Saturday, May 3, 2008

Playing The Bordeaux Game

You may or may not know that the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux has been hailed as possibly the best in 50 years, and as such the prices and exuberance over these wines are at an all time high.

In 2005 Kyle and I were fledgling wine retailers with barely enough know-how to speculate on Bordeaux. What we did know was that in order to be a credible player in the market we needed to have a decent selection of 2005 Bordeaux in inventory. So when I sat down with the futures catalogs I devised a strategy for purchasing; only smaller, lesser known estates with more reasonable pricing, and really good Parker ratings. Robert Parker gets a lot of criticism for preferring wines that are less classically French, but on the subject of Bordeaux I think his palate is dead on.
I picked out my wines, ponied up my 15% up front and basically hoped for the best. Two years later when the Bordeaux started rolling in I took a look at my order sheet and almost fell off my chair in shock. If the paper was correct I signed us up for 6 cases of Chateau Troplong Mondot with a retail price of $250 a bottle. What was I thinking?
I kicked myself for several weeks for committing kybecca to such a large investment without really knowing how we were going to sell this wine. After my panic subsided I decided this was the right time to market the website and hopefully collectors would notice our offering (after all the initial rating from Parker was 96-100 points). I took a deep breath and wrote the check for all six cases.
In April of 2008 Parker did his final tasting of this wine and gave it 99 points. Further kybecca has the entire allocation for this wine for the state of Virginia, which I only found out recently. Before I give any credit to myself let me just say that this is pure luck and every once and awhile it feels good to have something go your way.
The upshot is that our little wine shop has (as of this posting) about 40 bottles of the 2005 Chateau Troplong Mondot. (click to read the new rating)

New price: $399

No comments: