For those of you who have not been paying attention, 2001 Sauternes futures are currently being offerred by several retailers. After reading James Sucklings online report, Parkers ratings in the most recent WA and seeing the prices, I am convinced that this is a golden opportunity for anyone who enjoys sweet wines. My advice is to buy now or risk missing the boat. The vibe I am getting from buyers, retailers and from my own observations lead me to believe that demand for these wines is similar to the 2000 Bordeaux craze. Albeit on a lesser scale.
Both Suckling and Parker are very high on these wines. Suckling appears to like them more having rated 9 wines in the 95-100 point range. Parkers slightly lower scores could be the result of his self confessed difficulty in rating these wines from barrel. Nevertheless, Parker placed more than half the wines he reviewed in the 90+ range and said this was the best vintage since at least 1990. Suckling called this vintage the best in decades.
Unlike 2000 Bordeaux, it does not appear that producers have increased prices substantially. In fact, a quick price search revealed that initial prices remained the same as prior years. If you are an investor, Sauternes may not be the place to put your money. Historically, it has not increased in value as well as other regions. Whether 2001 will be the same is still to be seen. However, I do not see prices going down so if you are planning to drink these wines, now is the time to buy. In addition, buy ordering now you can get your purchases in any format you like. I have ordered all 375ml bottles.
As a result of the prices and purported quality, I have been buying 2001 Sauternes futures for the last 3 weeks. I have currently purchased about 40 mixed 375ml bottles from the following estates (all of which were given a score of 95-100 from WS). The prices are for 750ml bottles and the WA score, if available, is in parenthesis:
de Malle (WA90-92)- $27
Doisy Vedrines (WA90-92)- $22
Nairac (no WA)- $31
Lafaurie Peyraguey (WA91-93+)- $33
Suduiraut (WA90-93)- $38
Rieussec (WA93-96)- $40
There are 1 or 2 other wines which are on my list to buy but I have not seen them offered yet. Some of the first tranche offerings on wines like the Doisy Vedrines are sold out at retailers although most are still available. Other wines like the Doisy Daene Extravigant which received a 100 score from WS has already increased from its 1st tranche offerring of $130 to $190. This is the exception though as I have not seen other increases yet. With a little searching you should be able to find everything.
These wines represent some of the best QPR's currently being offerred in any wine region. Where else can you find wines in the 95-100 point range for $22-40 per 750ml. Values like these simply do not exist or are at least extremely rare. You need only look at some of the recent discusions on this board regarding the 1998 Kracher dessert wines from Austria to realize the value of Sauternes futures. The Krachers which received similar scores in the 90-98 point range retail in the $45-75 range for a 375ml bottle. 375ml bottles of the Sauternes listed above are selling at futures between $11 and $22. Add the fact that Sauternes have the reputation as the worlds premier dessert wine and the prices seem even better.
A few years from now I will be posting notes on these wines and the great deal I was able to get. Will you? I know some other members have taken advantage of the Sauternes futures also since there has been some discussion offline. If you have bought some I would like to know what you chose. If you haven't, what are you waiting for? In either event, what is your opinion on these wines?