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”

Enjoy International #SauvignonBlancDay with Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2017

located in Marlborough, Yealands Family Wines produces award-winning wines in harmony with nature. Yealands Family Wines lead the world in sustainable winegrowing.

The Sauvignon Blanc is from selected parcels in Yealands’ Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley – with a consistent warm and dry climate, and cool nights it creates a long growing season.

Tasting notes
The bouquet shows some notes of blackcurrant and passionfruit with fresh aromas of herbs and lemon zest. The palate is brimming with juicy fruit – good balance with a long, crisp mineral finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and gluten free diets. WINEMAKING NOTES Parcels were harvested individually over two weeks.

LCBO# 277731

Score: 90

Direct Train London to Bordeaux Planned for 2020

A direct high speed railway that would take passengers from London to Bordeaux in under five hours could be in operation by 2020, according to the chief executive of the HS1 rail network.

 

Currently travellers from London to Bordeaux have to change trains in Paris. The Paris route takes 5h 25m, including a 1 hour 5 minutes connection in Paris, travelling from London to Bordeaux.

The current return connection in Paris takes 6h 26m, with a longer 1h 55m connection in Paris, owing to the need to pass through border and security controls.

The new direct service would cut travel times to less than five hours in both directions, through a direct route and security controls located in Bordeaux, with trains reaching speeds of up to 200 mph between the two cities.

The proposed route bypasses Paris and takes advantage of a newly completed 302km French high-speed rail line linking the French town of Tours with Bordeaux.

“As we’ve seen with the recent introduction of the Eurostar London-Amsterdam service, there’s a real demand for international train services to provide a comfortable and better-connected service, especially for leisure journeys,” said Dyan Crowther, chief executive of HS1 Ltd.

“This is the first time that railway operators have collaborated in this way and saves the train operator having to do a lot of legwork. The route is almost ready for a train operator to turn up and turn the key as soon as the UK and French Governments agree on border controls.

“With the right commitment, we could be looking at new services in the next couple of years. The service will take passengers direct from city centre to city centre, taking the hassle out of travel to South West France.”

HS1 Ltd, the owner and operator of High Speed 1, is in advanced planning with three other international railway operators along the proposed route, and is working on pre-planned timetable slots and train routes, meaning that a new international train operator will be able to get the route up and running in “a couple of years”.

The four railway operators along the proposed route (HS1 Ltd, Lisea, Eurotunnel and SNCF Réseau) are meeting at the end of April, beginning of May, 2018 to discuss developing a Gare de Bordeaux-Saint-Jean station, to facilitate international departures.

Source Drinks Business, UK

SANDRO BOTTEGA AWARDED RIEDEL WINE MAKER OF THE YEAR IN TORONTO

Sandro Bottega, the owner and Managing Director of the Italian winery and distillery Bottega, will be honoured this evening with the 2018 Riedel® Winemaker of the Year Award. 

Sandro Bottega will receive the award from The Cambridge Food & Wine Society, on behalf of Riedel, the Austrian crystal glassmaker who is the world leader in functional wine decanter design.

The official ceremony is held this evening at the historical Biagio Ristorante, 155 King Street East in Toronto.  In attendance will be Canadian authorities and European consuls, the Riedel family, Mrs. Shauneen E. Bruder, Honorary Consul General of Luxembourg in Toronto and Leo Chan, President of the Cambridge Food & Wine Society.

The Riedel® Winemaker of the Year Award is granted to Sandro Bottega for “having enchanted wine and gastronomic art lovers since 1977, in over 120 countries worldwide, with his artistic skills, the entrepreneurial ability and energy, and the quality and genuineness of the products”.

Sandro Bottega comments: “I feel deeply honoured and grateful, and I dedicate this prestigious recognition to my parents and to the whole company who has worked with creativity, passion and humbleness to produce wines, grappa and liqueurs, always in compliance with the corporate values: Quality (Italian taste and authenticity), Design (expression of the excellent aesthetic character of being made in Italy) and Social Responsibility towards the environment and the community”.

This award has been presented to great names of the world of wine, such as Robert Mondavi, U.S.A. (2005), Karl Kaiser and Donald Ziraldo, Canada (2006), Lamberto Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Italy (2007), Léon Beyer, France (2008), João Nicolau de Almedia, Portugal (2009), Miguel Torres, Spain (2014).

The evening at Biagio Ristorante, whose theme is “Marco Polo Revisited”, will feature an array of international tastes including Italian food and wines, as well as grappa and single malt Scotch whisky. Funds raised from this event will go towards the charity, Grapes for Humanity Canada.

Harrods sets new standards for drinks retailing

Harrods new wine and spirits shop is part of a multi-million pound investment in food and drinks retailing at the London department store

The shop can be found within the basement of Harrods that forms part of a wider overhaul of the department store’s food and drink offering dubbed ‘The Taste Revolution’.

Designer Martin Brudnizki has created the space to be inspired by the Art Deco opulence captured in The Great Gatsby to be elegant and glamorous.

Brudnizki – who was responsible for the look of famous restaurants such as The Ivy and Sexy Fish.

With marble flooring and limed oak shelving, the look and feel of the new area was carefully done to create something “quite homely and accessible”, as well as a space that “talked of the history of Harrods; talked of an iconic British brand”, said Gerard, noting that wine and spirits was the second department ever created in the life of the store, following its origins as a tea house.

While the materials give an impression of opulence, the scale of the new shop, which covers around 8,000 sq ft, is accentuated by its layout over a long, low-ceilinged space, featuring a series of interconnected rooms, allowing one to look through the store from one end to the other, with features that lead the eye into the distance.

Putting aside the overall impact, it’s the detailing of the drinks shop that really impresses. Chilled, glass-fronted cabinets called ‘Hero Shelves’ contain the finest wines in the range, while all the lighting is screened in such as way to prevent the emission of damaging heat or ultraviolet rays.

Within these cabinets are constantly circulating flows of air to keep the wines at the perfect temperature and humidity, and there’s even a whole room of these transparent containers for magnums and even bigger bottle sizes.

“We have always had a really good range of large formats, but before, they weren’t displayed with authority,” said Gerard.

Bespoke cradles are also used to hold display bottles at an angle of 27 degrees, which, Gerard told db, is the optimum slant for visual effect that still allows the wine to remain in contact with the cork – which is of course necessary to keep the stopper wet.

Then there’s the overall temperature of the space, which is kept at a constant 18.5 degrees Celsius, in contrast to the old drinks shop, which was at 20 degrees C like the rest of the department store (although this former area did contain at ‘fine wine vault’ chilled to 17 degrees C).

Considering the new shop, like its predecessor, is housed in the lower ground floor of Harrods, why was the decision taken to move it to a different part of the same level?

Gerard explains. “With our old location we were effectively landlocked, whereas now there are 12 different ways of approaching the shop, so we are much more accessible, and there are five separate openings leading into the area.”

But the other main reason to move and create a completely new drinks shop within the department store is “to revolutionise the concept of fine wine retailing,” according to Gerard.

Aroma tables guide shoppers through the flavours of each grape

Continuing, he said, “Often the experience of buying fine wine is too high-brow and intimidating, so you don’t attract the aspiring amateurs…. We wanted to create an environment that would deliver the exclusive service of Harrods to everyone.”

Helping Harrods in this endeavour is the educational element within the new store.

Throughout the space are ‘aroma tables’ featuring trumpet-like devices that, with the squeeze of a rubber bulb, like an old-fashioned perfume sprayer, delivers the trademark smells of key noble grape varieties, from Chardonnay to Syrah and Pinot Noir.

The shop also includes two private tasting areas, one devoted to delivering wine education in partnership with the WSET, and the other acting as a consulting area for clients looking for specialist advice.

There is also a spirits room where, unusually, the labels are arranged by style, and this leads into a special area devoted entirely to the retailing of Louis XIII Cognac by Rémy Martin.

Beyond this is one of the most notable new developments for London as a whole, and that is the creation of a walk-in humidor and ‘cigar sampling’ room.

While the former allows customers to store cigars in special lockers that can be rented for £3000 per year, the latter is the first space in the UK to use a special smoke-filtering system to ensure you don’t step out of this basement space smelling of tobacco.

Developed in Switzerland, the Airkel air-filtration system ensures the sampling area is subject to a constant flow of air that strips the room from any smoke, but also your clothes – effectively washing everything free from the aroma-giving particles.

Also, one can consume any drink bought in the wine and spirits to complement your cigar, and there’s no extra ‘corkage’ charge.

Furthermore, all wines bought in the shop can be drunk in any of Harrods restaurants for £30.

So, what about the wine range in the new space? Gerard told db that it runs to 1,400 different lines, augmented by a further 600 spirits. While the wine range isn’t significantly larger than it was in the old shop, he has made a lot of changes, and says there are as many as 400 new lines, and, in terms of price, the current range goes from £9 to £28,000 a bottle.

“We are now direct to source, because we want to always offer perfect provenance… the prevalence of forgery and fakes out there is scary, and Harrods has to have the stamp of authenticity,” he remarked, adding, “But it’s not just about forgery, but getting the wines to the customers in the right condition.”

“There is a lot happening at Harrods, and we are going through our biggest development in the 180-year history of Harrods, which we are calling ‘the taste revolution’. And we are doing this because the food and wine business is at the heart of this business.”

The most expensive single bottle of wine in the new shop is a Riesling! Hailing directly from the cellars of Egon Muller – a Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) from the producer’s famous Scharzofberger vineyard in Germany’s Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region.

Source: Drinks Business UK