Here is a quote from Robert Parker

“Any serious introspection of the global wine market for Bordeaux over the last two years has to include the fact that it is impossible to determine the amount of 2009 Bordeaux futures (and in a few months, 2010 Bordeaux futures) that have actually been sold to consumers. Throughout Bordeaux there is talk of the massive market in Asia, and the increasing significance of the English wine investment firms, but there are those (and I wouldn’t dismiss their opinions) who tend to think that such assertions are grossly inflated. Moreover, they argue that there is a real bubble that is in danger of bursting if the right external influences unfold. One theory is that the Big Eight (which includes all the first growths of the Médoc as well as Haut-Brion and the trifecta of unofficial first growths of the Right Bank, Petrus, Cheval Blanc and Ausone) are actually hoarding huge inventories of their wines to inflate prices. This theory also suggests that the super seconds and many of the other cherished names in Bordeaux are doing the same thing. Why? They are trying to manipulate the market price. The appearance of little or no appreciable quantities of wine from two great vintages equals higher and higher prices. Is there a falsification of the demand from Asian consumers? The fact is, no one seems to know the answer. While some 2009s have not held their initial opening prices because they were too high, many have. If much of the 2009s, as well as the 2010s, are not sold through to wine consumers, who are the true marketplace since they actually drink these wines, and then tend to replenish their stock, buttressing the marketplace, then this is a bubble. Despite huge warehouses filled with reserve stocks of great vintages, prices could be set for a major adjustment, just as we have seen in the United States with the real estate market. What, if any of this, is true?

I raise this issue only because it is a possibility. The fact that no one can (or wants to) provide the actual sales figures of how much 2009 (or over the next six months, how much 2010) is actually being sold through to consumers is astonishing. If most of the stocks of these two vintages are held by importers, négociants, wholesalers, or on paper by investment firms, then it is obvious the consumers have not purchased 2009 and eventually 2010. In any event, I think this scenario has to be raised, given the overheated marketplace and the sometimes absurd rhetoric about how popular these wines are at prices of $1000 or more a bottle.” Robert Parker, May 3rd 2011

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