WINE IS THE MOST POPULAR CHRISTMAS GIFT, BUT ONE-THIRD WILL REGIFT

Wine remains the most popular alcoholic beverage to take to a Christmas/holiday party, with 59% citing it as their 1st choice, but 1/3rd that receive a bottle admit to “regifting” it to another, a survey by BIVB has found.

The average person receives four bottles of wine throughout the Christmas or holiday period and gives away an average of three bottles, yet more than three in ten of us (31%) often ‘re-gift’ a bottle wine that we receive.

But over a quarter (26%) admit to not knowing a lot about wine when purchasing wines, with price the deciding factor in most instances, with just over a fifth (21%) saying they buy whatever’s on special offer.

26% of respondents said it was the price that they looked at first, followed by style or grape variety (17%) and country or region (11%).

However, we are more likely to trade up at this time of year. According to a WSTA market report, outside of Christmas.

There is definitely something for every budget and occasion – I suggest you have a price range in mind before you go wine shopping – do your research.

Bordeaux Wines commissioned the research, which was carried out online by Opinion Matters in November and resulted in responses from 2,046 people aged over 18 in the UK.

Sources: Drinks Business and BIVB, WSAT

Emmanuel Macron Opens Presidential Wine Cellar to Public

France’s Elysée Palace has officially opened its doors to its wine cellar first time

France’s Elysée Palace has officially opened its doors to its wine cellar first time this past weekend as part of a bid by President Emmanuel Macron to promote national heritage.

There were 350 members of the public who toured the cavernous cellar which houses 14,000 bottles, from all the wine growing regions of France.

“This is the first time we’ve opened the cellar to the public,” Virginie Routis, the Elysée’s sommelier for the past 11 years, told Europe 1 radio.

The three-meter high vaulted cellar is two floors below ground level and keeps a plethora of fine wines and spirits, from cognac to top champagnes, at an ideal temperature of 13 degrees Celsius.

The also cellar contains prestigious vintages such as Cheval Blanc, Latour, and Puligny-Montrachet. Its oldest bottle is said to be a 1906 Sauternes.

“The wine is chosen according to the menu. I make a selection…Madame and Monsieur Macron also get to approve the choice. We really have to represent French gastronomy, so you have to choose wines that speak to a given foreign delegation,” she said.

The cellar was designed in 1947. During Jacques Chirac’s presidency in 2013, some 1,200 bottles were auctioned off as the quantities were too small to serve at official dinners.

Unlike his teetotal predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr. Macron is quite knowledgeable on French wines and has confessed to drinking a glass of wine at lunch and dinner.

He has chosen to open the cellars as part of France’s annual Heritage Days, where numerous state and listed buildings are exceptionally opened to the public.

Liv-ex top 50 most-searched wines in 2018

Each year around the summer season, Liv-ex examines the top 50

Each year around the summer season, Liv-ex examines the top 50 most-viewed wines, based on visits to their website from January to July.  The search-data acts as a barometer for the interests of fine wine merchants, showing where there have been changes in the trade’s interests each year.

Firsts still first

The Bordeaux First Growths continue to occupy the top five spots in the table, with Lafite Rothschild holding its position as the most viewed wine by Liv-ex members. The only difference from last year is Margaux has leapfrogged Haut Brion into third place, helped along by this year’s most searched wine, Margaux 2015.

Risers

Brands on the move such as new entrant Carmes Haut Brion (+34) have been the winners so far this year. However, trade is yet to catch up with interest, as the wine ranks a lowly 141st in terms of trade by value. Canon has had another strong year. It has climbed 23 places into the 20th spot, after climbing 24 places in 2017.

Opus One is the largest non-Bordeaux riser, jumping 24 places. Louis Roederer, Cristal has also done well, jumping 18 places. Trade has also seen a corresponding increase in 2018, placing the champagne as the 9th most traded brand on Liv-ex.

Fallers

For some to rise, others must fall. Traders appear to be losing interest in Super seconds as, amongst others, Ducru Beaucaillou (-8), Leoville Barton (-6), Leoville Poyferre (-5), Montrose (-4) and Pichon Baron (-2) have all subsided in the ranking.

Vieux Chateau Certan was the biggest faller, down 15 places.

This year’s top 50 are shown in the table in full.

Sources: 

Fine Wine Market

 

Wine Review: Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1989

Wine Review: Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1989
First Growth. Premier Grand Cru Classe in 1973

Special Occasion – celebrating a family member’s one-year anniversary. It’s a lovely Pauillac that has reached its plateau of maturity; notably dark ruby in colour; It has an engaging cedar and tobacco bouquet with hints of mint; not much fruit concentration; the palate follows suit – is medium-bodied and continues the aromatic theme of cedar and tobacco; demonstrates great persistence; well-defined – ‘old school’.

Drink now – 2030.

Tasted June 23, 2018.

95/100

 

Purchased Toronto LCBO Wine Auction 2011

2017 Bordeaux Futures Prices + Analysis

Chateau Palmer released its prices on April 23, ahead of others — a rarity, as other Bordeaux’s top châteaus wait to see how the other wineries position themselves. In addition, the Margaux a third-growth released the first tranche at 20 percent below its 2016 release price.

A few thereafter, others followed Palmer’s example. Bordeaux watchers are left wondering what the top estates will do in a challenging year for sales. Will they release the wines quickly and cut prices significantly, in a bid to interest consumers in a vintage that is not as eagerly anticipated as the previous two? Or will they move slowly? And will they keep prices high, assuming that even if consumers decline to buy the wines now, they’ll buy them down the road on release?

