I wrote a blog post about the 2008 Bordeaux futures campaign yesterday afternoon, with the intention of posting it today. I won’t be able to post it now. It was about how the 2008 futures are now available, and how the story up until this point has been less about the wine itself, and more about the reductions in price the 2008′s have seen compared to the 2007′s.
I was headed for the exit yesterday evening with a smile andfeeling of accomplishment, wondering if there if there was anywherestill open where I could get a haircut, when I was paged over thestore PA system. They needed me back at the office. We had suddenlyreceived a whole bunch of futures orders all at once. The assumptionwas that one of the big wine publications had released their 2008barrel tasting notes, complete with scores, that guide Bordeauxinvestors in their en primeur purchases.
Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate had indeedreleased his reviews last evening. The scores he gives the wines ofthis vintage are much higher than anticipated from early press andvintage reports, and average out to be higher than the reviews givenby James Suckling of Wine Spectator. A quick scan of Parker’s notes show statements like “The 2008 Lafite Rothschild is one of the most profound young wines I have ever tasted” and “Damn me for saying it, but I actually think the 2008 Latour will turn out to be even better than the 2005 or 2000.” He puts particular emphasis on the Pomerol commune.
Mr Parker’s reviews holda noticeable sway in the wine public’s opinion – we felt it here atBinny’s in the form of a surge of purchases. I don’t mean to question Parker’s credibility. He has proven himself a valued and influential voice in the wine world and is a cornerstone of wine journalism.
This is a fascinating time to be in wine
Up until yesterday afternoon, the conversation has beenabout how, as a reaction to the global economic crisis, most enprimeur pricing for 2008 Bordeaux has taken a significant dropfrom 2007 levels, driving sales. Bordeaux prices rose after 2005′s amazing vintage, and remained high despite the average 2006 vintage and lackluster 2007.
The need for lower pricing for the 2008 vintage is reflected in Suckling’snotes, and is the conclusion of Parker’s article as well. ButParker’s scores lend increased demand to the vintage, in additionto the already lowered prices. It will be interesting to see howthe wine market reacts to this.
Will 2008 prices stay low? Will there ever be a consensus onthe wines of 2008? Can Bordeaux pricing affect the prices of otherwines from all around the world? Why were producers willing to lower their prices so if the vintage is as amazing as billed? How will this affect thehigher-priced and mostly unreleased 2007′s and 2006′s? Will differingopinions affect wine journalism, or the public’s opinion thereof?
By the way