Maybe there's a new vintage coming through the system. If the CSPC is the same (highly likely), they just end up adjusting the price, and not always the vintage. The crappy thing is that it means all the existing product goes up in price also.
I've heard from a little bird that the LCBO is particularly overweight on champagne, so watch in the future for a big champagne sale (I hope).
As my long-serving friend and LCBO store manager shared with me last week, "the warehouse is so incredibly overstocked right now, and there's more wine coming this way. Hold off for a bit; prices will drop, they have to."

I can't see there not being quarterly fire-sales, at the very least. And yes, those sales prices should have been the regular prices. The LCBO is greedy and this is much needed comeuppance.
quote:
Originally posted by tannic bastard:
I've heard from a little bird that the LCBO is particularly overweight on champagne, so watch in the future for a big champagne sale (I hope).

Funny, I blogged about that this week. In France, 2009 Q1 sales were down 29% over last yr; in foreign markets, off by more than 40%. You could ham-and-egg that the LCBO is off up to around 40%, too.

I'm looking forward to Champagne houses getting a big kick in the teeth. In the last 5ish years, they've created a price bubble just like Bordeaux. Time for the small gods to come back down to earth.
quote:
Originally posted by Darcy Kelley:
And yes, those sales prices should have been the regular prices. The LCBO is greedy and this is much needed comeuppance.


I couldn't agree more. There have been some baffling price hikes in recent months. One example previously noted by others: what gives with the $60 price tags on Ridge Geyserville and Lytton Springs when past vintages were priced at $40-45. Another is Chateau Musar for $80!! through the online site. Past pricing was approx. $50.
Start unrealistically high and then manufacture excitement by a "sale" of wine that in actual fact is still overpriced.
But, as we all know it's the only show in town, so they'll get our money sooner or later.
A little bird told me that beginning April 25 a number of "price adjustments" will take place (mostly from Sept. and Nov. 08 Classics):
RIVERA CASTEL DEL MONTE NERO DI TROIA PUER APULIAE 2004 was $43 now $34
CHÂTEAU CLOS DE SARPE 1999 was $76 now $59
MITOLO G.A.M. SHIRAZ 2006 (mag) was$130 now $100
MOCCAGATTA BARBARESCO BRIC BALIN 2004 was $75 now $59
CHÂTEAU SMITH-HAUT-LAFITTE ROUGE 2001 was $135 now $99
CLOS DE L'ORATOIRE 2003 was $100 now $79
CHÂTEAU PONTET CANET 1999 (mag) was $219 now $169
WARRE'S VINTAGE PORT 1994 was $115 now $89
QUINTA DE RORIZ VINTAGE PORT 2005 was $65 now $52
PENFOLDS YATTARNA CHARDONNAY 2005 was $99 now $75
TWO HANDS LILY'S GARDEN SHIRAZ 2006 was $66 now $50
and many more...
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooh, that sounds promising, especially the Two Hands and the ports. Of course, it will be that many more bottles I'll have to schlep down to the store to get refunds on. I'm already up to nearly a case, with nearly $50 of total refunds due. Just the Two Hands alone should double that.
Some of those are going to be very hard to find. For example, the product search on LCBO's web site said there are zero bottles of the Clos de L'Oratoire out there.

Still, the 1994 Warre's is the only wine I would buy more of. The $89 price is slightly lower than what I paid. I'd buy the Moccagatta Bric Balin, but $59 is still not such a great price. Same for some of the others.
The original soft release of the 2004 Bric Balin was $63, then it was released the same week in Classics for $75.

Figure that math. Wait a sec, don't. It's not supposed to make any sense anyway.
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
It's not supposed to make any sense anyway.

I think that comment belongs on the 'What does LCBO stand for' thread! Big Grin
What the...Can this be accurate? The bin end sale that begins Saturday is only available at the Rideau Vintages outlet in Ottawa?
quote:
Originally posted by screwtop:
What the...Can this be accurate? The bin end sale that begins Saturday is only available at the Rideau Vintages outlet in Ottawa?
Sale prices apply everywhere - if you can find the wine you want!
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
The sad thing is that the majority of the "sale" prices should have been the original cost.


The bordeaux are still expensive even at sale price. E.g., 2 I'm interested in, the '01 Guiraud is about $70 US (LCBO "sale" = $115) and the '05 Canon-la-Gaffelière $130 US (LCBO "sale" = $185).

Luckily there's no inventory of these anyway except in Ottawa. Roll Eyes
On Champagne, the LCBO is so stuffed with inventory it has enough to last through all of 2009 without ordering any new product. I've seen only a couple deals on champers, but I'm banking on further price reductions.

An agent I chatted with last week believes the LCBO will sit on most of the 2005 Bordeaux it still has, and re-release them 3-5 yrs from now, when markets recover and people go back to paying inflated prices for claret (I'm sure that will happen).

You're far more likely to see deals on Bordeaux from less-trumpeted years like '99, '02 and '04. As for the so-called "sales" on some '05s, yes, the LCBO prices are usually higher, forex adjusted, than the average regular US selling price. When I see that, I don't buy.
quote:
Originally posted by Darcy Kelley:
An agent I chatted with last week believes the LCBO will sit on most of the 2005 Bordeaux it still has, and re-release them 3-5 yrs from now, when markets recover and people go back to paying inflated prices for claret (I'm sure that will happen).

I'm sure you're right about the demand for high-priced vintages bouncing back. In fact, I'm not really sure there has been much decrease in buying among the big spenders in TO and Ottawa.

But it seems ironic that the LCBO may be doing an about-face on their goal of keeping inventories down to a bare minimum.
Stevey, the LCBO has 1 P&L but the Vintages P&L does roll up into the larger LCBO P&L. If you're Tom Wilson, who has a shitty record at best the last 2 years (declining volume and dollar sales), you are decidedly concerned about the Vintages financials. The costs of carrying over higher-end '05 clarets is marginal compared to discounting them by 25-40% right now, booking the sale at a lower strike price vs. carrying over the inventory as an asset on the balance sheet, and selling in the near future for a substantially higher price. It is naive to assume Vintages financial performance is not under the microscope (internally and externally) and merely sucked up into the LCBO's larger financials.
I only saw the consolidated P&L view and do not know results for Vintages only but according to their latest published Annual Report, results are improving year-to-year so I'm not sure where the "shitty records" are. I don't know who Tom Wilson is either but LCBO is not a normal business as the only game in town, so any reductions in sales volume of higher end products can be attributed to the economy and not to any loss in market share to which management may be responsible. And if Tom is concerned about his financials today then holding inventory for a few years isn't going to help his financials now and if you say he's been getting "shitty" results already, then he could be fired long before the '05's are back on the shelves in a few years, not helping him at all.

In other words, I just don't see how holding onto any '05 clarets can be of any help. It's a risk that even if prices do go up in a few years, how much higher into the stratosphere can LCBO mark up their bordeaux? Are we going to see $500 for the '05 Leoville Barton in a few years? Is there a price ceiling that above which the public will simply refused to pay? I don't know but I know, for me, the ceiling has already been reached.

But if the agent has inside information, then I guess he knows better.

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