End of an era: Martine's Wine Sold

Will the portfolio survive without her? She seems to be very much a personality driven business, but I suppose that with the market being what it is, a bird in the hand beats two in the bush. We’ll see.

Unlike another major transaction this month in the wine world, the buyers are identified and there’s a very professional press release.

That is all.

did it include the Leroy inventory of more than a million bottles of wine? That is probably something else. She has no kids, I believe. Adopt me!

She has quite a load of Jayer too…

Why is she holding so much wine? Hoarding?

Back in the 1980s, following the very first Prodigy off line we got a late night tour of her warehouse by one of her employees. Amazing the cases and case of super rare wines.

I worked for her part time for fifteen months until March 2012, sortof as the third-down back in the NYC market;
very fine portfolio of, course—but not only the marquee names; there’s also the grower in Sancerre, the grower in Cahors, the grower in Moulin-à-Vent, the grower in Champagne, the Beaujolais Blanc guy, the grower in Carnuntum— and then there’s Givry…

Martine Saunier is a brilliant and aggressive salesperson, but the portfolio has enough depth to be successfully worked using a variety of approches, methinks.

Like all things, it’s a wait and see kind of thing.
The person I deal with from Martine’s said they were all shocked, so this was very hush-hush apparently.
There is plenty of non-uber pricey wine to go around in their book, and it’s VERY good.

FWIW, they only sell Leroy on the west coast, someone else sells it on the east coast.

How is one million bottles of Leroy possible? What is the average price of a bottle of Leroy these days? $100? $200? $500?? That would be hundreds of millions of dollars just in Leroy before even getting to the Jayer. One million bottles would have to be a significant chunk of the production every year for decades no? Is this why Leroy’s wines are so expensive? So little makes it to the market? Burgundy is so low of production already if there are several importers and distributors holding back large amounts every year it makes more sense why some wines are priced into the stratosphere. Mind boggling. [shock.gif]

I don’t think he was being serious on the actual number, just implying there is an awful lot of it sitting there.

Ive been fortunate to have many fine wine tastings/ dinners with Martine over the years and always appreciate her knowledge, expertise and commitment to quality wines from quality producers. In fact, Ill be joining her and some good friends in SF in a few weeks for an evening of top wines to celebrate a good friend`s birthday. We shall drink well.

I`ll be interested in any more info re her sale of the business.

As the press release indicates, Martine will be “staying on” for two years to help with the transition. She is currently introducing the new owners to many of the producers. So, there is hope/expectation that the portfolio will remain intact.

she inherited it from her father. I believe I read somewhere that she had over a million bottles.

She and Kermit Lynch made the Bay Area a unique wine market in the 80s.

yes, over a million bottles in the cellars of Maison Leroy per Decanter: Lalou Bize-Leroy - Burgundy's Grande Dame - Decanter

Thanks for the reference Alan, but this is talking about the cellars of Leroy not Martine’s right? [scratch.gif]

Nevertheless I suppose Martine had a significant horde as well.

And 30% of them to be labeled Maison Leroy La Romanee 1962…“sorcery in a bottle” - Ha!

my confusion–I was thinking Maison Leroy was being sold, not Martine’s–I got the two confused.

It does seem like this wasn’t a sudden decision, and that she did some long range planning, maybe even marketing/pumping in advance.

At 78, let’s hope she did a little planning!