There will be no Burgundy wine for sale at less than £10-a-bottle in 2014, due to three consecutive small vintages, Louis-Fabrice Latour has said.
Speaking during the Hospices de Beaune auction at the weekend, the seventh generation owner of négociant Louis Latour voiced concern about Burgundy losing a connection with wine drinkers further down the price ladder.
‘I worry about the disappearance of lower-priced Burgundies,’ said Latour (pictured), who is also president of the Burgundy négociants’ association.
‘I believe that, from 2014, sub-£10 Burgundy will no longer exist on supermarket shelves,’ he told decanter.com. ‘Stocks are at an all-time low.’
As previously reported on decanter.com, global consumer demand for Burgundy, particularly at the high-end, helped the region’s exports to reach record levels by value for the first few months of 2013. Last weekend’s Hospices auction fetched the highest sales total on record.
But, with the 2013 Chardonnay production forecast to fall by 30%, and Pinot Noir expected to be down by 15%, ‘the worry is that Burgundy will lose [overall] market share, because supermarkets buy by price point, so will move on to other regions’, Latour said.
Merchant prices for generic red wine in Burgundy fell by around 6% for the first nine months of 2013. But, Latour said prices remain high following rises of 18% and 33% in 2012 and 2011 respectively. White wine prices are still rising, he said.
‘So far négociants have cut their margins to try to soften the impact on the consumer, but that is not a sustainable business model.’
Some in the trade, though, believe that producers and merchants will have no choice but to contain price increases in order to stay competitive in the mainstream market.
Written by Jane Anson