Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

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William Gladstone
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Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#1 Post by William Gladstone » June 14th, 2019, 3:27 pm

The Chateau waited to be the very last significant winery to release the offer with prices - negociant offer of 528 Euro ex-cellars.
All of the other 1st Growth's were released at 408 Euro, uniformly, (without collusion - merely a coincidence)

Lafite came out at 470 Euro's,
and some how Pierre Lurton - Director of the Chateau, believes that their wine is worth 120 Euro's more than the other 1st Growth's.

I hope that the public votes with their feet and walks away,

The only industry I am aware of that so many of the manufacturer's of the product have so little regard for their consumers, or business partners.

Cheval Blanc is a lovely wine that anyone can purchase at all reliable retailers - back vintages for $350 - $500.oo/btl.
Or plunk down close to $700/btl and wait 2.5 years for the new release to end up at your local retailer?

if it was me, I would go to my local store and purchase the 2015 or 2016 which are considered finer vintages and available now.
Wine Advocate rates the 2015 & '16 at 100 pts...

I think if Cheval Blanc get's away with this price increase other Chateaux will follow along.
These Bordelaise do not need any encouragement to stick it to their consumers.

It is really too bad such a beautiful thing as fine wine attracts this element of greedy bastards who abuse their privilege and position of being a temporary steward of the Chateaux.

When you dig into the question of "what does it cost a winery to produce their product?" - the single largest expense is the land acquisition.
Imagine the position these Chateaux are in having taken care of that cost so long ago and no need to amortize that annual expense.
When farming becomes your largest cost - then you realize the amount of money going into the pockets of the owners.

And of course the French tax system is possibly suffocating - if you report all of the actual income,
just ask winery owner, Gérard Depardieu - who relocated to Russia to avoid the French taxes..

I digress, Cheval Blanc, has decided to demand more of the public.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#2 Post by James Billy » June 14th, 2019, 4:33 pm

William Gladstone wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 3:27 pm

if it was me, I would go to my local store and purchase the 2015 or 2016 which are considered finer vintages and available now.
Isn't that exactly what they are trying to do? Put ridiculous prices on new release wines to make back vintages (that they are struggling to offload) look cheap and therefore sell?

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#3 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 14th, 2019, 4:44 pm

Yawn...expensive Bordeaux.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#4 Post by AlexS » June 14th, 2019, 5:05 pm

OP -- why do you hate the free market?
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#5 Post by William Gladstone » June 14th, 2019, 5:16 pm

AlexS wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 5:05 pm
OP -- why do you hate the free market?
my perspective has always been as giving the consumer a fair deal,
quite naivete - I am aware of that.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#6 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 14th, 2019, 5:29 pm

AlexS wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 5:05 pm
OP -- why do you hate the free market?
The two are not mutually exclusive. I love the free market yet hate the pricing, too. Cheval Blanc is a personal fave, but way out of my league. Kudos to them if they sell through, but still ok to complain.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#7 Post by AlexS » June 14th, 2019, 5:30 pm

sorry, forgot to use the button for sarcasm
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#8 Post by Craig G » June 14th, 2019, 7:14 pm

Didn’t Cheval Blanc raise their prices above the Medoc 1sts quite a few years ago? I thought it was their standard practice now.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#9 Post by Jim Hartten » June 14th, 2019, 7:27 pm

Seems to me that Cheval Blanc production is much smaller than the official 1st. Ausone came out slightly higher and Pétrus has yet to release. [stirthepothal.gif]

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#10 Post by Tom Reddick » June 14th, 2019, 9:10 pm

Craig G wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 7:14 pm
Didn’t Cheval Blanc raise their prices above the Medoc 1sts quite a few years ago? I thought it was their standard practice now.
That is my recollection as well- same as Le Pin, Petrus and Ausone.

FWIW, while I understand the frustration with Bordeaux heading right back into the stratosphere after a few vintages where pricing came down enough to facilitate a decent trade in the wines in a variety of vintage outcomes, the Bordeaux customer- particularly in the US- has not been all that accommodating either. In a world where a great many customers only want the "best of the best" vintages and wines- and in which that decision is largely made by the tasting notes of a handful of people when the wines have not even been released yet- it is easy to understand the chateaux extracting every last penny possible for the best years given the markdowns and sluggish sales of "lesser" years which may be perfectly fine for eventual drinking. 1977 was the last vintage I know of that produced wines that are generally undrinkable, and yet look at how often people want to point to any number of 90s or 00s vintages and say they are lousy, not good, overpriced etc.

But the real losers in this game are members of the trade- and so I personally understand William's frustration (or at least I think I do- I am making assumptions) because at these price levels and with both the producer and the consumer being so fickle- it is damned near impossible for even many established wine stores to play the Bordeaux game at all in any vintage- much less make the long term every-vintage commitment that is required to really make a go of it.

And for that matter- we are just now coming off that point in time where even the biggest player of all, Diageo, said f*ck it and threw in the towel. I wish more people appreciated what a bad thing that was for the market instead of applauding it as though one of the bad guys had left the room.

Total Wine appears to be the new major conduit for high end Bordeaux in the US. May they fare better- but if we have another 09-10 situation, even they may leave the sandbox in time.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#11 Post by William Gladstone » June 14th, 2019, 9:17 pm

Tom Reddick wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 9:10 pm
Craig G wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 7:14 pm
Didn’t Cheval Blanc raise their prices above the Medoc 1sts quite a few years ago? I thought it was their standard practice now.
That is my recollection as well- same as Le Pin, Petrus and Ausone.

FWIW, while I understand the frustration with Bordeaux heading right back into the stratosphere after a few vintages where pricing came down enough to facilitate a decent trade in the wines in a variety of vintage outcomes, the Bordeaux customer- particularly in the US- has not been all that accommodating either. In a world where a great many customers only want the "best of the best" vintages and wines- and in which that decision is largely made by the tasting notes of a handful of people when the wines have not even been released yet- it is easy to understand the chateaux extracting every last penny possible for the best years given the markdowns and sluggish sales of "lesser" years which may be perfectly fine for eventual drinking. 1977 was the last vintage I know of that produced wines that are generally undrinkable, and yet look at how often people want to point to any number of 90s or 00s vintages and say they are lousy, not good, overpriced etc.

