Bordeuax 2018

Fine wine news roundup: 18-24 May


Bordeaux 2018 continues

Bordeaux 2018 moved ahead this week with a number of new releases:

  • Chateau Talbot 2018, released at €42 per bottle – up 12.9% on last year’s opening price.
  • Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2018, released at €55 per bottle – up 4.1% on last year.
  • Leoville Barton 2018, released at €61.80 per bottle – a 17% rise on 2017.
  • Pavie Decesse 2018, released at €90 per bottle – up just 4.2% on last year.
  • Petit Village 2018, released at €51.60 – up just 2.3% on 2017.
  • Gaffeliere 2018, released at €50.40 – a 12.8% increase on last year’s price.
  • Monbousquet 2018, released at €37.20 – up 3.3%.
  • Lagrange 2018, released at €34.20 per bottle – up 14% on 2017.
  • Chasse Spleen 2018, released at €24 per bottle – up 14.3% on 2017’s release price.


‘Celebration of Burgundy’ auction makes $7.7 million

Hart Davies Hart’s largest ever ‘Celebration of Burgundy’ sale was 100% sold and made US$7.7m. The auction featured wines from more than 200 Burgundian domaines, spanning vintages dating back to 1942.

The sale’s top lot, a Jeroboam of 2001 Romanee-Conti, sold for a record $95,000. Eight other Domaine de la Romanee-Conti lots made it into the sale’s top 10, with DRC netting $1.8m in total.

Other highlights included six bottles of Domaine Dujac's 2014 Romanee St Vivant, which sold for $20,315, and four magnums of Prieure-Roch’s 2002 Chambertin Clos de Beze went for $14,340. Meanwhile, the total 159 lots of Domaine Armand Rousseau made $762,828.


Burgundy named most attractive region for wine investment

Burgundy is the most appealing region of France for fine wine investment, according to a new report by French auction platform iDealwine.

The company’s WineDex, which tracks the top 40 Bordeaux Grand Crus, the top 40 Burgundy cuvees and the top 25 Rhone wines, registered 19% growth across the board last year. Of the 50 most expensive bottles sold in 2018, 42 came from Burgundy – up from the previous year’s 32.

The report notes that while Burgundy’s Pinot Noirs appear to be the most coveted, Montrachet also increasingly features in the rankings, and Bordeaux maintains the lead in terms of volume, accounting for 45% of all wines sold on the platform last year.


Robert Parker formally retires

Renowned US wine critic Robert Parker has been gradually stepping away from his duties at The Wine Advocate for the past several years – now he’s announced his formal retirement.

Parker founded the journal 41 years ago, but sold his controlling stake and stepped back as editor in 2012. In 2011, he gave Burgundy and Californian tasting duties to Antonio Galloni, who passed them on to Neal Martin and Jeb Dunnuck in 2013.

In 2015, Parker announced that Martin was taking over the journal’s most important report, Bordeaux En Primeur. The following year, he also ceded in-bottle Bordeaux reports to Martin.

Announcing the news, The Wine Advocate’s editor Lisa Perrotti-Brown wrote: “It is with mixed feelings that I announce that Robert M. Parker Jr. will, as of today, be formally hanging up his wine criticism boots and retiring from Robert Parker Wine Advocate.

“I say ‘mixed’, because if anyone deserves a rest from our frenetic world of wine reviews, it is Bob. And yet, his contribution to significantly raising the bar of critical, unbiased wine writing and wine quality cannot be overestimated. His unrivalled tasting experience and expert, straight-talking opinions will be sorely missed by consumers and trade alike.”


Hawksmoor diners given £4,500 Le Pin ‘by mistake’

Diners at Hawksmoor’s Manchester restaurant got the wine surprise of a lifetime last week, when they were accidentally served a £4,500 bottle of 2001 Chateau Le Pin Pomerol instead of the £260 Chateau Pichon Longueville Contesse de Lalande they originally ordered.

The blunder was revealed on Hawksmoor’s Twitter account, with an image of the two bottles side-by-side and a caption that reads: “They look pretty similar, okay?” Fortunately for the “mortified” member of staff that made the mistake, management used the social platform to tell them “chin up” and that “one-off mistakes happen”.

Speaking to the BBC, Hawksmoor founder Will Beckett said that the diners enjoyed the wine so much they asked for a second bottle, not realising which wine they had just consumed. Understandably, this was unavailable as only 500 cases of the 2001 Chateau Le Pin Pomerol were ever made.

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