Have you ever had the opportunity to taste a First Growth (Premier Cru) Bordeaux in a good year? Many years ago I did, and the question is this: Is it worth the cost? Of course, that depends on how much money you have. Back then – middle 80’s – a Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1982 was $50 a bottle. It was rated at 97 to 100 depending on who you listened to. The latest release of this wine is the 2010. It is rated 98 by the Wine Spectator and it is $1,200 a bottle. Rather have a bargain? How about the Leoville Las Cases 2010? Rated 99 and a steal at $300 a bottle. Looking for a splurge? Let’s cross the river to Chateau Le Pin in Pomerol. Rated 98, it can be yours for $3,000 a bottle, and it might be at its peak sometime after 2035. I might not be around in 2035. Yes, I love my kids, but not that much. Let ’em buy their own Chateau Le Pin.
Moving somewhat closer to reality, if you like Bordeaux but would rather pay the mortgage than buy a Premier Cru Bordeaux, there is hope. Wine value can be found in Bordeaux. A good wine retailer can help with this, but here are a few properties to look for. Chateau Poitevin, Medoc 2010, 90 points, $15; Chateau Cambon la Pelouse, Haut-Medoc 2010, 90 points, $20; Chateau Palomey, Haut-Medoc 2010, 91 points, $17; Chateau du Retout, Haut-Medoc 2010, 91 points, $18. These ratings are the Wine Spectator’s; other ratings could vary. There will be several other highly rated and affordable Bordeaux available. Remember, however, that these wines are long lived, and they will not be at their best immediately. If they have not arrived yet (March 2013), the 2010 Bordeaux should be in soon. Happy Hunting.
Naples Is The Place For Wine Auctions
The value of the Naples Winter Wine Festival’s live bids was the highest in the country in 2012. The Naples, Florida auction raised $11.8 million for charity. Auction Napa Valley was second at a bit over $5 million.
There Is A New Use For Winery Waste
4 million tons of grapes are processed in the U. S. each year. The result we all see from this processing is wine. The result we don’t see is winery waste. It consists of stems, skins, and seeds. Wineries can sell some of this stuff as cattle feed or fertilizer. Mostly they have to pay someone to haul it away.
Researchers at Oregon State University have figured out how to put it to better use. It can be used for biodegradable packaging, to reduce flour content in baked goods, and to increase the shelf life of various products that have an expiration date on the label. The market potential for winery waste is quite good. Soon wineries could get paid for it rather than having to pay to get rid of it. Good news for the environment and the bottom line.
No Chateau d’Yquem In 2012?
Southeast of the City of Bordeaux you’ll find Sauternes. This is where some of the best, most famous, and most expensive dessert wines are made. These wines are golden in color, bursting with flavor, and very sweet. In Sauternes, they will tell you that these wines are not just for dessert, but that’s another story. The most famous and most expensive of the bunch is Chateau d’Yquem. As good as the 2010 vintage was, that’s how bad 2012 was. At least it was at Chateau d’Yquem. So they are not producing any wine from 2012. There is precedent for this; they have done it nine other times.
If the weather will not allow them to make a wine that meets their standards, they won’t make it. d’Yquem has an image and reputation to maintain, and a lesser wine would damage that image. This decision will cost them 25 million Euros. They feel it is worth it in the long run. Other producers in Sauternes are not happy. They believe this will harm sales for all of Sauternes. Some might call it integrity, some might call it sabotage.