Hanson warns buyers off 2001 if price is not right

  • Tuesday 23 April 2002

In an uncompromising warning to wine buyers Christie's director Anthony Hanson is advising them to be very careful about 2001 Bordeaux.

In the next issue of the monthly email newsletter sent to Christie's customers, Hanson says there are 'good successes' in all districts, particularly in well-drained vineyards and where yields were limited.

But he is not overimpressed. He says a lot of the wines are too dry, and although some have good colour and fresh, ripe and fruity aromas, 'this is not enough to impress me, when wines lack structure and middle palate, or real, ripe length on the finish.'

He suggests anyone who already owns 1995s, 1996s and 1997s should be 'very prudent' about buying any more young Bordeaux, because they have 'shown little or no appreciation in value'.

'There are two good reasons to buy wine En Primeur,' Hanson goes on. 'If a wine is so excellent and rare that it will quickly disappear, and if it looks as if the price is unlikely ever to be cheaper. Be very demanding about price levels, before you commit any funds to 2001s.'

And in a sideswipe at château owners who may not feel under pressure to reduce prices he says, 'Since the 1995 vintage, château-owners have had six years of broadly buoyant En Primeurs sales. Many now have ample cash reserves. They can afford to sell as little as one third of their 2001 harvest, and still cover their running costs.'

Speaking to decanter.com today Hanson said, 'We need to send the message very clearly to the château owners. There are some excellent wines but if the prices are silly, then people should not part with their money today – they should wait until prices come down.'

A realistic price, he says in the newsletter, would be around 10% less than 1999 levels.

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