Bordeaux abuzz with the prices. Chateau Palmer at Rs. 150,000 a case


bordeauxprices.jpgBordeaux is abuzz – the sun is out, the coats, jumpers and gloves have been put away and everyone is at their sexy best as the temperature heads towards 30° C. Mouths are buzzing too over the ongoing release of the 2009 vintage of Bordeaux wines, comments Harshal Shah.

Most Bordelais I speak to appear to have an opinion on the 2009 wines. Those who have produced the 2009 Grand Cru wines are always smiling and positive. The rest of the folk tend to be more circumspect and even a bit annoyed over the whole affair. However, Bordeaux is not only about the Grand Crus and expensive wines. There are fantastic examples of well-produced, long-lasting red, white and sweet Bordeaux that are priced at well below €40 a bottle. The prestigious wines (Châteaux Margaux, Haut-Brion, Lafite et al) representing a miniscule percentage of Bordeaux wines are not comprehensively representative of all the wines of a region.
The marvellous third growth, Château Palmer has just been released ex-Bordeaux at a staggering €2,580/case. That’s a tad under Rs 150,000! For 12 bottles of wine. And Palmer is only a third growth. The cost of the top names are equally mind-blowing. Châteaux Lafite-Rothschild, Margaux, and Mouton Rothschild are priced at €550/bottle with Haut-Brion at €600/bottle. These are all up more than 300% from the wines of 2008. Petrus and Cheval Blanc from the Right Bank are yet to release their wine prices.
Remember that these prices are ex-Bordeaux and the wines are still in barrels. When released, you will have to add on the profit of the merchant who sells it to you, the transportation cost, and in the case of India, the importer’s mark-up and the restaurant/hotel’s profit margin as well as the duties… I hazard we will never see 2009 Bordeaux on wine lists in India, unless they are donated from a private collector.
This is one of the problems of creating a hype that raises prices so high.

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