A word on 2010 Bordeaux prices – the like of which I have never seen in my 30 odd years working in Bordeaux.
Red wine prices are increasing this year at anywhere between zero and 40% (with only Sociando-Mallet going down on 2009). For a vintage which, while undoubtedly great in parts, is less ‘obviously’ attractive this, at first sight seems insane. The market is not, however, driven solely by sentiment or indeed the quality of the wine (although this obviously plays a big part).
The new Far Eastern markets are effectively driving prices upwards with many negociants in Bordeaux selling up to half their allocations to China and Hong Kong. The best article I have seen that explains this in detail is by Jane Anson at Bordeaux and China. As Jane says these markets have been growing since 2000 for the red wines and it seems like there may still be room for more growth.
For Sauternes things are a little different as it only became legal in September last year to import sweet wines into China (see Decanter article Sauternes legal for the Chinese market). Ch d’Yquem, Ch Guiraud and others are investing heavily in marketing and distribution to these markets and I expect prices for future vintages to rise.
For now though Sauternes is the best value in Bordeaux by some distance (see my recent articles at Sauternes – Best Value in Bordeaux and Sauternes – the Best Bordeaux Wine). For those of you who haven’t taken advantage of this yet then do take another look at my 2010 Sauternes Tasting Notes and visit our Online Store.
For those of you who are interested in 2010 Red Bordeaux we do have stock of a few select wines – just email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will advise you on what is available.
As for the future – who can tell? We are in uncharted territory but that has been the case before following the 1982, 1989/1990, 2000, 2005 and 2009 vintages. Essentially production of the top wines is limited and more and more people worldwide are interested in buying them (there are still large untapped markets beyond China such as Brazil and India waiting in the wings).
Prices do seem crazy but we are talking about luxury goods now and just as a supercar costs 200 times as much as a family saloon it shouldn’t really be surprising that the top wines are selling at 200 times the price of an average bottle from your local supermarket. Bill Blatch