Though I do not have the time to translate the full first report I just put on my blog, here are some news :
a : the négoce has “kidnapped” Parker in order to teach him to be “cool” on 2009 since they want the properties to accept at least a 20 % discount versus the prices of the vintage 2005. Most probably, they expect Parker to be “disturbed” by the extreme finesse and smoothness of the 2009. So, not sure to find as many 100/100 as we may expect.
b : Parker will be in the next days on left bank where he will meet more producers than négoces. They certainly will try to influence him on the opposite. Not sure they will succeed.
c : Parker will speak surprisingly in better words about 2007, something we have already demonstrated on our blog.
d : But, in the end, before printing his report, Parker may cool down all these influences that very smart négociants try to put in his head.
Up to day : Négoce 1: Property 0. But the match is just beginning.
Anyway : this campaign will be fascinating in this respect of opposite influence on him by the négociants and the owners.
Do you suspect CIA/FBI/CNN/NSA to have access on the daily iphone conversation between these 2 Guru ?
If Parker is slightly cool about the vintage what will Jeff buy? It will be so confusing.
Thanks Francois. The yearly en primeur campaign was once exciting for me, now it just holds a morbid fascination…like stopping to look at a car wreck.
I can hardly wait to be offered these wines at a 20% discount to 05.
A car wreck? I think not.
More like a very good vintage.
The market isn’t receptive?
If so, prices will go down.
Everybody’s happy .
Thanks for the headlines Francois. I expect this year’s blog activity on 09 primeur to be even more rabid than last year.
Now if Gil wants to pull the old switcheroo again for the sake of low prices, please be my guest!
j’ai oublie de noter la meilleure proverbe que vous avez ecrit!
“grands millésimes, petits châteaux. Petits millésimes, grands châteaux”.
The car wreck metaphor is not about the vintage quality, just the circus that EP has become and the bitching and moaning over prices. I do think the Bordelais were quite bold in pricing and getting those that buy EP to absorb the “risk”. Perhaps if we did not have a global economic meltdown they would still be on top of the world. The only fault I will lay at their feet is a complete an utter failure to assess the extent of the economic sea change and total paradigm shift in consumer spending and perception of “value” (at least for western markets). To not re-price according to these events, just made their former customers perceive them as out of touch, thus they were abandoned.
Two confirmed points :
a : this vintage will offer “EP” a real pleasure to the tasters, something that was not familiar in the past vintages. Some will say : too good to stay long. Will vanish sooner than expected. Somme will not say so.
b : at the end, as usual, you settle the prices, you the buyers. As we say in France, also about women : l’Homme propose, la femme dispose".
Same thing for the wine : whatever price the producer asks for, the deal is done only when a buyer pays the price.
YOU ARE THE BOSS !
I agree with you that the EP thing is a circus (and I will have a front row seat in less than 2 weeks at the barrel tastings) and that the prices are outtasite.
I think you put your finger on a very important aspect of all this:
absorbing the risk.
Risk is inherent to this sort of purchase. Otherwise it would be just too damned easy! The risk is not very great in a very good or great vintage as long as you’re not in a hurry (heck, what’s a decade or two?) to cash in your chips.
But hings get more complicated in less well-reputed years…
There, the long and sometimes complicated distribution chain needs to be considered. In the “off years”, the people who gain the most, and take the least risk, are probably the château owners. Everyone on down has to cope with unloading those wines with margins that are eaten away at, and sometimes there aren’t any profits at all. They take that risk because they know that if they opt out, they will lose their place for allocations, probably forever.
A small article in Le Monde newspaper yesterday said that China now imports more Bordeaux than the United States.
Some people pooh-pooh China’s role in the world of fine wine. I don’t.
As you know, China is in a strong growth stage and there’s LOTS of disposable income.
Oh, I’m not saying that the change is going to be completely radical and affect things necessarily this spring. But the writing is on the wall.
Finally, the “re-pricing” you refer to is inevitabe if people won’t buy. But, as said above, if this happens much of the re-pricing is going to be downstream.
All the best,
Seems Belgium is also a bigger bordeaux consumer than USA.
I assume the comment about China is in volume. Any idea how they compare in Value?
Interesting thread, nice lead-in to the coming tastings-
Alex, Bob and anyone else who cares to speculate: Seems to me that the mid-level wines are the ones subject to cost cutting. example: 2005 La Tour Carnet, Fombrauge and Fontenil are now $22 locally, about half the asking price last year. Seen others popping up the last few months.
Is the $50-100US segment the one to watch for future discounts?
The supply chain if full…chock full with - left over 05s (seeing them “on sale” so basically futures pricing and at times below). I was just offered 06s which were discounted 50% from the distributor (the retailer took a 20% mark-up on those) - still passed, way too high (PLL @ $111). Let’s not even talk about the 07s. Where are they going? How about 08 on deck.
Who is out there to buy all this supply ? I know if 06 PLL was around $75, I would most likely buy some…maybe.
Thanks for the chuckle, Francois. And the report. Glad to see you posting here again
Sounds like are part of the anti-flavor wine elite!