Will Lyons on Wine: Journeying Into the Heart of Bordeaux – WSJ.com
Despite a slew of astonishing fine-wine sales from the leading auction houses, which saw Bonhams, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and wine auctioneers Acker Merrall & Condit sell more than $300 million £194.4 million worth of wine, 2011 looks to be the year when the boom in Bordeaux‘s finest wines suffered a little indigestion.
Falls were as much as 20% in the last six months of the year, with blue-chip châteaux such as Lafite Rothschild 2008 dropping from around £14,000 for a case last January to around £8,000 today, according to Live-ex’s Fine Wine 100 Index, which tracks the price movement of the world’s 100 most sought-after wines. It’s still a tidy profit for whoever bought it when it was first released in 2009 at around £1,600 a case, but a sharp fall for anyone who purchased last spring.
But a return to pre-2009 vintage prices would be most welcome for the swathe of consumers who have been priced out of the market. It could also have the welcome effect of introducing these spectacular wines to a younger demographic, which hasn’t had the capital or the inclination to explore the classed growths of this fascinating region.
If demand from China and Hong Kong continues, I very much doubt the big names from the glamour appellations such as Pauillac and Margaux, or the communes of Pomerol and Saint-Émilon on the Right Bank will be inclined to drop their prices.
For those looking for that quintessential Bordeaux character of blackcurrant and cedar, which always reminds me of an empty cigar box, and rich, ripe roundness, it is worth casting your net further. Saint-Julien is one appellation that perhaps flounders against the reputation of its neighbors.
Strange Random Wine Quote:
“Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.” – Sir Francis Bacon (English Lawyer and Philosopher. 1561-1626)
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