the UK, I don't see PdB as the nailed on bargain it used to be, indeed there are other wines I think are clearly better value. PdB isn't a rip-off, far from it, but from my perspective the days of great value have gone. Pricing in Italy can be pretty good still, though not at the level I recall when buying riserva bottles from good vintages at €20 a bottle in Alba. Comparatively they were very cheap back then.
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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#48 Post by Peter Shurman »

Criminal?
I'd go with obscene.

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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#49 Post by david paly »

Morrell’s prices are high but the selection and service are great. But, hey, they're in mid town Manhattan not some Jersey strip mall. They have regular sales and shipping deals that get them down to ballpark reasonable. Loved the catalogs when EG did them- thats gotta be worth something.

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Re: Criminal (EDIT: or silly, if you like) pricing on 2016 Produttori Crus

#50 Post by david paly »

That said I didnt bite on the PdB 16 from them- not even on the ‘sale’ at $99.

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