But the real losers in this game are members of the trade- and so I personally understand William's frustration (or at least I think I do- I am making assumptions) because at these price levels and with both the producer and the consumer being so fickle- it is damned near impossible for even many established wine stores to play the Bordeaux game at all in any vintage- much less make the long term every-vintage commitment that is required to really make a go of it.

And for that matter- we are just now coming off that point in time where even the biggest player of all, Diageo, said f*ck it and threw in the towel. I wish more people appreciated what a bad thing that was for the market instead of applauding it as though one of the bad guys had left the room.

Total Wine appears to be the new major conduit for high end Bordeaux in the US. May they fare better- but if we have another 09-10 situation, even they may leave the sandbox in time.
very well framed,
who made any money on the 2009 & '10 vintages beside the Chateaux?
The entire trade lost money- "Best vintage of my career" Really? And then '10 came around and it was the "Best Vintage of t he Decade" or was it the "century"?

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#12 Post by Tom Reddick » June 14th, 2019, 9:35 pm

The 09-10 situation was awful. Here in Dallas there is a store that is sitting on 10 cases of 2010 Margaux at $1,100 a bottle. They happen to be a huge store with good long-term warehouse storage, so on paper they can "afford" the cash flow implications of sitting on those wines these past several years and likely many more to come, but that still comes at quite a cost. And it does to this day because that store is no longer widely stocking newer vintages of very high end Bordeaux. Lose lose for everyone.

In the bigger picture, the difficulty with the Big Eight Bordeaux and a handful of others like Le Pin is that they have become investment and prestige vehicles- they have a value significantly over and above their value for their intended purpose. This is obvious purely by observing the way in such wines are traded now. That kind of thing never lasts, but the sheer wealth of most Big Eight owners plus the increasing presence of business investors provides the cash flow cushion to prop up that kind of market in a way that was not possible in the past.

When it all falls apart, I do not see things crashing to the ground- but suffice to say I think futures pricing on 14-16 was a good indicator of the top end of a healthy futures market in the world as it stands now. In a world where these wines go back to being primarily consumables, then I think 20-30% less makes more sense.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#13 Post by CraigT » June 14th, 2019, 10:17 pm

Tom Reddick wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 9:35 pm
The 09-10 situation was awful. Here in Dallas there is a store that is sitting on 10 cases of 2010 Margaux at $1,100 a bottle. They happen to be a huge store with good long-term warehouse storage, so on paper they can "afford" the cash flow implications of sitting on those wines these past several years and likely many more to come, but that still comes at quite a cost. And it does to this day because that store is no longer widely stocking newer vintages of very high end Bordeaux. Lose lose for everyone.

In the bigger picture, the difficulty with the Big Eight Bordeaux and a handful of others like Le Pin is that they have become investment and prestige vehicles- they have a value significantly over and above their value for their intended purpose. This is obvious purely by observing the way in such wines are traded now. That kind of thing never lasts, but the sheer wealth of most Big Eight owners plus the increasing presence of business investors provides the cash flow cushion to prop up that kind of market in a way that was not possible in the past.

When it all falls apart, I do not see things crashing to the ground- but suffice to say I think futures pricing on 14-16 was a good indicator of the top end of a healthy futures market in the world as it stands now. In a world where these wines go back to being primarily consumables, then I think 20-30% less makes more sense.
I don't know about you, but I did quite well on buying 2009 future's and a odd 2010. I got everything at a good price. There drinking great now. In 2009 I stayed away from the 1st growths and just bought some better priced 2nd's, 3rd's, 4th's and Pomerol. My lone 2010 was a case of La Violette. Which has skyrocketed up in price. The 2018 vintage has some wines that will be legendary in the future and I've been targeting those (i.e. LLC, La Conseillante, Ausone, etc) champagne.gif
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#14 Post by Tom Reddick » June 14th, 2019, 11:09 pm

The real wackiness around the 09-10 vintage was centered around the firsts and a handful of others. I do not see large stocks of most other top Bordeaux languishing in the marketplace- so the very top end is what I was addressing.

On 2018, time will tell. Unlike you, I have not had the privilege of going over to Bordeaux to taste the wines- so I do not have the benefit of first hand experience to guide me just yet. My only reservation is that this seems to be a vintage of some extremes, and that adds a certain element of risk that has me wanting to really get up to date with what the big boys are doing before I take the plunge since I have not bought first growths in quantity in quite a long time.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#15 Post by William Gladstone » June 15th, 2019, 12:08 am

Tom Reddick wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 11:09 pm
The real wackiness around the 09-10 vintage was centered around the firsts and a handful of others. I do not see large stocks of most other top Bordeaux languishing in the marketplace- so the very top end is what I was addressing.
From Time to Time - since the release of 2009 & 2010 I will read that comment - in the wine trades, "I DO NOT SEE LARGE STOCKS SITTING AROUND I even have seen that comment by the Grand Wizard himself, that surprises me. The fact is importers and distributors - including myself, and businesses I've visited in Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Zhuhai (lovely city that connects to Macau by bridge) Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, New York and even myself in Honolulu are sitting on stocks from 2009 that the pricing because of the greedy price grab by the Chateaux and the the Euro which fluctuated from 1.30 - as much as much of that time from 1.40 - 1.50... when payments were due much of those payments the Euro was 1.40, now we are under water.

