Bordeaux 2023

So we’re kinda saying the same thing, no?

Buy EP if you think its cheaper now than it will be going ahead. Otherwise, consider not.

1 Like

Well, now we’re saying the same thing, Yes.

Your post prior, where you said “The difference is …” — I was responding to that; I don’t see a material/meaningful difference. :sunglasses:

Ahh, I see.

I think the materiality of having the bottle in hand is the difference, buying EP vs on release is the exact same outcome, barring th fact that you part with cash earlier.

I agree for any sensible person it shouldnt really matter, as you say you’re either buying very early into a wine’s lifecycle, and bottle vs en primeur is kinda arbitrary for the most part, or you’re buying as its coming into consumption windows

For many people, not taking up cellar space (a limited resource for many) is valuable (i.e.: is part of the value added when buying later, as opposed to earlier).

For me, I place a fairly meaningful value on provenance, and also some value on avoiding the hassle of finding whatever “drinker” I want to drink at its maturity. When I say “drinker”, I’m talking the wines that are released between about $35 - $200 per bottle. By the time they are at the point in their lives that I want to drink them, they are often a hassle to find and/or cost more per bottle than I’m willing to pay. My storage costs are less than a dollar per bottle per year, so I get to guarantee provenance, avoid later hassle, and (I believe) save some money by buying early. I don’t feel that I have inadequate storage space, but if I did then there would be some counteracting “value” of cellar space pushing the decision needle towards “buy later.” (I feel like I said all that in awkward fashion — my apologies for that — but I reckon you know what I mean :stuck_out_tongue:)

2 Likes

For me it’s a pretty easy decision. The availability in Alaska is only current or recent releases so backfilling requires buying from auction or benchmark/woodland/etc. Buying EP means I get to put stuff into storage and pull it when I need to (with some planning) vs buying elsewhere and hoping for the best for storage, provenance, etc. Shipping to AK is $12-15 a bottle which has a pretty significant impact the cost of second labels. Threading the needle for weather can also be a limiting factor on when I can buy. As ridiculous as it sounds, it’s so much more convenient to buy from Total Wine and schedule some stuff I have to be in Seattle for anyway during the delivery window and either bring it back with me or drop it off to storage while I’m in town.

1 Like

$15/bottle??
I’m in Anchorage usually 2-3 times a month for work. I need to start a little side hustle and start bringing wine with me.

It’s brutal depending on where I order from, but the retail shops kill us. If I go full case I can sometimes get it for just under $10 a bottle, but any partial orders are painful. I tried to ship up a six pack from Winebid a couple of weeks ago and it came in at $14.69 / bottle.

The interesting thing with Alaska logistics is, that Anchorage is the 5th busiest cargo airport in the world, yet hardly any cargo ever gets loaded or offloaded there, it’s all just through loads. In a way it would make sense that freight to Alaska should be cheaper than CONUS, but no-one has figured that out yet.

We don’t benefit from any of the interconnectivity that exists for ground routes for UPS and Fedex. When you compare overnight rates on most shipping it’s competitive but that doesn’t help when I really don’t want to pay for it. And for whatever reason we get killed on wine compared to other goods.

I like Petrus, but I tend to prefer years like 1988 to the bigger vintages and now that the price variance between vintages has narrowed, I do not chase it anymore. So I cannot give you any data other that to say that- as with Le Pin- it is generally something you have to proactively ask for. I have not seen Petrus openly listed on a futures offering in at least 10 years.

In case helpful, I can give you some data points on Le Pin. In 2019 the wine was offered to me in 1 bottle OWCs and I paid $2,125 each. Right now on winesearcher the lowest US price is $3,663 for prearrival, and $3,888 for a bottle that the merchant actually has in their possession. Worldwide, the lowest WS is $2,763 and all but 2 listings are over $3,000. And there are very few listings.

For 2023 it is back in 3 bottle cases again, which one would think is suggestive of an ease in demand- but I paid about 50% more than for the 2019. At the present time, there are only 14 listings worldwide- and only one at a price lower than my cost. And that is from a small operation in a European store. Not saying that to disparage them- but to point out that a small store abroad is not likely to present an easy logistical path when it comes trying to buy and import the wine to the US.

Looking at winesearcher, there are 38 listings for Lafleur in the US. Take out the prearrival offerings, which are very likely to actually correspond to only 1-2 actual offerings being advertised by multiple resellers, and there are 18.

In the UK there are 27 listings, but keep in mind that a great many UK brokers are offering quotes on bottles they do not have possession of. For whatever reason, these are not listed as prearrival offerings as is the case for US merchants (though many of them are getting more creative in their web listings to make them not show as prearrival in winesearcher even though they are) but I would expect those 27 listings correlate to a far few number of actual offerings available to purchase.

It does seem a lot for those who freely and frequently buy across borders, but for the majority of high end wine buyers I would argue that still represents a pretty tiny amount of wine available considering the wine has only physically been in the marketplace for a few months.

JMHO FWIW

For such a rare wine, though, that represents pretty wide availability. My key point is that, you could rock up now, and buy Lafleur 20 no problem with no worries about provenance etc. The only pressure to buy it en primeur is because you think it will rise significantly in price - which was true of 2019 and 2020, and not so true of 2021 and I very much doubt it will be true of 2023 - demand seems to have disappeared on 2023, with several major Lafleur importers offering it to people with 0 buying history with them.

Didn’t realize what a spirited discussion our side discussion would spark!

not seeing the kind of huge spread from the responses below. 10% isn’t a huge amount.

I think the difference is that very few retailers will stock wines like these, and that in the UK it’s far more common.

I worked for a hugely prominent US retailer who has been selling futures for decades, and wines like Lafleur, Petrus and Le Pin were always sold out 100% EP, and even in years like 2017 (with substantial allocations too).

I just think that not that much makes it to the US for EP, thereby creating a situation where little is left upon arrival and a huge resistance to higher prices once bottled.

Very similar in NZ.