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Spotlight On: François Raveneau's Montée de Tonnerre 1997, 2000 and 2002


John Siudut
Posted: October 11, 2007

Anyone frustrated with the escalating price of wine need only look to Chablis for some respite. Take leading producer Raveneau for example. You can pick up the ready-to-drink 1997 Raveneau Chablis Montée de Tonnerre (95 points, $60 release, $93 current), a classic wine, for prices in the high two-digits. Aside from standout older vintages like 1990 (current price $222) where demand has grown significantly, most recent releases are still available for around $100.

Montée de Tonnerre, located southeast of the grand cru vineyards above the town of Chablis, is the most consistently outstanding of Raveneau's premier cru vineyards. It produces powerful, muscular and closed wines that typically need 10 or more years to develop and blossom.

The 2002 (current price $121) and 2000 (94 points, $60 release, $108 current) vintages are both trading at high volume levels at auction within the $100 to $125 range. At five and seven years of age, respectively, however, they are still probably too young to drink.

For a wine nearing its peak drink window, consider the 1997. It remains a relative bargain at just under $100 a bottle, perhaps overshadowed by the demand for the classic-rated 1996 vintage in Burgundy. It had been trading in the $75 range for an extended period, but a 12-bottle case sold at Bonham's recent Sep. 29 auction at $93 a bottle. Despite this recent rise, it still sells for prices lower than the more recent vintages.

Christie's is showcasing Raveneau Chablis at their upcoming New York auction on Oct. 13, including a 10-bottle lot of the 1997 Montée de Tonnerre with a high estimate at $65 a bottle.

This data comes from the Wine Spectator Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions. This chart plots the average price of Raveneau Chablis Montée de Tonnerre 1997 at auction against the 2000 and 2002 vintages.

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