I've heard stories from industry insiders who travel to visit clients, Managing Directors of Latour, and G.M. of Rauzan Segla ,Paul Pontalliers' son, who at that time moved to Hong Kong to improve the Chateaux standing as Lafite was rising so high above the other 1st Growths, Margaux released the wine at $1,200 - $1,600/bt. You can purchase at retail now, a bottle that has aged nicely for $950.oo

and on and on, the warehouses of importers and distributors are loaded with 2009 & 2010 , and like myself I am slowly selling some at cost, but the nature of the industry is you hold on, and hope over time, the 10 or 20 or even 50 cases of wines such as, Smith Haut Lafitte, Rauzan Segla, Cos Estournel, Leovillve Las Cases - 20 + cases, Pichon Baron 17/cs, Pape Clement Rouge and Blanc even Mouton Rothschild cost us $963/btl.. we have many cases, Montrose - gorgeous wine, Latour , Grand Puy Lacoste is so beautiful , Giscours, Ducru, Cantenac Brown, Canon, and what is interesting is that we are fortunate that over time we have some clients who can afford to purchase the very finest 1st Growth and some 2nds, the Super 2nds, to their clientele, people who demand the very best, and every month or 2 they request from the top vintages, because their international clientele is quite discerning and is spending a ridiculous amount of money, (at least I know the latter is correct) they ask for - 1982, 1986, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2005, they never EVER ask for the best vintage of 'HIS' Career or the vintage after that..

So the public does not see the wines as Mr. Parker himself has claimed in various writings, they all think it is gone from the market place - same as you have witnessed... who wants to announce that?
It is true it is not sitting out at retail, but every serious Bordeaux importer is sitting on very large stocks in some warehouse gathering dust.
Bitter, betrayed, pissed off, I'm glad I made this posting for it has given me the idea to persuade my clients to purchase and sell some of the 2009 & 2010's.

It is not easy, the Chateaux release say half of their production at the En Primeur (just my guesstimate) now as they release more stocks of the 2009 & 2010 and they increase their release price in Euro's, the cost to purchase a Euro is not 1.40 or 1.50, rather it is say 1.13 on a over cast day.
So all of us are between a rock and a hard place.
If we were all selling an item that we had no emotional attachment to this would be far easier...

It is unlike any other business I've been a part of, with all of the forces working against us importers, on the other hand, we have wines, such as Burgundy Arnoux of Vosne Romanee, or Yves Pierre Colin that our cost at the winery is 1/3 of what I see Grey market co's are offering at. And here I am playing violin's that we cannot break even after years with the 2009 & 2010...

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#16 Post by William Gladstone » June 15th, 2019, 12:16 am

William Gladstone wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 12:08 am
Tom Reddick wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 11:09 pm
The real wackiness around the 09-10 vintage was centered around the firsts and a handful of others. I do not see large stocks of most other top Bordeaux languishing in the marketplace- so the very top end is what I was addressing.
From Time to Time - since the release of 2009 & 2010 I will read that comment - in the wine trades, "I DO NOT SEE LARGE STOCKS SITTING AROUND" I even have seen that comment by the Grand Wizard himself, that surprises me. The fact is importers and distributors - including myself, and businesses I've visited and others in the industry have told me of their visits in Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Zhuhai (lovely city that connects to Macau by bridge) Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, New York, London and even myself in Honolulu are sitting on stocks from 2009 & 2010 - that the pricing because of the greedy price grab (initial release price)by the Chateaux and the Euro which fluctuated from 1.30 - as much of that time from 1.40 - 1.50... when payments were due much of those payments the Euro was 1.40, now we are under water. The market price in retail is less than what we initially paid!

I've heard stories from industry insiders who travel to visit clients, who tell me about the huge stocks of 2009 & '10 ,Paul Pontalliers' son, who at that time moved to Hong Kong to improve the Chateaux standing as Lafite was rising so high above the other 1st Growths, Margaux released the wine at $1,200 - $1,600/bt. You can purchase at retail now, a bottle that has aged nicely for $950.oo Say you can purchase at $500 - $600 what is would have cost you at release of E.P.

and on and on, the warehouses of importers and distributors are loaded with 2009 & 2010 , and like myself I am slowly selling some at cost, but the nature of the industry is you hold on, and hope over time, the 10 or 20 or even 50 cases of wines such as, Smith Haut Lafitte, Rauzan Segla, Cos Estournel, Leovillve Las Cases - 20 + cases, Pichon Baron 17/cs, Pape Clement Rouge and Blanc even Mouton Rothschild cost us $963/btl..

We are not unique - we have many cases, Montrose - gorgeous wine, Latour , Grand Puy Lacoste is so beautiful , Giscours, Ducru, Cantenac Brown, Canon, and we do not even try. The price we paid the market has not caught up.

what is interesting is that we are fortunate that over time we have some clients who can afford to purchase the very finest 1st Growth and some 2nds, the Super 2nds, to their clientele, people who demand the very best, and every month or 2 they request from the top vintages, because their international clientele is quite discerning and is spending a ridiculous amount of money, (at least I know the latter is correct) they ask for - 1982, 1986, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2005, they never EVER ask for the best vintage of 'HIS' Career or the vintage after that..

So the public does not see the wines as Mr. Parker himself has claimed in various writings, they all think it is gone from the market place - same as you have witnessed... who wants to announce that fact of what they are sitting on?
It is true that it is not sitting out at retail, but every serious Bordeaux importer is sitting on very large stocks in some warehouse gathering dust.
Bitter, betrayed, pissed off, I'm glad I made this posting for it has given me the idea to persuade my clients to purchase and sell some of the 2009 & 2010's.

It is not easy, the Chateaux release say half of their production at the En Primeur (just my guesstimate - I've no way to know if what I've been told is true) now as they release more stocks of the 2009 & 2010 and they increase their release price in Euro's, the cost to purchase a Euro is not 1.40 or 1.50, rather it is say 1.13 on a over cast day.
So all of us are between a rock and a hard place.
If we were all selling an item that we had no emotional attachment to this would be far easier...

