Is anybody flinching at the price increase (now $90) of Val Vilaine? I did, then I didn’t and went all in
I decided that for me it’s a singular champagne that I personally have a long history with the producer so while I was initially shocked by the creep it is probably warranted here. Why didn’t I buy more and obviously cellar more
A good amount of popular Champagne has jumped considerably in price in recent times. The retail price of Selosse took a pretty significant jump, and what some retailers are asking for it was pretty wild too. The market price for Krug and Salon are out of control lately too.
I’m frankly not surprised, but I would argue Bouchard didn’t raise prices for a while too.
Veuve Clicquot is $55…I paid $80 for Vilaine two weeks ago. I think it’s well worth the $25 difference. I wish it were different, but champagne is far more expensive than other wines to produce. And I think most retailers discount champagne by the case unless it’s already at a promotional price.
There are deals to still be had, and while the price has certainly increased, I believe it’s more in part to the categorical increase of champagne rather than specific demand for Bouchard itself.
Prices are still within 20% of where they were 3 years ago, but it’s just getting harder to find or isn’t hanging out nearly as long. I’ve resorted to buying off secondary groups or posting in CC to help. If you are talking about prior to 3 years ago, then lump me in with the camp has was late to the party on Bouchard.
the HDH auction coming up has some Bouchard that’s gonna hit the block. Think this will be a good indicator of where the market is at. From what I’ve seen there’s been a mega jump from retail pricing to secondary in the last 12 months.
I’m very new to these wines but I think the prices will rise significantly in the near future. I’m betting big on it. When I decided I wanted to make them part of my cellar, I thought about how to go about acquiring them. In the last month, I’ve bought about 50 bottles. I’ve skipped the val vilaine and the creux d’enfer completely (for different reasons for each). I’ve bought just a bit of the ursules but not much really. My purchases have been mainly boloree, haut l’emblee and presle. The wines are not so easy to acquire obviously, and outside of recent vintages you are likely in the auction market if you want any particular wine in any quantity. This meant I had to buy before I tasted, which isn’t ideal. To help get to a point of certainty, I spoke to the best palates I know (including a few in the UK who were on these wines early and used to be able to acquire a reasonable percentage of the output). I decided that if I wanted them, it made sense to just buy whatever I could right now. I’ve only done that a few times in the past and I’ve yet to get it wrong, but we will see how I do this time.
Here is my thinking:
(1) The wines are obviously wonderful and made in very small quantities. Doesn’t take too many buyers trying to get a case before a 500-bottle production wine becomes very dear in the secondary market.
(2) The wines are singular and there isn’t any substitute. If you love them, there is really nothing to take their place if prices rise. So buyers are going to be less sensitive to increases.
(3) They aren’t yet that expensive relative to wines of similar quality. While $2-300 is a lot for a bottle of wine, for me these fall well above the average quality level at that price point.
(4) None of the people I spoke to think that the creux d’enfer, which is already very pricey, is Bouchard’s best wine. That would imply that the others have some room to run and catch up.
(5) In the early days I think these were viewed as a bit of an experiment and people wondered whether maybe they were best drunk young. While there have been some wines that caused concern, I don’t hear people questioning the age worthiness of the wines made 2012 and after.
(6) Selosse 2008 with a $400 wholesale price immediately disappearing at $3000 per bottle from retail shelves is an ominous harbinger of what can happen.
Generally agree with Alex’s post, but to put a finer point on some of the rationale:
I think the price here just reflects the supply/demand curve. But I do think that Creux d’Enfer is clearly better than Prevost Fac-simile (and people pay $400 per for the latter).
It’s not just 2012 and after–had a 2007 Bechalin a few months ago, and it was absolutely stunning. But the wines show significant vintage variation (which should be expected given his intent to make a real vintage wine and the small quantities), so I do think knowing the vintages and how they are expressed in his wines is important.
The Creux d’Enfer is pretty special in my book, I’ll let others debate on what’s “best”. That said the scarcity factor alone (.07 hectares?), assuming it stays the same, will surely keep its secondary price gap significantly beyond the rest regardless of qualitative considerations imo. I’m sure there are a ton of examples, but Roumier Musigny / Bonnes Mares and Jamet Côte Rôtie / Brune come to mind for me.