Have Sauternes prices crashed?

Some friends were saying this evening that Sauternes prices have collapsed, both for current releases and back vintages on the secondary market. I don’t really follow Sauternes. Is that right? I haven’t seen any discussion of this here. Indeed, Sauternes rarely pop up here.

can something that was never really high crash?

I think only sauternes that is high is d’yquem.
And i dont know if their prices crashed.

Crash isn’t the right term but they’ve gone down w bit over time.

Sauternes to me are really the last of the “old world” wines that has yet to see a resurgence in understanding and popularity. Many of the upper echelon sauternes are still very well made wines, and will last 20-30 years or more in top vintages. So yes, the prices are low, but my advice has always been find a few you like and buy them by the case (in halves if that is what you want) and bury them in your cellar. They are always good for cheese, light desserts, or just by themselves. Try with rich fish dishes or roast chicken. Foie gras or pate of any kind.

Because they are in clear glass they are susceptible to light and other wine enemies so keep them quiet, cold and dark. To quote Michael Broadbent: “they will see you out” … i.e. still be young and fresh when you are long gone.

I don’t drink them often, but I don’t worry about them getting too old at all…and that is some kind of comfort these days when I’m trying wines in my cellar that are over the hill because I can’t drink fast enough.

I buy and drink a lot of sauternes and haven’t noticed any significant change over the past few years. No increase, no decrease. I will say that Yquem tried to sustain a large price increase starting with the 2005 vintage that has largely failed, as these wines (2005, 2007, 2009) came down to previous pricing levels within a few years. Their more recent releases (2011+) have reflected this reality.

Fargues is still trying this pricing experiment, which I don’t think will be more successful.

Other chateau (Coutet, La Tour Blanche, Rieussec, etc) have been flat from a pricing perspective since 2011, despite a run of many great vintages.

Full bottles of Climens 1988 hammered for $75 and $76 last weekend at auction. That has typically been hovering around $120 at auction with $60-75 for half bottles. That is one of the best Sauternes of the last 50 years.

I recall buying the 1997 Climens in 750 on release for about $65 in NYC. In 1999 or 2000. It’s just above that now. A half bottle of 2011 a couple years ago was about $75 or $80 IIRC. Now $60-65.

Seems like something may be going on but we need more data.

Any more data points suggesting stagnation is now giving way to deflation?

Full bottles of Climens under $100? Damn. I need to start paying attention.

Over here the prices seem fairly stable - Climens 97 is on sale for around 75€. Rieussec 01 is at the same price, more or less, which is the same as it was back in 2006. A Suduiraut 03 will set you back 45€, just as it would have at release. I’m always bemused to see these wines on sale EP - what on earth is the point?! True, you know where they’ve been, but there are so many fine cellars coming up for auction every year, with bottles in perfect condition, so it’s hard to see the logic.
As to the question of a crash, I don’t see any signs here, at any rate, just the usual indifference - basically, people buy what they need, when they need them.

2001 rieussec was about $100 for a half bottle and $175 for a full bottle here in 2012; it’s slowly dropped to ~65-70 for a half and ~130 for a full

I’ve been picking up a few older sauternes at auction, private collections – and I love the purchasing experience. Not getting into bidding frenzies, maybe one other bidder (that I can tell). Chambers had a couple pristine 750s of Yquem of my birth year, and I had the luxury of waiting a few days to buy them versus the frenzy for nearly any other type of wine (e.g. that would have sold out as soon as it was listed, which was weeks ago). I picked up birth year coutet for my brother, older than me, for a whopping $60, and its one of the better Coutets. I’ve picked up a slew of 2001s to try and compare against each other, buying from local retail (Fargues, Suduirat). I’ve had mixed experiences on the 2001 Suduirat, and its great to just buy a 3rd bottle recently as I figure it out. Maybe I will like Tokaji more in the end, but I don’t get this selection of Tokaji in the purchasing channels I currently frequent (probably a matter of time before I find those right channels…).

Mind sharing this auction place?

K&L has very good Sauternes that have been spectacular quality bottles. I bought a few 01 and rieussec that were pristine.

They show up at all auction sites. No secret sauce. Sweet wines just out of favor, and me myself I may actually prefer tokaji more (but limited experience I’m trying to grow).

One person was saying last night that he’s been able to pick up a number of '88s for very low prices recently.

I picked up 01 d’yquem for ~200 and 09 for 180 in half lately.

I picked up the birth year Yquem for 225. Not an outstanding year. But still aged for multiple decades, from a reputable store - and a 750ml!

I’ve definitely noticed an additional softening of what has always been a soft market.

Finally picked up a bottle of 2001 Climens (which I always wanted to try) recently for noticeably less than it was going for on release when the scores hit.

I don’t drink much sauternes but would love to get some 1975 Yquem at less than the $500+ I usually see it go for.