It is unlike any other business I've been a part of, with all of the forces working against us importers, on the other hand, we have wines, such as Burgundy Arnoux of Vosne Romanee, or Yves Pierre Colin that our cost at the winery is 1/3 of what I see Grey market co's are offering at. And here I am playing violin's that we cannot break even after years with the 2009 & 2010...

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#17 Post by Russell Faulkner » June 15th, 2019, 12:44 am

Is the implication that the first growth pricing is reasonable?

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#18 Post by crickey » June 15th, 2019, 7:17 am

Or that the traditional first growths are the most expensive Bordeaux. They are not, and haven't been for a long time. Ausone came out at the same time for an even higher price than Cheval Blanc.

And to the OP, please convince your clients to sell their stocks of 2009 and 2010 into the market; I would like to see the prices come down.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#19 Post by William Gladstone » June 15th, 2019, 11:24 am

crickey wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 7:17 am
Or that the traditional first growths are the most expensive Bordeaux. They are not, and haven't been for a long time. Ausone came out at the same time for an even higher price than Cheval Blanc.

And to the OP, please convince your clients to sell their stocks of 2009 and 2010 into the market; I would like to see the prices come down.
We cannot sell the 2009 & 2010 into the market because we purchased at Euro 1.40 - 1.50 our costs are higher than the bits that are on the market today when the cost is based on Euro 1.10 - 1.15. The release price has not changed, it is the cost in Euro's that has moved. So every one is holding on to the stocks, you do not even see offers to move those.

BTW, I awoke to a reply to me email sent to several negociants of what I think of Cheval Blancs pricing - this particular negociant will offer to me at a steep discount if I maintain my discretion. I've no interest in getting involved with Cheval Blanc 2018 - beautiful wine, I imagine.
This email tells me the market is not supporting Cheval Blanc, not one of the other top tier wines (when I say 1st Growth I am automatically including in my mind the other wines mentioned above by others, Petrus, Ausone, etc.. as well) is still available on the negociant offers.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#20 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 15th, 2019, 11:47 am

William Gladstone wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 11:24 am
crickey wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 7:17 am
Or that the traditional first growths are the most expensive Bordeaux. They are not, and haven't been for a long time. Ausone came out at the same time for an even higher price than Cheval Blanc.

And to the OP, please convince your clients to sell their stocks of 2009 and 2010 into the market; I would like to see the prices come down.
We cannot sell the 2009 & 2010 into the market because we purchased at Euro 1.40 - 1.50 our costs are higher than the bits that are on the market today when the cost is based on Euro 1.10 - 1.15. The release price has not changed, it is the cost in Euro's that has moved. So every one is holding on to the stocks, you do not even see offers to move those.

BTW, I awoke to a reply to me email sent to several negociants of what I think of Cheval Blancs pricing - this particular negociant will offer to me at a steep discount if I maintain my discretion. I've no interest in getting involved with Cheval Blanc 2018 - beautiful wine, I imagine.
This email tells me the market is not supporting Cheval Blanc, not one of the other top tier wines (when I say 1st Growth I am automatically including in my mind the other wines mentioned above by others, Petrus, Ausone, etc.. as well) is still available on the negociant offers.
I have also been offered Cheval at a discount. The negotiant wants to keep his allocation, and not have to sit on the wine. At some stage, wines like Cheval will put too much pressure on the negotiants, who will not buy. I can’t see any of them making money now while the chateaux have been raising their prices, absorbing what little profit margin there was. For the wines like Cheval, it is a system that will some day break, and I suspect they will have to distribute the wines themselves.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#21 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 15th, 2019, 11:54 am

Such an exceptional wine. Love the cepage in Ausone and Cheval.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#22 Post by Adam Levyn » June 15th, 2019, 12:39 pm

William -

Are you saying this is an issue with Cheval in particular or also with Ausone and Petrus this year?

Has Petrus come out yet?

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#23 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 15th, 2019, 12:41 pm

I have not had a Cheval Blanc since the 1964 vintage. Now that was something. Had it around 10 years ago.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#24 Post by William Gladstone » June 15th, 2019, 1:34 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 11:47 am
William Gladstone wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 11:24 am
crickey wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 7:17 am
Or that the traditional first growths are the most expensive Bordeaux. They are not, and haven't been for a long time. Ausone came out at the same time for an even higher price than Cheval Blanc.

And to the OP, please convince your clients to sell their stocks of 2009 and 2010 into the market; I would like to see the prices come down.
We cannot sell the 2009 & 2010 into the market because we purchased at Euro 1.40 - 1.50 our costs are higher than the bits that are on the market today when the cost is based on Euro 1.10 - 1.15. The release price has not changed, it is the cost in Euro's that has moved. So every one is holding on to the stocks, you do not even see offers to move those.

BTW, I awoke to a reply to me email sent to several negociants of what I think of Cheval Blancs pricing - this particular negociant will offer to me at a steep discount if I maintain my discretion. I've no interest in getting involved with Cheval Blanc 2018 - beautiful wine, I imagine.
This email tells me the market is not supporting Cheval Blanc, not one of the other top tier wines (when I say 1st Growth I am automatically including in my mind the other wines mentioned above by others, Petrus, Ausone, etc.. as well) is still available on the negociant offers.
I have also been offered Cheval at a discount. The negotiant wants to keep his allocation, and not have to sit on the wine. At some stage, wines like Cheval will put too much pressure on the negotiants, who will not buy. I can’t see any of them making money now while the chateaux have been raising their prices, absorbing what little profit margin there was. For the wines like Cheval, it is a system that will some day break, and I suspect they will have to distribute the wines themselves.


I have also been offered Cheval at a discount. The negotiant wants to keep his allocation, and not have to sit on the wine. At some stage, wines like Cheval will put too much pressure on the negotiants, who will not buy. I can’t see any of them making money now while the chateaux have been raising their prices, absorbing what little profit margin there was. For the wines like Cheval, it is a system that will some day break, and I suspect they will have to distribute the wines themselves.

