Burgundy why bother ?

What you say is of course true, Ian, but the effect with those very few top burgundies is compounded by the far east market, in which the more expensive things become the more people want them rather than the other way around, which is rather far from our traditional understanding of markets.
 
Incidentally, and possibly contrary to the expectations of some, one place where these really expensive wines are opened and drunk, and by people who know what they are doing and understand what the wines are all about, is Hong Kong.

I suspect there are those that may argue that these are the very people responsible for driving Burgundy to it's dizzy height in the first place?
 
As I see it, there are only three reasons to sell:

1. You need the proceeds for other uses (necessities or other interests/luxuries),

2. You have so much wine now that you need to get rid of some of it before it goes over the hill or else you've lost interest in the wine, or

3. You recognize the foolishness of the prices and wish to donate the proceeds to charity or other good (but technically not charitable) causes to combat our off-the-rails inequality that is causing these stupid prices.

Keith, the OP, seems not to qualify for 1, as he seems to have enough funds to qualify for whatever needs and wishes he has. He may well qualify for 2 or 3.

Otherwise, the task seems to be to find good company who will appropriately appreciate and enjoy the bottles with you. If you're having trouble with that, the offline planner here could be of assistance.:cool: o
 
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Not sure why Alex and others think it is sad or odd that someone is not prepared to drink a wine that has a market value in excess of a certain outrageous figure. The fact that the person may have paid much less for it is not the issue. I do open such bottles for charity or at the very rare austerity dinners :) but think it crazy to open for just myself
I will still drink bottles such as Rousseau CSJ 99 with friends who will appreciate it, but even this wine is touching £750 a bottle now !!!
Madness :eek:
 
Like Keith, I have been lucky in owning some bottles (of Champagne though) that have become so ridiculously inflated in price. The enjoyment factor of a single bottle at £500 versus many bottles at £500 / 6 is not worth the premium. But like Keith, rather than simply drink them solo, or just sell for naked profit, I've been able to re-cycle the money to help others (or in fact treat others to something that they enjoy). Seeing a bottle of wine in a shop worth £1000's doesn't particularly bother me (if someone is stupid enough to pay), however, owning such a bottle is a different matter.
 
I'm busy making sure the Piedmont section of my cellar is equally well-covered while there are still great wines for reasonable prices. It won't last...
So have I. The problem of course is neither will I last long enough to enjoy many of these. The increasing realisation that both Burgundy and Piedmonte on higher levels needs 20+ years to show their mettle has surely made it easy to cut down the buying. I hang on to my 1996-2005 purchases (sadly my 91 and 93 burgundies have been drunk) and in the meantime very much enjoy new vintages of Santenay, Mercurey and Marsanne for their delicious, juicy young Pinot fruit. What a laugh those Robert Parker (remember him?) Burgundy reviews were, drink before...... What a joke!
 
You have a point. I don't believe any wine costs more than say 15£ to produce.

That sounds about right - I was told by someone in the trade that a wine which had been produced with the most care possible (intensive canopy management, new French oak, etc.) should still sell profitably for around £40 (with the exception of wines requiring individual berry picking). This was a few years ago, so maybe £50 now. Anything above that simply represents demand outstripping supply.

It certainly fits with my experience - I've tried plenty of wines in the £50 - £200 range (largely thanks to The Sampler and wine shows) but the wines I've enjoyed most have generally been around £30 - £40. I've certainly not really noticed wines getting any better above £50.

In fact my general rule of thumb when considering whether I should buy an expensive wine is: this is more expensive that La Rioja Alta 904 - would I rather just buy a bottle of two of that instead? :)
 
That sounds about right - I was told by someone in the trade that a wine which had been produced with the most care possible (intensive canopy management, new French oak, etc.) should still sell profitably for around £40 (with the exception of wines requiring individual berry picking). This was a few years ago, so maybe £50 now. Anything above that simply represents demand outstripping supply.
I fear the prices reflect what all the new prestige players in the field pays to purchase old properties, and the price of buying vineyards, and not anything remotely reflecting the actual cost of production. In the last case, no dry wine would cost more than 20% of a Sauternes. Owning a prestige wine producer has become the new vanity asset and investment opportunity.

