Collectors' News: July 2010 issue

  • Monday 8 November 2010

UK merchants and commentators have come out in an unusual show of agreement with Robert Parker’s assessment of Bordeaux 2009, which appeared in the Wine Advocate at the end of April.

‘Unlike last year, there were no great surprises,’ said Private Cellar’s Andrew Gordon. ‘But then this was his kind of vintage – and most of what he wrote you can’t help but agree with.’

However, that’s not to say that the impact of Parker’s judgments won’t be just as seismic as they were a year ago. Not least because he described 2009 as ‘a magical vintage’ with ‘peaks of quality that may turn out to be historic’.

This was certainly reflected in the scores. A staggering 18 wines were awarded 98-100 points. Moreover, a further 64 wines received scores of 94 or higher.

Albany Vintners’ Marcus Edwards believes that ‘the large number of high-scoring wines will be a positive in that it means the market won’t focus on just a handful of must-have châteaux.

But the downside is that it inevitably sends a signal to those proprietors whose wines received potentially perfect scores that they can charge very high prices.’

This was certainly the view of several other traders who were bracing themselves for some record release prices in what is shaping up to be the biggest, most expensive en primeur campaign of all time.

‘Once again, Parker has upped the ante,’ said Berry Bros & Rudd’s buying director Simon Staples. Indeed, as soon as Parker’s report appeared, the London merchant received several hundred more wish-lists from new buyers, bringing the total to more than 4,000. ‘And that’s on top of the 8,000 we’ve had from existing customers.

 In 2005, the total number of wish-lists never exceeded more than 500. So we’re already into completely new territory.’

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