You think? I do not think that is possible... From a conceptual perspective every visit to France I end up trying to explain U.S. liquor laws state by state and Federal and so on.... The mind of the French they cannot grasp the concept.. It is so foreign to them, 2ndly from a practical stand point how in the world will the Chateaux even begin to distribute the wines themselves in the U.S.?
You need a license for every state and those licenses have all kind of requirements including local facilities.
Once they would obtain a license they need staff and facilities, think of what you are suggesting,
The Chateaux - even the most successful are very small staff operations. An operation such as Chateaux Margaux has about 12 employees which includes the barrel maker. Not including the farming crews, the Chateaux staff is so few people.
You now picture the additional function of distribution in the U.S.? That is never going to happen. Even if you focus on the 10 largest markets in the U.S. - they would have to replicate the total staff, administration, sales, compliance, warehouse functions, delivery, back office of a distributor.
That is not practical although I can understand how your mind went their.

You may be correct about E.P. breaking, Chateau Latour has been the very first to leave that system.
The owner - François Pinault - or his management group have decided to withdraw from the entire E.P. system. They can afford to wait - because they realize when the wine is ready to drink they can charge a great deal more for the wines.
They will release wines when they believe the wines are ready to drink, this past year they released the 2005. So it is going to take a while to catch up.
How many Chateaux have the deep pockets of Groupe Artemis - and all of the Luxury Brands they own, LVMH?
The E.P. began simply to help with cash flow because of the cost of maintaining the Chateaux for 2 - 3 years before releasing a wine.

Sorry, my mistake - I'm very bad about time, I looked it up, "this year" was actually March of 2017 that we were offered the 2005 from the Chateaux.
I swear - It felt like we purchased this year... we should sell those.
We paid $750/bt - but you would have to look at the Euro at that time to figure out the release price.
Retail currently is $850 all the way up to double that, it is a remarkable once in a life time memory to drink ..

How many other Chateaux will find it advantageous to release when they want to? You need very deep pockets to afford to wait years without that cash.
Pichon Baron is owned by the largest French insurance company and I wonder if they have the cash flow for that delay.
Rauzan Segla and Canon are owned by Chanel - so they could wait if they wanted to.
Some Chateaux have foreign wealthy owners who also own banks or so industry. Obviously the 2 branches of Rothschild - I imagine they could afford if they wanted to.
And many are long standing Bordeaux families such as the Lurton branch who own endless Chateaux and I would doubt financially across all of the Chateaux that they could afford to delay the cash infusion for 3 - 5 years at E.P. release.

As angry as I am, I've learned the negociants are frequently being burned in many instances. It is the Chateaux that need to feel the pain.
And I'm much too small potatoes to do anything about that.
As expressed by another Berserker - even Diageo departing from the entire Bordeaux market because of the year after year of bleeding Red ink, and they are giant, that move did not even cause a ripple to the market. I believe China came in and soaked up the excess that was or would have been in the market place.
Now that the China market has been significantly reduced - due to fraud - you can purchase a bottle of Lafite at a restaurant for 3 prices, - Hypothetically -
$1,000.oo USD for a bottle with the cork already removed, $2,000.oo for a bottle with the cork still in , and finally $3,000 for a bottle with the cork and capsule appearing new.

or half price for a bottle that the Chateau name is misspelled and so on.. I do not know who has taken their place.

I know customers in Hong Kong and China tell me that due to the new tariffs their business is so extremely hurt that they pass on our higher end offers - for now.

You know the saying, "You want to become a Millionaire?" "Go into the wine business with 2 million."

I do not know how we have managed to survive and earn a living for almost 30 years, when so many forces are working against us that you would imagine are supportive.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#25 Post by William Gladstone » June 15th, 2019, 1:52 pm

Adam Levyn wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 12:39 pm
William -

Are you saying this is an issue with Cheval in particular or also with Ausone and Petrus this year?

Has Petrus come out yet?
I'm not sure I understand the part of your question asking "this is an issue with Cheval in particular...."?
it is an issue with me, and I am only speaking for me.
As someone else mentioned Ausone has released and the price is higher than the 1st Growths, which were at 408 EUro
TO businesses like mine, importers.
The AUSONE was offered higher and it did not hit me wrong, the Cheval came in at 120 Euro's higher and that hit me as greedy,
so it is me that has the issue.
Petrus has not been released....
Petrus is like Screaming Eagle, the quality of that particularly vintage has only a marginal affect on pricing -
awful vintages that bring reviewers giving the wine 90 points, those vintages for the most part are still $2,000.
Just like the Screaming EAgle Sauvignon Blanc, we wholesale those bottles at $3,900/btl... a wine that critics score at 90 pts.

Petrus, Screaming Eagle are merely brands,
Did you know businesses like CHANEL, LVMH and those kind spend 70% of their money on branding - reassuring the public how super terrific
we all are with our name brand products.
They do not pour that money into make super-terrific products.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#26 Post by NoahR » June 15th, 2019, 2:06 pm

An “entrepreneur” by definition is a middleman. He buys at a lower price from a source, moves it to a new market, and sells it for a profit. An entrepreneur does not make the product, nor control the market and, in the case of wine, there can be several levels of entrepreneurs, each interested in taking as much of a share as the market will bear while incurring as few expenses as possible. That’s how the business works. And, as William has noted, it can be a tricky business, filled with ups and downs of markets, fickle buyers, currency variations and, of course, the yearly variability of the product and the demands of the sellers. Traditionally, it has been a fairly profitable business to be in, but it may not always be. Given that it has been fairly profitable and consistent for a long time, I have some sympathy for those who have gotten stuck with wine that won’t move. It’s not your fault, though unfortunately your business model is such that you assume the risk.

