Is this just the beginning, or will the bubble soon burst? As prices continue to soar for Grand Cru Burgundy, First Growth Bordeaux, and 94- to 100-point Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, will buyers come to their senses, or will 2016 signal the beginning of still another surge in fine wine inflation?
The Bulls suggest that prices will continue to climb. There are simply too many nouveau-riche collectors in all corners of the globe, they argue, and not enough highly scored wines to satisfy demand.
The Bears counter: With Robert Parker no longer rating new vintages of Bordeaux, and some suggesting that the world’s most influential critic is preparing to retire, the absence of an heir apparent will take its toll on the market. Will young Silicon Valley-ites fork over hundreds per bottle for wines without reliable resell value?
From our vantage point, we’ve seen this movie before, and it’s time for a sanity check. We’ve reached a fork in the road, and as Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra once said: “When you come to a fork in the road, TAKE IT!”
The 2010 vintage in Bordeaux remains the most extraordinary of our lifetimes — in our view, outpointing even 1949, 1959, 1961, 2005, and 2009. Dozens of Left Bank châteaux crafted what Parker called their greatest achievements in a century. Among the superstars of the Haut-Médoc, no château performed more remarkably than Cantemerle.
For those of us who have been socking away cases of Cantemerle for decades, the vintage that has long defined this magnificent property at the southern tip of the Médoc is the 1949. In October 1994, Parker retasted the 1949 Cantemerle, then at 35 years of age, and called it “hauntingly perfumed and as suave, velvety, and rich as (it was) twenty years ago.”
The 2010 brought The Wine Advocate to its knees, causing Robert Parker to write that the château “may well have made a modern-day version of their legendary 1949.” For this wine of immense power and structure but also of astonishing elegance and precision, Parker advised “a good 7-10 years of cellaring” before popping a cork, describing “a beautiful nose of spring flowers intermixed with perfumed raspberry and blueberry notes … definitely a major sleeper of the vintage. 94+ points.”
Now, back to Yogi’s fork. Help us make sense of this. Today, run-of-the-mill UNRATED 2012 and 2013 Napa Valley Cabernets are “sensibly” priced at $75/bottle. Yet the “sleeper” of The Wine Advocate’s AND Wine Spectator’s highest-rated Bordeaux vintage in history, a 2010 that is GUARANTEED to age gracefully for the next THIRTY YEARS — can be had this morning for $59/bottle? Go figure.
WineAccess has secured 240 bottles of the 2010 Château Cantemerle, each drawn directly from the Médocaine cellar where it was first bottled. 94+ points from Parker. $59/bottle. Shipping included on 4.
I have not tasted it yet -- it just arrived this week. But I was surprised to learn (by happenstance) that K&L is offering this wine for $9 (15%) less per bottle: https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1066789
Cantemerle at a good price is a real "steal"...this is a terrific chateau. We are enjoying the wines and hope other Cantemerle deals come up.
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