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» UK Drinks Forums » UK Wine Forum » Bordeaux 2011....nervous times. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Bordeaux 2011....nervous times.
Hamish Wakes-Miller
Methuselah
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I was in Bordeaux yesterday tasting at Smith Haut Lafitte and Haut Bailly. It is an anxious time at the moment for the vignerons. The weather this year has been weird....warm Spring (major advanced growth on vines), very early flowering, very hot June, then dull July and indifferent (and wet) August.
The Chateau owners have started picking some of the whites and are now anxiously looking at weather forecasts....it normally rains in Bordeaux in September!!
Half of me is wanting a great 'Indian Summer' and magnificent quality grapes etc. Whilst half of me is looking at the wine market and the '09 and '10 prices thinking that '11 could do with being similar to '02 or '07 to re address the reality.

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Bryan Collins
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Let's hope for a completely, irredeemably shit vintage, just for the humour of watching les Bordelais finding some way to hype it.

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Russell Faulkner
Maximus
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There were certainly some hot spells in August, I clocked 39 degrees at Merignac 2 weeks ago.

That said I could't care less about how this vintage turns out.

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Alex Rychlewski
Nebuchadnezzar
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Bryan,

Thanks for your support and good will.

Alex R.

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Colin Bradley
Solomon
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Come on, Alex - face reality. I'm a huge fan of Bordeaux wines as you know (my favourite wine style), but the way the Bordeaux wine trade has taken the p*ss over the past few years has ruled me out as a purchaser. I know you would say that the Crus Classes are a tiny fraction of the market but that's not the point. So far as I'm concerned, they've made enough money not to need another good vintage. The only justification for wishing for a good vintage would be if that would produce a glut of wine and reduction in prices but as 2007 showed, the Chateaux wouldn't do that anyway. I'm afraid that, for this Bordeaux-lover, a poor vintage would lead only to schadenfreude.

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This wine is an absolute hoot, undeniably delicious but reminding me irresistibly of a three-piece suite from World Of Leather in its extraordinarily vulgar amplitude. Quite splendid in its way.

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Hamish Wakes-Miller
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Yes Russell August was weird for excessive heat and then when the heat broke...the rain started. The whole year seems slightly uneven.
Bryan..that sounds strong, but I presume is based on your cynicism from the last 2 years EP campaigns. Admittedly there are a few 'snake oil salesmen' in the Bordeaux trade, but I am talking mainly about the anxiety of the vignerons here.
We had hail storms last night in the Minervois area...which can destroy an entire crop in a few minutes. This is why it is anxious times for vignerons.

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Kevin Heatherington
Solomon
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I hope things turn out well. But however they turn out I won't be buying.
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Bryan Collins
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Naturally I don't wish any ill-will to the bulk of Bordeaux, including the huge number of non-hyped, relatively humble properties, but seeing the classed growth cash machine come a cropper wouldn't make me lose a minute's sleep.

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Ian Shaw
Balthazar
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I'm with Brian, though less stridently.

When all is said and done, I couldn't give a monkey's about Red Bordeaux, but will continue to buy the (comparatively) underpriced sweet wines!

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Lafite don't fail me now

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David Lester
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quote:
Originally posted by Bryan Collins:
Let's hope for a completely, irredeemably shit vintage, just for the humour of watching les Bordelais finding some way to hype it.

Easy Peasy!

quote:

The 2011 vintage is one for impoverished long-time collectors! In short 2011: the affordable vintage!"


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Tim York
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Météo France forecasts show some warm temperatures this week mixed with thunder and more rain throughout next week. Same for most of France.
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Ian Shaw
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Shaw:
I'm with Brian, though less stridently.

When all is said and done, I couldn't give a monkey's about Red Bordeaux, but will continue to buy the (comparatively) underpriced sweet wines!

Brought to my attention by fellow forumite - sorry to misspell your name, Bryan.

Cheers etc,

Iain

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Lafite don't fail me now

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Bryan Collins
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[Wink]

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Jamie Goode
Nebuchadnezzar
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Let's hope for a really good, classic vintage that the critics and trade get totally wrong when they taste baby cask samples last march, thus denting prices, which means those of us who love classic, restrained Bordeaux can then afford to buy and drink

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Jamie Goode
www.wineanorak.com

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Richard Ward
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamie Goode:
Let's hope for a really good, classic vintage that the critics and trade get totally wrong when they taste baby cask samples last march, thus denting prices, which means those of us who love classic, restrained Bordeaux can then afford to buy and drink

Never gonna happen...
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Mahmoud Ali
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quote:
Originally posted by Bryan Collins:
Naturally I don't wish any ill-will to the bulk of Bordeaux, including the huge number of non-hyped, relatively humble properties, but seeing the classed growth cash machine come a cropper wouldn't make me lose a minute's sleep.

Ditto. I'm no longer interested in Bordeaux vintages. It's the rest of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, etc.

Mahmoud.

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Alex Permanand
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I second Bryan's post... a distinct lack of sympathy for "the classed growth cash machine" (nicely put).
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Richard Zambuni
Nebuchadnezzar
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It's hard to care about the classed growths any more - it's like worrying about the next year's range of some haute couture brand or the next design of a Louis Vuitton handbag. All rather fatuous, self-important, over-priced, over-hyped, conceptualized/branded, targeted at those with more money than sense etc. etc. It's all been said before on the forum.

