Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bordeaux Prices Show Signs of Dropping

During the spring, wine buyers flock to Bordeaux to taste the vintage of the previous fall. So in March, the 2008 wine from the great Chateau was being tasted. There is a tradition here when it comes to pricing the wine: the famous wine critic Robert Parker will release his reviews (on a 100 point system) and then the chateau owners will put a price to bottle, most often in June.
But the rarified world of Bordeaux wine cannot escape the world financial crisis. In addition, many observers believe that the pricing structure in Bordeaux became out of whack after the spectacular 2005 vintage. It seems that the prices for 2006 and 2007 Bordeaux did not drop much, even though the wines from these years did not compare to the 05. That was in the days when investment bankers with bulging wads of cash snapped up Bordeaux, pushing the prices out of the reach of the average wine collector. But those days are done. In light of the world financial crisis, many are concerned about the world’s most prestigious wines languishing without buyers.
Already, one Chateau owner has taken measures to deal with that. Chateau Angelus is offering their 2008 at a 40% price drop from their 2007. We’ll see if other chateaux follow suit. If they do, this could mark the year that sky-high Bordeaux prices fueled by flush investors finally float down to earth. While these are never going to be inexpensive wines, they could at least be a little more within reach, especially in the wines classified further down the traditional Bordeaux ranking.

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