Some of these guys are pretty dependent on continuing high prices, and not always for the most glamorous of wines. I wonder what will happen to some of these properties if prices for the second best wines crack, as Billl Nanson seem to think they will.
 
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Whilst people may get attached to their wines or can't motivate themselves to sell, the fact is, for every bottle you have you can drink it or sell it at somewhere near market value. From an economic/rational point of view drinking a bottle from the cellar that is worth, say, £1000 is no different from paying the same price retail (assuming provenance is equal.)

It puzzles me as to why people who refuse to consider selling wine, especially at a profit, like to support their local merchant as if this were an act of charity. A retailer is just doing the same dastardly deed (buying and reselling at a profit.)

I must add, I'm not a 'flipper' myself (can't be bothered), but I don't get angry if others do this any more than when I see wines being sold in a shop at (what I consider) is an 'over-ambitious price.' The latter affects me more that the former in any case.
 
I fear the prices reflect what all the new prestige players in the field pays to purchase old properties, and the price of buying vineyards

That is a large part of it I think - it's a fairly standard law of economics that value accumulates at the scarcest resource in any supply chain - in this case vinyards with the right names. In a well functioning market that would lead to an increase in the supply of that resource but when that can't happen (no-one can start churning out new DRCs) prices just go mad.

What is likely to be a problem is interest rates, if some of these properties have been bought over the last decade at very low rates of interest they are going to have a real problem when rates rise again. If a property is worth £1m with 1% interest rates then it's only worth £500k at 2%.
 
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For me there is a touch of sadness in knowing that, whether I sell or drink, I probably won't have that particular pleasure again.

But that is also the story of ageing, time passing, things gone for good or ill.

Jeremy,
In order to avoid this, just buy 12 of each (Chambertin Rousseau of course) and, I assure you, your purse may feel a bit lighter but the sadness when you drink the first bottle will be almost non existant
 
Burgundy got expensive indeed. But I consider wines like Fourrier's Gevrey V.V., Gerard Mugnerets Vosne Romanee or Denis Mortet Mes Cinq Terroirs still reasonable values with under 40 € incl. taxes ( 2014s ). Not cheap but if you cook at home a lot less expensive as eating out with a Cotes du Rhone. And with patience you have even some bottle age. A Gevrey V.V. 2002 from Fourrier yesterday was a delight and was bought in 2003 for 25 € all in. There is no need for Chambertin or Cheval Blanc to drink decently. And I remember times when Burgundy wasn't really en vogue. Keith's post suggests that the current might be changing again. A silver lining for Burgundy friends ?
Cheers
Rainer
 
Sorry about that!
Tongue in cheek of course old chap.

I remember the first time I met Thom - and Jeremy - exactly ten years ago at a Rousseau offline at St-John, organised by David Wainwright. The wines were stunning, including a barrel sample of the 2005 Chambertin from Sebastian Thomas. Both Tom and Jerry, while conceding the wines were excellent, suggested that they were in some ways a bit obvious and you could find better bang for your buck elsewhere. All very true at the time, and I continue hold their opinions on all matters to do with burgundy in the highest regard. But I should have listened to David 'fill yer boots' Wainwright on that occasion!
 
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Rainer,
Just finishing a Mortet les 5 terroirs 2014 and it has been a delight... also worth noting UK health protection tax means that wines are a bit pricier this side of the channel. (By the way, I now have 3 young members of my close family living in Berlin (and having found a job within 2 weeks of searching... while they could not find anything in France...)...I need to train my German to visit them...)

I bought some 2015 Vosne 1er crus for 50£ VAT included so it is still possible to buy almost reasonnably priced "1er cru exceptionnel" as Jasper calls them.
 
Ian, I think my comment was from an aesthetic-philosophical perspective, not about value. It is easy to enjoy Rousseau and I am thrilled to be served it.

The world today looks surprisingly different from 2006.
 
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