2006 Bordeaux

I would be interested in wines that are 87 to 92 points from $8 to $40. I wonder how much they are going to raise prices, and when people are going to get disgusted. Also now that 2000, 2003, 2005 and now 2006 are "Vinatge of the Centuries" perhaps that will become the norm and prices will steady.
Unless I win the lotto, I am out. When market forces equilibrate and prices soften, I will get back in. My prediction is that it will take a couple back to back horrific years to knock prices back down where they belong.

If I had 800 bucks to blow on wine tomorrow, and you offered me a bottle of 2005 Latour futures versus an on the shelf bottle of Penfold's Grange plus a bottle of Araujo cab plus a Valdicava Brunello AND a Fescobaldi Castelgiocondo Riserva, then throw in a bottle of Beacastel, I'd take the 5 bottle variety pack any day of the week!

Would anyone here choose differently?
quote:
Originally posted by James Suckling:
With great skepticism, I have already heard from a number of Bordeaux wine producers that they think they have produced something as good or even better than 2005....

Please pass my congratulations on to them. They are the Mercedes of the wine world. I'll continue to buy Honda with the odd smattering of Acura.
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
quote:
Originally posted by James Suckling:
Anyone interested 2006 Bordeaux?


Not me. I have little interest in anything French.

Can I have your bordeaux and rhone cellared bottles then? Smile

It'd create some room! Razz

ETA: Even in less than 'perfect' vintages, I still think that it is acceptable to expect the top chateaus to produce phenomenal wines. They have the money/ability to be selective in their grapes. A true great vintage is when the lower chateaus can make great wines.
quote:
Originally posted by James Suckling:
Anyone interested 2006 Bordeaux? With great skepticism, I have already heard from a number of Bordeaux wine producers that they think they have produced something as good or even better than 2005....


What a shock! Stop the presses!! Call the New York Times! Bordeaux has announced, to the Wine Spectator, another miracle vintage!! Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Give me a break. James, how can you make this statement with a straight typewriter?

Given the raping that the Bordeleis have perpetrated on the wine-buying public in 2005, I plan to buy zero. They can keep it.

Now, why isn't the Wine Spectator reporting on that?
I think the key to his statement is "with great skepticism". Sounds to me like the French have come up with a great marketing scheme to cope with the backlash suffered after 9/11. And now they are sticking it to Bordeaux buffs by picking their wallets clean and enjoying every minute of it. Great capitalism. They are doing nothing different than all these cult cab producers here are, IMO.
quote:
Originally posted by Jasong:
And now they are sticking it to Bordeaux buffs by picking their wallets clean and enjoying every minute of it. Great capitalism.


The Bordeleis, or the Wine Spectator who runs on their advertising? Sorry, but WS is treading on thin credibility with this nonesense. Perhaps they should consider advocating for the wine consumer for a change?
As new as I am to the enjoyment and collection of fine wine, the recent "circumstances" with French wine - especially the prices push me further and further away from even considering anything French unless it is a super QPR.

Way too much good wine elsewhere in the world for a person my age to worry about laying down wine that needs 10+ years.

Cool
I love Bordeaux, but given we now have 3 vintages of the century in 7 years (00, 05 and now 06) I think it is safe to say that falling for the hype is a fools game. There are so many excellent Bordeaux wines available at $30-80 that I can just wait until the wines are released, attend a few tastings and make the picks myself. Why tie up money with futures for 2006 when I can go out and buy excellent Bordeaux from the 2000 vintage RIGHT NOW that I KNOW are excellent and cost less?

PS- this does not mean I do not appreciate what you do James. But futures? Nope.
Oh my god, is it "The Vintage of the Century?" Boy, never heard this song before. 7 years into the 21st century, and already 4 vintages of the century! Get ready for $1000 first growths. I heard 2007 is going to be better than 2000, 2003, 2005, and 2006 combined!
Pipeau. May be you should take a cold shower. I said that some have said this to me. I don't believe them and I was in Bordeaux for the harvest so I saw how inconsistent the grapes were. Anyway, I have to taste from barrel in a few weeks. May be you should just post somewhere else...
quote:
Originally posted by Pipeau:
quote:
Originally posted by Jasong:
And now they are sticking it to Bordeaux buffs by picking their wallets clean and enjoying every minute of it. Great capitalism.


The Bordeleis, or the Wine Spectator who runs on their advertising? Sorry, but WS is treading on thin credibility with this nonesense. Perhaps they should consider advocating for the wine consumer for a change?


Can you read?

Do the words "with great skepticism" mean anything to you?


As always, thanks for the snippet James.
James, I have lost all interest in pursuing the wines of Bordeaux, and primarily because of their pricing strategies! The Bordelais has simply betrayed their customers, exploiting them annually for the last 12 years!

