I have been in Bordeaux today working my way through dozens of 2007 reds and a handful of 2007 Sauternes in blind tastings at Les Source de Caudalie hotel. The sticky wines look to be fabulous, as I reported a couple of years ago. The reds continue to be fruity, supple and charmant—charming, as the French would say. These are wines for early drinking. In fact, some of the top names are already very drinkable.
I was talking to a wine merchant last night at dinner about where these wines will be sold. And he didn't seem worried. He thinks that France will definitely buy the 2007s, as will other parts of Europe, such as Great Britain and Germany, which need early-drinking wines.
He said that Asia would also buy some of the 2007s, especially the top names, as their prices plummet due to demand and cashing out for the coming outstanding 2009s. The 2009s look to be really exciting, although I have only tasted a few barrel samples, as I wrote yesterday.
"Asia is keeping my business afloat," he said. "The United States is really down."
The négociant said that the Asia lifeline to his Bordeaux business was not about the super-elite, mega-expensive wines that we all read and hear about, especially with all the hoopla about auctions in Hong Kong. Don't believe all the hype about record-setting prices. He said he was selling very good Bordeaux for $12 to $25 a bottle. "All of Asia is buying this, including China," he said.
He went on to say that the United States was particularly difficult now. It was not so much about the weak dollar against the euro, which, of course, doesn't help. But he said that everything seemed to be on discount. Distributors all over the U.S. market were blowing out wine stocks. And they were certainly not restocking with Bordeaux, or anything else for the moment.
There must be some good buys out there. Are you coming across much discounted stuff to buy? I think prices will come down even more for fine wines in the U.S. market during the first and second quarter of 2010, in view of the impending asset bubble burst we are all reading about. Tell me what you know.
I have to get ready now to go back to the tasting dungeons of Bordeaux tomorrow.
John Freeborn — CA Huntington Beach — December 1, 2009 6:46pm ET
Don R Wagner — Illinois — December 1, 2009 11:11pm ET
Matt Scott — Honolulu HI — December 2, 2009 1:45am ET
James Suckling — — December 2, 2009 4:18am ET
Idiart — Bordeaux France — December 4, 2009 3:12am ET
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