The 2017 vintage should yield many excellent wines, but it is by no means in the league of 2015 and 2016. Conspiring against prices are the fact that volumes are low: Following a devastating April frost, Bordeaux’s 2017 crop is 40 percent smaller than 2016’s. To make things worse for American consumers, the current exchange rate ($1:€1.19, as of May 8) is less attractive than during last year’s campaign.

Overall, the reds are fresh and pure, built on bright acidity rather than tannins, providing charming wines that will drink well in the near to mid-term. On the other hand, the dry whites are superb, and the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac are outstanding. Consumers will need to pick carefully, as a gray and dry summer resulted in a heterogeneous collection of wines that lack the punch and drive of great years.

Below you’ll find regular updates and analysis on the campaign, with prices given both ex-négoce, which means before importers and retailers add markup, and average retail price, which is compiled from Wine Spectator’s tracking of leading U.S. retailers. It’s what you can expect to pay. Prices for the 2017s are are also listed as the current prevailing retail price for 2015s.

May 9: The Campaign’s Cautious Start
Châteaus Palmer and Valandraud were the first notable red wines to hit the Place de Bordeaux, and in the weeks since, a few other futures have trickled out. Last week saw Châteaus Pape Clément, Batailley and Langoa Barton join the campaign.

Both Pape Clément (91-94 points based on a blind tasting of its barrel sample) and Valandraud (93-96) showed restraint in their pricing, with Pape Clément at 61.20 euros ex-cellar, a 7 percent decrease from the 2016. Because of the weakening dollar, the wine is selling at leading retailers for about $90 a bottle, or $1,080 a case, identical to 2016 futures. It’s lower than the 2015, currently selling for $120.

Valandraud released at 100 euros, a 22 percent drop on 2016. It’s selling at leading retailers for $150 a bottle, $1,800 a case, less than the 2016s, which debuted at $172, and the current price of $204 for 2015.

Palmer’s early and eye-opening release of 192 euros a bottle was a 20 percent drop from 2016. It’s selling for $284 a bottle, $3,408 a case, at top U.S. retailers, 10 percent less than the 2016 futures did and a big drop from the 2015, selling for $353 now.

Other notable releases so far include Châteaus Batailley (89-92), Dauzac (90-93, and an up and comer worth your attention), Langoa Barton (90-93) and Ormes de Pez (88-91). Langoa released at 31 euros per bottle ex-négoce, which means U.S. retail offerings are showing up around $47 per bottle (en primeur sales are typically only offered by retailers in lots of 6 or 12 bottles). Dauzac released at 30 euros, resulting in an initial U.S. retail average of $45 per bottle.

The accompanying 2017 price chart for top châteaus is noted below.

2017 Futures Prices
These estates represent a selection of leading wineries. The ratings are potential scores based on barrel samples. Retail prices are an average of trusted retailers we follow. To provide a comparison, we’re showing prices for 2015 futures and current prices for the 2010 vintage, a classic year that is currently available.

Château 2017 Score 2017 initial futures offering at U.S. retail 2016 initial futures offering at U.S. retail 2016-2017 retail change Current 2015 price at U.S. retail
Angelus 93-96 $NA $380 $384
Beychevelle 90-93 $77 $NA $101
Calon-Segur 91-94 $NA $91 $85
Canon 93-96 $NA $100 $350
Canon-La Gaffelière 90-93 $NA $99 $99
Cheval-Blanc NYR $NA $690 $808
Clinet 92-95 $NA $102 $157
Clos Fourtet 93-96 $NA $115 $129
Cos-d’Estournel NYR $NA $163 $188
Ducru-Beaucaillou 93-96 $NA $189 $193
Figeac 92-95 $NA $202 $216
Giscours 89-92 $NA $62 $78
Gruaud-Larose 91-94 $NA $73 $78
Haut-Bailly NYR $NA $117 $142
Haut-Brion NYR $NA $551 $647
Hosana 91-94 $NA $160 $160
La Conseillante NYR $NA $201 $185
La Fleur-Pétrus 93-96 $NA $234 $239
La Mission Haut-Brion NYR $NA $433 $465
Lafite Rothschild NYR $NA $657 $628
Léoville Barton 93-96 $NA $87 $106
Léoville Las Cases 93-96 $NA $242 $224
Léoville Poyferré 92-95 $NA $91 $97
Lynch Bages 92-95 $NA $131 $142
Malescot-St.-Exupéry 90-93 $NA $58 $98
Margaux NYR $NA $559 $1,706
Montrose 91-94 $NA $149 $159
Mouton Rothschild NYR $NA $549 $600
Palmer 92-95 $284 $318 -10% $353
Pape Clément 91-94 $91 $90 +1% $121
Pavie 93-96 $NA $379 $394
Pavie-Macquin 92-95 $NA $80 $90
Pichon Baron 92-95 $NA $155 $167
Pichon Lalande 92-95 $NA $162 $159
Pontet-Canet 90-93 $NA $144 $129
Rauzan-Ségla 91-94 $NA $83 $151
Smith-Haut-Lafite 91-94 $NA $106 $115
Valandraud 93-96 $150 $172 -13% $204
Vieux Château Certan NYR $NA $262 $357 Continue reading “2017 Bordeaux Futures Prices + Analysis”