“Yes, it is crazy,” I said to a source in Bordeaux when I heard that the insanity continued today there with Cheval-Blanc and Yquem offered to the trade at 400 euros a bottle. That means the wines are going to be offered to the U.S. consumer at around $700 to $800 a bottle.
What really seems crazy is that the Yquem 2001 – a wine that I gave 100 points to, as did Robert Parker (so a 200-point wine) – is selling for a lower price. Is the 2005 Yquem better? No. It could turn out to be a 100-point wine, but for the moment it certainly isn’t – especially since it is still in barrel at the winery.
It’s hard to make sense of such prices. However, maybe this is a new reality for the world of fine wines, when the best are ultra-expensive bottles that only millionaires (or maybe only billionaires) can afford to own and ultimately to open?
Think about the comment James Mccusker posted today on my blog:
"James, I agree that the prices being commanded for the '05 first-growths are, in a word, ridiculous. For myself, I tend to buy their second labels in good years (e.g., 2000, 2003 most recently), but with Les Forts coming in at ~$100 even that strategy will have to go by the wayside for me for the 2005 vintage. Although I'm not part of this group, there are people for whom these prices are truly in the noise. I was once at an auction at Butterfields in the late 90s and watched someone drop ca. $35,000 on a case of 1945 Petrus. Being a scientist I did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation and deduced the following: based on yearly salaries, Michael Jordan opening up a bottle of that '45 Petrus with dinner was roughly the monetary equivalent of me opening a can of Pepsi. Ridiculous or just a different reality? Sadly I'll probably never know!"
Guus Hateboer — Netherlands — June 27, 2006 1:41pm ET
William Clay — Atlanta, Georgia — June 27, 2006 3:51pm ET
Magie Di Bacco — Switzerland — June 27, 2006 4:56pm ET
Michael Krogh — Eden Prairie, MN USA — June 27, 2006 5:08pm ET
Jon Bernardoni — Illinois — June 28, 2006 12:34am ET
Scott Cheney — Michigan — June 28, 2006 1:01am ET
Kevin R Barris — Houston, TX USA — June 28, 2006 1:12am ET
Riccardo Campinoti — June 28, 2006 2:43am ET
Jeffrey Ghi — New York — June 28, 2006 11:19am ET
Peter Smit — Saint John, NB, Canada — June 29, 2006 12:50pm ET
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