[ 01. September 2011, 01:59 PM: Message edited by: Richard Zambuni ]

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Richard Ward
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The Classified Chateaux of Bordeaux are kind of like an ex girlfriend, who has dumped you for another bloke, but you still really really fancy her - you feel spite towards them and want them to get a taste of the hurt, but deep down you would just love to have them back.

Admit it - 99% of us still really want top end Bordeaux, we are just bitter that we can no longer have it because the prices have been driven up to increasingly ludicrous levels by a different market. We feel dumped and cheated by the Bordelais.

I'm sure there are lots of decent Bordeaux Chateaux, at quite affordable prices, but I'm just not interested in them - I don't mean that disrespectfully, but it is true. My Bordeaux benchmark has been set too high for too long, and I just can't be bothered dropping down to scratch around at that level.

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Hamish Wakes-Miller
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OK, so the Grand Cru Classe might have taken a couple of optimistic price hikes in the last two vintages. But it was not long ago that the 2005 vintage was decried as ludicrously over priced and out of reach. The 2005 in Bordeaux (for dry reds)is fantastic across the board.
I will not give up on Bordeaux as I reckon I have got another 30-40 years of wine drinking and enjoyment in me. I am sure that in 20 years we will be looking at the pathetic low prices that we whinged about in 2010/2011.
There are many alternatives in Bordeaux to the Cru Classe wines. The Cru Bourgeois (if they can sort out their classification) has numerous examples of great quality wines from '05, '09 and ' 10. The areas such as Castillon, Fronsac, Moulis, Bourg, Blaye and selected parts of the Entre Deux Mers have some fabulous wines.
It might be the case that UK drinkers are left behind when Bordeaux searches for new markets, but surely that is up to the UK purchaser. OK many people will say that they will not buy any more Bordeaux, but I do not agree. The wines from Bordeaux are still some of the finest wines made in the World.

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Bryan Collins
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quote:
Originally posted by Hamish Wakes-Miller:
I am sure that in 20 years we will be looking at the pathetic low prices that we whinged about in 2010/2011.

Well, if we are, then any ordinary person will have been long since priced out of the market, certainly for the mid-ranking and above classed growths. Most people I know couldn't afford 2009 or 2010, that's for sure; if prices are going up from there, then the target market isn't your common-or-garden wine lover.

I'll happily accept that 2008 were very well priced - in fact I said so at the time to general scorn around here, and put my money where my mouth was.

quote:
Originally posted by Hamish Wakes-Miller:
It might be the case that UK drinkers are left behind when Bordeaux searches for new markets, but surely that is up to the UK purchaser.

One cannot buy what one cannot afford. I've long since accepted I can't afford a Ferrari or a mansion, but it's a shame to have to add mid-ranking classed growth claret to that list.

[ 01. September 2011, 02:55 PM: Message edited by: Bryan Collins ]

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Richard Ward
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Hamish,

I think you are making some of the same points as me.

Bordeaux is my first (wine) love, and the great bottles I have had are still my benchmarks for great red wine. I feel lucky to have been able to buy large quantities before prices went too absurd, and I will continue to buy classed growth Bordeaux as and when I feel the price is right. I can honestly say I will never fall out of love with Bordeaux.

But my days of buying first growths etc are long gone, and this side of a complete market collapse (not gonna happen) will not be coming back. That is sad for me, but business is business and if the Bordelais can sell their wines for £500 a bottle then they would be stark raving mad to sell them for £100 just to keep people like me happy.

I will never completely give up on Bordeaux, but there does come a point where you look at the price and think "it's not worth it" - and that point is becoming increasingly more common, and more worryingly, increasingly lower down the food chain.

[ 01. September 2011, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: Richard Ward ]

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Richard Zambuni
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I was only saying that it's hard to have any empathy for such ruthlessly commercial and frankly greedy machines...sometimes these machines are turning out very good wines of couse.

[ 01. September 2011, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: Richard Zambuni ]

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Kevin Heatherington
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It all depends how you intend to drink it.

Wines ranging from quality Cru Bourgeois to middle ranking Classed Growths with a decade or two of maturity have been my drink of choice for years with a Sunday roast of beef, lamb or something similar.

I probably drink around 24ish bottles a year like this and a few more at Christmas, New Year, Easter etc. But when those wines start selling for more than £40 a bottle on release and some are approaching £100+ to me that is no longer a reasonable prospect for that sort of drinking.

The problem isn't new markets in 09/10 per se. I can remember the US market opening up in the 80s and pushing up prices then followed by Japan in the early 90s etc. The problem is that the luxury branding of Bordeaux now extends well beyond the first growths that have always had it and the inevitability that those wines will continue to rise steadily in price over time (allowing a little for vintage fluctuations). And I just don't need to drink a luxury brand at that sort of price to enjoy my Sunday dinner.

But once you retreat down into the lesser wines of Bordeaux - below the £20 mark - yes they are still affordable, quality wines as an option but so are the many Bordeaux blends from across the world, decent reds from Languedoc, Spain, Italy etc. etc. That for me leaves Bordeaux as just one amongst many rather than the drink of choice.

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Richard Ward
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard Zambuni:
I was only saying that it's hard to have any empathy for such ruthlessly commercial and farnkly greedy machines

How can anybody not empathise?

Imagine you have a business. For years, you manage to sell a good proportion of your stock at, say £300 per unit. Then the market for your product booms, and by partaking in a little hyping, a little hyperbole, and a little more marketing, you are able to sell the same amount if not more stock, but at £800 per unit. Would you, or any other sane person, honestly not do it?

That is all the Chateaux owners have done. It's not greed, it's called business.

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