Now, the rest of the World produces equal, or better, quality wines at reasonable prices, while Chateau Margaux expects to receive $800 for 25.4 ounces of wine---a drink with dinner, and that dinner will be in 20 years! Lafite $600, Haut Brion $600, and etc. This has been a huge price fix and a terrible affront to their loyal customers who purchased their wine annually for years.

I'm not not upset with you, the messenger, writer, & critic, and I will continue to read your articles, blogs, & reviews. However, French wines have a new marketplace, and it is not me!
I think it is nice to hear from the staff at WS on these boards. I think it gives the staff more credibility because they are interacting with the common man.

As far as the topic of this thread goes, I have only had the opportunity to taste first growth BDX wines a few times (fewer than I can count on one hand). I do own 1 bottle of 2003 lafite, but I can't open it for a long time. I'm beginning to think I should have taken that money and bought several bottles of slightly more ordinary stuff.

At this rate, I will never be able to afford or justify buying 1st growth wines.
I still have cases of First Growth wines from older, great vintages, but I'm done buying them. I'll ration mine carefully and look elsewhere (Spain, US) for wines to buy. At least there are things to like about Spain and the Spanish winemakers and people.
I'm torn over French wines. As some of you know, I use WS and WA ratings to find the best QPR's in each distributor's portfolio... this year, the winning regions are Australia, Spain, Italy (especially with WineBow), and (you may find this hard to believe) Bordeaux.

If you consider the quality and price of certain Bordeaux in comparison to wines from the same varietals elsewhere, their value becomes glaringly obvious. I think the majority of the backlash against the increased prices concerns 1st and 2nd growth, a mere 19 wines. As usual, the sweet spot lies with the little guys who are producing wines that supercede all expectations. I'll back my opinion with some real examples that are currently available in NC.

03 Ch Pavie Macquin, St Estephe (Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab)95WA $85.00 -A solid value; if you have Caymus, Silver Oak Napa, or Dominus in your cellar, then this would increase your cellar value, not decrease it.

2000 Calon Segur St Estephe (Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc) 94WA $52.00 -once again, an excellent value.

2003 Sociando Mallet Haut Medoc 94WA $52 -Another great value.


There are many more examples, but the vintages of the century only hurt you if you are hunting for trophies. If you aren't, the increased quality levels will actually decrease the cost of wines of similar quality to the best Chateau in less optimal years. If you don't need the cache to enjoy the wine, then you may find yourself benefitting.

I say bring on the next vintage of the century.
Unlikely I'll buy anything and certainly not on futures. In addition to despising their pricing practices, I'm getting too old to buy these wines that need 20 years. If 2006 turns out to be something less than a vintage of the century, I might buy some mid-tier wines upon release.
James... any thoughts about 2005 Bordeaux?

The reason I ask is that recently I've seen a report of comments from Bettane, as well as posts by Quarin and Jamie Goode, indicating that the 2005s are very tannic, alcoholic, and not necessarily showing as the dream vintage that it was previously made out to be.

Particular comments include Jamie Goode indicating that many of these wines are showing as being (and I quote) "overly tannic and out of balance."

Similarly, Quarin said that "the charm seemed to have disappeared" and that the wines were "too tannic and too wooded."

Have you tasted the '05s recently? Do their comments correspond with your experience? Do we have another 1975 in the making?
Hi James. Have taken a cold shower now. Sorry, as I did not intend to focus my frustration on you.

However, you can look at all the responses to your original post (nobody is planning to buy 06, from what I hear) and gleen that the average wine consumer is feeling very negative toward Bordeaux right now. I would request that the Wine Spectator take a hard look at that because they clearly have not done so in my opinion. And maybe you can pass along those negative feelings to those in Bordeaux? I would suggest it would serve them better in the long run.
These "Vintages of the Century" are not all bad. Granted, the First and Seconds have priced themselves out of my and many others reach. The good news is that there are so many other wines that the Trophy hunters are not interested in and some always end us as real bargains.

I am out of the futures game, but intend to keep my attention focused for after market deals. They are always around if you watch for them. Examples: I bought the 03 Brannaire for $38.99, right off the shelf in Dallas. I picked up the 03 Troplong Mondot from PC for $49.99. I had an opportunity for the 03 Pontet Canet fot $63 and am still kicking myself for not taking the deal. The 2000 Pichon Lalande was in the local market recently for $125, but I did not know it until it was all sold out. Someone beat be by an hour or so and bought the last 18 bottles. A few years back, I cought the 96 Pichon Lalande for $80 at Zachy's and picked up a six pack. The bargains will be there if you look for them.

All of the hype is for those that have enough money that it does not matter and the suckers. I am neither. Are you?

So, if you like Bordeaux, and I do, quit your bitching and keep your eyes pealed.
quote:
Hi James. Have taken a cold shower now. Sorry, as I did not intend to focus my frustration on you.