What I would recommend: unless your pockets are so deep you can afford to hold these wines, sell them at a loss, get them out of your warehouse. Convince your colleagues to do the same. Send a message to the Chateaux and the Negoce that you’re not going support an artificially buoyed market, force their prices down, put some serious pressure on their business model, and let the world know that they can go F- themselves while you sell through your 2009’s and 2010’s at prices that are below EP for 2018. That’s a bit of a Guy Fawkes kind of plan, but someone has to give buyers an opportunity to break out and vote with their wallets
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#27 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » June 15th, 2019, 2:10 pm

I'm no accountant, but I would have sold these off a long time ago, written off the loss, and freed up the remaining cash to work for you elsewhere. It's not doing anything for you sitting in a refrigerated warehouse taking up space.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#28 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 15th, 2019, 2:10 pm

William,
First of all nobody is suggesting that the chateaux will distribute state by state. They will have national importers who will deal with the minefield of state regulations. Easy to see a Wildman or a Southern working the market for them. Personally I think it would be a disaster if they decided to kill off the negotiant system through greed. It’s a cushy option, and an incredible way to realize quick cash flow. But they seem to be doing their level best to make the job of negotiant impossible and ultimately they will be the ones who lose. Never mind having to work with individual states, finding distribution in sixty to seventy countries, and then working with them over the years, you are right, that will require serious increases in personnel and gray hairs dealing with all the problems.

As to your question about whether or not owners can afford to hold their wines (and it should be clear I am ONLY talking of the top 100 wines) believe me they are not hurting. At the top, Latour is holding back tens of millions of first wine. However the Forts de Latour is more than making up for it. The inflation adjusted figure of what they are getting for the Les Forts is about the same as they were getting for the Grand Vin in 2000. A wine in the middle tier, say the family owned Malartic may not have the resources to go it alone, and have far less leverage, so work pretty closely with the courtiers and negotiants.

We/they have allowed the first growths and a few chosen other wines to have free rein to price exactly where they want, and the immediate clients, the negotiants are afraid to say no. The next layer, wine shops, importers and consumers can and do say no, leaving all that inventory bottled up with the trade in Bordeaux. They can just about eke out a business with top vintages, but God help them with off vintages. A run of three or four non vintages of the century and we may see some say non. It would have happened in 2008 but for unexpected demand from China. It will happen, and then we will either see the system bend, and a new direction found, or shatter.

Yes, until the chateaux feel the pain, this failing model will continue.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#29 Post by RichardFlack » June 15th, 2019, 4:36 pm

NoahR wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 2:06 pm
An “entrepreneur” by definition is a middleman. He buys at a lower price from a source, moves it to a new market, and sells it for a profit. An entrepreneur does not make the product, nor control the market and, in the case of wine, there can be several levels of entrepreneurs, each interested in taking as much of a share as the market will bear while incurring as few expenses as possible. That’s how the business works. And, as William has noted, it can be a tricky business, filled with ups and downs of markets, fickle buyers, currency variations and, of course, the yearly variability of the product and the demands of the sellers. Traditionally, it has been a fairly profitable business to be in, but it may not always be. Given that it has been fairly profitable and consistent for a long time, I have some sympathy for those who have gotten stuck with wine that won’t move. It’s not your fault, though unfortunately your business model is such that you assume the risk.

What I would recommend: unless your pockets are so deep you can afford to hold these wines, sell them at a loss, get them out of your warehouse. Convince your colleagues to do the same. Send a message to the Chateaux and the Negoce that you’re not going support an artificially buoyed market, force their prices down, put some serious pressure on their business model, and let the world know that they can go F- themselves while you sell through your 2009’s and 2010’s at prices that are below EP for 2018. That’s a bit of a Guy Fawkes kind of plan, but someone has to give buyers an opportunity to break out and vote with their wallets
Agree with all of this except the 1st sentence! To me entrepreneur has connotations of innovation and creation, and yes, risk. Not just arbitrage, or wholesaling, which is really what we are talking about here.
The normal justification for wholesaling would either be distribution logistics or liquidity. And that’s obviously changed in this market compared to a few decades ago.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#30 Post by William Gladstone » June 15th, 2019, 5:06 pm

To respond to Mark Golodetz,

First you wrote this in your earlier comment -
For the wines like Cheval, it is a system that will some day break, and I suspect they will have to distribute the wines themselves.



I replied to your comment and stated how impractical it is to suggest that the Chateaux will distribute themselves - then you state no one is stating that? so if that is not the point of your sentence then obviously I do not understand what you are stating?

"William,
First of all nobody is suggesting that the chateaux will distribute state by state. aaaaaaaaaaaaaa' (Isn't that what you are stating? - Mark They will have national importers who will deal with the minefield of state regulations. Easy to see a Wildman or a Southern working the market for them.

2ndly I wonder just how intimately you work with Southern to know their potential for "being a national importer of Chateau such as Cheval Blanc" and other classified Growths.
I do not want to go into a lot of personal detail, besides saying, that may be your impression, but that is not how Southern works.
I do not work with Wildman so I do not know how they work. Southern is broken down so that each division works independently, they do not buy for the most part as a unit, it is regional, states.
And within each state the divisions work independently.
The divisions we work with at Southern have us to do the importing of fine Bordeaux for them. They have - for the most part removed themselves from the E.P. system of purchasing Bordeaux and rely on importers such as myself.

While it is true that the importers/distributors of wine in the U.S. is shrinking in the past 30 years by 90%, the negociant numbers are growing and when you attend a lunch or dinner presented by any major classified Growth Chateau at VINEXPO - you will see the hundreds of distributors & importers from around the world and it is unimaginable that they will partner in the manner you are suggesting - to seek a few to do their distributing, or am I misunderstanding your comment once again?

The picture you are creating is not how the business currently works and I cannot imagine how you can so off the cuff predict that is what will happen in the future.

