Mellow Thoughts on 2009 Bordeaux

Putting to rest the anxiety over 2009 Bordeaux prices
Jun 4, 2010

I am surprised with the amount of anxiety some of my friends are having with 2009 Bordeaux futures. Wine merchants and collectors alike seem to be freaking out a little over the whole thing even though the wines from most of the top estates have not been released on the market.

Perhaps they are just afraid of the unknown? They are worried that the prices will be too high; so either they won't be able to sell it or buy it. Then some "smart" wine merchants have been selling cases of top wines like Lafite and others, even though they don't know what the actual price is or what their allocations are. The wines haven't been released yet.

But none of this is new. I remember this with some of the top vintages of the 1980s. I recall a number of merchants selling futures before they even knew the actual price, and consumers and merchants fearing that prices would be too high.

At the end of the day, the market will decide. The top wines will be sold for the price that the market will bear. It's simple economics: supply and demand. And for those of us who don't want to buy because we can't afford it or we feel the prices are too high, we can just sit on the sidelines and enjoy watching the game.

I will probably buy a few cases here and there. And there are dozens of excellent 2009s that I think will be selling for $50 or less a bottle as futures. I will work up a list for you of my 25 favorites for $50 or less futures for next week. OK?

I drank a couple of nights ago a bottle of 1989 Château Siran, a cru bourgeois Margaux, with some braised tripe in a cream tomato sauce and some decadent crunchy and yummy roasted duck in one of my favorite restaurants near my house in Tuscany, Aqualino. And the aged claret was a divine red with ripe plum and berries and full, soft tannins. It was so mellow and warm, like a big soft pillow, and it delivered so much flavor. It went really well with the main courses.

I drank the Siran with a couple of friends and it gave us such pleasure. Not only was it an outstanding example of a mature red Bordeaux, it underlined how the region makes excellent value wines that can improve with age. I think I paid about $10 a bottle for the Siran as futures in 1990.

The same relative value is out there in 2009, so why do people have such anxiety?

France Bordeaux 2009

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