However, you can look at all the responses to your original post (nobody is planning to buy 06, from what I hear) and gleen that the average wine consumer is feeling very negative toward Bordeaux right now. I would request that the Wine Spectator take a hard look at that because they clearly have not done so in my opinion. And maybe you can pass along those negative feelings to those in Bordeaux? I would suggest it would serve them better in the long run.


Pipeau,

Exactly what is it you want WS or James to do? Stop reporting or lie about what they know, or hear.

The average bordeaux buyer of which you refer is not who is buying the expensive stuff. There is a multitude of wealty people around the world, very few if any resides on internet boards, that buy these wines.

Furthermore, do you think the bordelaise give a damn about how anyone feels? They could care less, as long as their wine sells, and it does. The way to their hearts is through their wallets, not their ears. They will change their ways when there wine stops selling, not because people complain.
quote:
Originally posted by jnastynebr:
...Get ready for $1000 first growths. I heard 2007 is going to be better than 2000, 2003, 2005, and 2006 combined!


Get ready for $1000 first growths? Well... here in Toronto, we're more than ready. For example (per 750mL bottle):

Petrus $1,295
Ausone $1,395
Cheval Blanc $1,095

These are futures prices and the Petrus and Ausone are already sold out, so we can't even get them here anymore since our wine purchasing is restricted to one government mandated monopoly.

James, you might consider printing out this thread and showing it to those Bordeaux wine producers as an example of the venomous backlash that's apparently gaining steam fast.
I've never purchased futures and given what happened with the prices in 2005, I don't expect to in the future. I do agree that if you're not seeking first growths, you can find some decent/good values over the last few vintages.

So far this year, the only wines from Bordeaux that I've purchased are a couple bottles from an older vintage. Of the relatively few wines I've purchased so far for my cellar this year, probably 70 percent of them have been German riesling or reds from Rhone, Italy and Australia.
quote:
Originally posted by vintage:
Granted, the First and Seconds have priced themselves out of my and many others reach. The good news is that there are so many other wines that the Trophy hunters are not interested in and some always end us as real bargains.


So, if you like Bordeaux, and I do, quit your bitching and keep your eyes pealed.


Great point Vintage... If this thread were named '2006 First Growths' then the vitriol in the reponses would be justified. But it's not...

I'm sure there are estates that made a better 2006 than 2005... just like there are estates that made better 2001's than 2000's. That doesn't mean that this is being touted as another 'vintage of the century', nor does it mean that the oceans of great value Bordeaux under $50 a bottle are overpriced, and rooted in greed.

I will keep buying Bordeaux, and I'm happy to hear there may be some good 2006's. I don't ever expect to buy another bottle of first growths, but I'm not upset one bit about it.
Two observations:
1) I wonder how Bordeaux price inflation compares with other luxury items, like Hotel suites, jewelry, yachts, vacation villas.

2) I would not expect wine producers to say, "Looks like this next vintage is going to be horrid. Better buy something from someone else."
So, we rely upon people who are more independent and our own gut reactions and tasting experiences to know what is worth purchasing.
Classified Growth Bordeaux is not real wine, in the sense that average wine drinkers purchase and concume them. They are commodities.

I've never had the stomach for the risk of commodities. I'm a mutual fund guy. No Bordeaux classified growths for me.
I think the reason James is skeptical, as am I, is that they said 2005 was the most wonderful year ever and now 2006 is supposed to be better. How, when it rained through much of the harvest? If 2005 had perfect weather and the weather in 2006 was far from ideal then how could the wine ever be better?
quote:
Originally posted by Pipeau:
quote:
Originally posted by Jasong:
And now they are sticking it to Bordeaux buffs by picking their wallets clean and enjoying every minute of it. Great capitalism.


The Bordeleis, or the Wine Spectator who runs on their advertising? Sorry, but WS is treading on thin credibility with this nonesense. Perhaps they should consider advocating for the wine consumer for a change?


I'm usually one of the first to criticize WS or other wine pubs that step over the line - but I honestly believe Suckling is one of the fairest and frank critics, and wouldnt play those games. Look no further than his 2002 BdM blog for proof. Plus, his post was the equivalent of an eye-roll - he is skeptical of their claims.
quote:
Originally posted by noone10911:
I think it is nice to hear from the staff at WS on these boards. I think it gives the staff more credibility because they are interacting with the common man.

Except for where James lives and what he does for a living, his many opportunities to travel and enjoy the best wine wherever he goes, he's as common as any one of us. Wink

James is one of very few WS editors that seems more like "one of us" and does not carry the attitudes that some of the more eliteist do. He does not put on airs and frequently posts his opinion and answers questions.

As to the subject of the post, it should not be surprising that the marketing and public relations stratagies are going to be put into operation earlier rather than later. I'm glad James has the skeptisism he professes.

Cool

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