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#31 Post by NoahR » June 15th, 2019, 7:04 pm

RichardFlack wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 4:36 pm
NoahR wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 2:06 pm
An “entrepreneur” by definition is a middleman. He buys at a lower price from a source, moves it to a new market, and sells it for a profit.
Agree with all of this except the 1st sentence! To me entrepreneur has connotations of innovation and creation, and yes, risk. Not just arbitrage, or wholesaling, which is really what we are talking about here.
The normal justification for wholesaling would either be distribution logistics or liquidity. And that’s obviously changed in this market compared to a few decades ago.
I’m just speaking from an etymological perspective. From the French, “entre” - between and “prendre” to take. That is the actual definition of the word. It is usually translated as “enterpriser” (and “enterprise” shares the same derivation) OT adventurer, but was coined by a French economist to describe someone who identified business opportunities or opportunities for profit in the discrepancies between utilization and efficacy, and, in the process, discovers or invents new markets. The innovation piece, as you rightly note, is a part of this.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#32 Post by William Gladstone » June 15th, 2019, 7:11 pm

NoahR wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 7:04 pm
RichardFlack wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 4:36 pm
NoahR wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 2:06 pm
An “entrepreneur” by definition is a middleman. He buys at a lower price from a source, moves it to a new market, and sells it for a profit.
Agree with all of this except the 1st sentence! To me entrepreneur has connotations of innovation and creation, and yes, risk. Not just arbitrage, or wholesaling, which is really what we are talking about here.
The normal justification for wholesaling would either be distribution logistics or liquidity. And that’s obviously changed in this market compared to a few decades ago.
I’m just speaking from an etymological perspective. From the French, “entre” - between and “prendre” to take. That is the actual definition of the word. It is usually translated as “enterpriser” (and “enterprise” shares the same derivation) OT adventurer, but was coined by a French economist to describe someone who identified business opportunities or opportunities for profit in the discrepancies between utilization and efficacy, and, in the process, discovers or invents new markets. The innovation piece, as you rightly note, is a part of this.
I’m just speaking from an etymological perspective. From the French, “entre” - between and “prendre” to take. That is the actual definition of the word. It is usually translated as “enterpriser” (and “enterprise” shares the same derivation) OT adventurer, but was coined by a French economist to describe someone who identified business opportunities or opportunities for profit in the discrepancies between utilization and efficacy, and, in the process, discovers or invents new markets. The innovation piece, as you rightly note, is a part of this.
[/quote]

I wonder what the Chateaux would think about this? Etymologically speaking..

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#33 Post by NoahR » June 15th, 2019, 7:37 pm

William -

Don’t really care what the Chateaux think. Most of them are owned by conglomerates, investment banks and foreign investors at this point. I’ve met some nice winemakers and emissaries, but it’s been a racket for a long time.

If the Chateaux have the reserves to fund a business model that perpetually insults the consumer and trades on aspiration pricing and the ratings of a few symbiotic critics struggling to maintain relevance, I wish them luck. Everyone in the food chain, however, perpetuates the misery, and this bitchy little thread, like every bitchy little thread on Bordeaux pricing, is absolutely toothless until people like me and the other WB on the 2018 Bdx thread stop buying entirely in protest, or people like you sell your stocks of overpriced Bdx at a discount, stop buying entirely, and tell the Negoce to F-off. And the Negoce complain but they’re entirely beholden to the Chateaux and so fearful of losing their place in the market that they perpetuate the crap by buying up the crappy vintages and holding them for years and paying whatever the Chateaux choose to charge for good vintages.

As far as they care about the etymology of “entrepreneur” I am not sure they have much of an opinion on that... ;)
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#34 Post by William Gladstone » June 15th, 2019, 7:47 pm

NoahR wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 7:37 pm
William -

Don’t really care what the Chateaux think. Most of them are owned by conglomerates, investment banks and foreign investors at this point. I’ve met some nice winemakers and emissaries, but it’s been a racket for a long time.

If the Chateaux have the reserves to fund a business model that perpetually insults the consumer and trades on aspiration pricing and the ratings of a few symbiotic critics struggling to maintain relevance, I wish them luck. Everyone in the food chain, however, perpetuates the misery, and this bitchy little thread, like every bitchy little thread on Bordeaux pricing, is absolutely toothless until people like me and the other WB on the 2018 Bdx thread stop buying entirely in protest, or people like you sell your stocks of overpriced Bdx at a discount, stop buying entirely, and tell the Negoce to F-off. And the Negoce complain but they’re entirely beholden to the Chateaux and so fearful of losing their place in the market that they perpetuate the crap by buying up the crappy vintages and holding them for years and paying whatever the Chateaux choose to charge for good vintages.

As far as they care about the etymology of “entrepreneur” I am not sure they have much of an opinion on that... ;)
I respect your view and wish if it was true.. the world market is so diverse I do not see an organized campaign having any affect. I wish it would

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#35 Post by GregT » June 15th, 2019, 8:01 pm

But entre prendre translates best as "undertake". It has nothing to do with being a middleman. When you put "eur" at the end, it indicates some kind of agent, so in this case someone who undertakes things. And it was originally used to indicate someone who puts together or manages theatrical productions. An Irish guy, Richard Cantillon, coined the term "entrepreneur" to describe someone who made a product or bought a product, at a certain price and hoped to sell it for a price that was uncertain until the product was finally sold. He published a book in France called “Essai sur la Nature du Commerce au General".

A few decades later, a French economist named Say used the word to define someone who undertakes an enterprise and shifts economic resources from an area of low productivity into an area of higher productivity. Economic resources could be money, labor, or goods. The guy who buys grapes and makes wine out of them is indeed shifting resources. The grapes are cheaper than the wine - he adds value by manipulating the fruit and sells a higher-value product.

The interesting part is that the original definition considered the price uncertain because you never knew what someone would be willing to pay. You could make some pretty good guesses, but until you actually asked for your price and received the money for it, you had some risk. The top chateaux are playing a game right now and will continue to do so until they no longer have buyers. In the long run I don't think they help the world of wine or even the world of Bordeaux, because it tends to be lumped together as a unified entity and it really isn't. But for now, they seem to be doing OK.
G . T a t a r

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#36 Post by David Glasser » June 16th, 2019, 9:23 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 2:10 pm
William,
First of all nobody is suggesting that the chateaux will distribute state by state. They will have national importers who will deal with the minefield of state regulations. Easy to see a Wildman or a Southern working the market for them. Personally I think it would be a disaster if they decided to kill off the negotiant system through greed. It’s a cushy option, and an incredible way to realize quick cash flow. But they seem to be doing their level best to make the job of negotiant impossible and ultimately they will be the ones who lose. Never mind having to work with individual states, finding distribution in sixty to seventy countries, and then working with them over the years, you are right, that will require serious increases in personnel and gray hairs dealing with all the problems.

As to your question about whether or not owners can afford to hold their wines (and it should be clear I am ONLY talking of the top 100 wines) believe me they are not hurting. At the top, Latour is holding back tens of millions of first wine. However the Forts de Latour is more than making up for it. The inflation adjusted figure of what they are getting for the Les Forts is about the same as they were getting for the Grand Vin in 2000. A wine in the middle tier, say the family owned Malartic may not have the resources to go it alone, and have far less leverage, so work pretty closely with the courtiers and negotiants.

We/they have allowed the first growths and a few chosen other wines to have free rein to price exactly where they want, and the immediate clients, the negotiants are afraid to say no. The next layer, wine shops, importers and consumers can and do say no, leaving all that inventory bottled up with the trade in Bordeaux. They can just about eke out a business with top vintages, but God help them with off vintages. A run of three or four non vintages of the century and we may see some say non. It would have happened in 2008 but for unexpected demand from China. It will happen, and then we will either see the system bend, and a new direction found, or shatter.

Yes, until the chateaux feel the pain, this failing model will continue.

This all makes eminent sense, but I’ve been hearing the bolded part for 2 decades. With modern technology, global warming, and a well-honed publicity/hype machine, will there ever be a run of 3 or 4 non vintages of the century?

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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#37 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 16th, 2019, 10:43 am

William Gladstone wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 5:06 pm
To respond to Mark Golodetz,

First you wrote this in your earlier comment -
For the wines like Cheval, it is a system that will some day break, and I suspect they will have to distribute the wines themselves.



I also said the system will either shatter or evolve. My guess is that it will evolve.
Mark Golodetz wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 2:10 pm
A run of three or four non vintages of the century and we may see some say non. It would have happened in 2008 but for unexpected demand from China. It will happen, and then we will either see the system bend, and a new direction found, or shatter.

Yes, until the chateaux feel the pain, this failing model will continue.
I replied to your comment and stated how impractical it is to suggest that the Chateaux will distribute themselves - then you state no one is stating that? so if that is not the point of your sentence then obviously I do not understand what you are stating?

"William,
First of all nobody is suggesting that the chateaux will distribute state by state. aaaaaaaaaaaaaa' (Isn't that what you are stating? - Mark They will have national importers who will deal with the minefield of state regulations. Easy to see a Wildman or a Southern working the market for them.

2ndly I wonder just how intimately you work with Southern to know their potential for "being a national importer of Chateau such as Cheval Blanc" and other classified Growths.
I do not want to go into a lot of personal detail, besides saying, that may be your impression, but that is not how Southern works.
I do not work with Wildman so I do not know how they work. Southern is broken down so that each division works independently, they do not buy for the most part as a unit, it is regional, states.
And within each state the divisions work independently.
The divisions we work with at Southern have us to do the importing of fine Bordeaux for them. They have - for the most part removed themselves from the E.P. system of purchasing Bordeaux and rely on importers such as myself.

While it is true that the importers/distributors of wine in the U.S. is shrinking in the past 30 years by 90%, the negociant numbers are growing and when you attend a lunch or dinner presented by any major classified Growth Chateau at VINEXPO - you will see the hundreds of distributors & importers from around the world and it is unimaginable that they will partner in the manner you are suggesting - to seek a few to do their distributing, or am I misunderstanding your comment once again?

The picture you are creating is not how the business currently works and I cannot imagine how you can so off the cuff predict that is what will happen in the future.
William Gladstone wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 1:34 pm


You think? I do not think that is possible... From a conceptual perspective every visit to France I end up trying to explain U.S. liquor laws state by state and Federal and so on.... The mind of the French they cannot grasp the concept.. It is so foreign to them, 2ndly from a practical stand point how in the world will the Chateaux even begin to distribute the wines themselves in the U.S.?
You need a license for every state and those licenses have all kind of requirements including local facilities.
William,
Not sure exactly what you are saying, but I am not going down this rabbit hole with you. You clearly were talking about Cheval et al distributing state by state, and I responded they would naturally be using a national importer. I have not worked with Southern, so I don't know the the ins and outs on how they work, but I have dealt with others who have established national distribution systems very successfully. That being said, the distribution would be far more cumbersome, take far more resources and end up up from the Chateau's point of view far less effective than the current negotiant one. That is why I think the system will ultimately resolve itself, and the estates will make sure that the negoces can make money.
ITB

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Rory K.
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Re: Cheval Blanc 2018 - RElease price is 120 Euro's higher than other 1st Growth

#38 Post by Rory K. » June 16th, 2019, 5:39 pm

Demand more of the public? I regret to inform you, "the public" are not the target market of these 1st growth Chateaux.... It has been a long while since the average consumer of fine wine was the goal of these establishments, it has seemed to me, for a decade at minimum, that these Chateaux target a strata of society that simply cannot be lumped in with "the public" and for whom 400e is not much different from 600e, and for some label chasers, it might even make the wine seem more desirable than less...

I have had fewer than a dozen 1st growth bottles in my life, and they have been exceptional, but I have never felt they would want me as a customer, so I think their pricing is just a doubling down on the ultra-luxury image of a wine for the .0001%. Reminds me of the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch trying to stop people from donating their clothes to the homeless lest the paupers tarnish their brand....
K i n n e a r

ITB

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