Vineyard prices

Fine wine news roundup: 22-28 June



Henri Jayer to headline London sale

Bonham’s next fine wine sale in London will be headlined by the wines of Henri Jayer, one of Burgundy’s most high-profile domaines.

The star lot will be six magnums of the 1996 Vosne-Romanee Cros Parantoux, valued at £85,000 - £100,000. Other highlights will include: a bottle of the 1985 Cros Parantoux, valued at £7,000 - £8,000; a bottle of 1991 Echezeaux, valued at £5,000 - £6,000; and two bottles of the 1990, valued at £6,000 - £8,000.

Other wines on offer at the sale, which takes place on 4th July, include 1982 La Mission Haut Brion, 1989 Latour and 1989 Petrus.


Bruno Paillard releases 2009 vintage

After 10 years of cellar aging, the 2009 vintage from Champagne Bruno Paillard has been released in the UK.

The wine, on offer at a recommended retail price of £68 per bottle, is an equal blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, 20% of which was barrel-fermented. Dosage is a low 5g per litre, in keeping with the Bruno Paillard house style.

The label art has been designed by Swedish painter Anna-Lisa Unkurl, based on the theme ‘Invitation au Voyage’, so assigned as the wine’s aromas are “reminiscent of exotic foreign lands”.


Prices rise again for top French vineyards

New figures from French land agency Safer show that prices for vineyards in France rose again during 2018.

The average price per hectare in Burgundy rose by 4% to €6.25 million – double the price of 2011. Some highly sought-after regions could command up to €14.5 million per hectare, according to the research, while others were available for a comparatively reasonable €2.85 million.

Elsewhere, prices in Bordeaux’s Pauillac rose by 10% to an average €2.2 million, and by 20% in Pomerol to €1.8 million.

The findings support concerns from some winemakers about the impact of rising prices on succession planning. However, the research does suggest that increased interest in French vineyards has most recently come from investors already based in France with existing involvement in wine.


Californian wine continues to take US by storm

Sales of Californian wine totalled $40.2 billion in the US during 2018, up 3% on the previous year. According to figures from the Wine Institute, some 285 million cases were sold, including exports.

Wine Institute president and CEO Bobby Koch attributed the trend to consumers choosing to “trade up” to wines that emphasise quality, value and sustainable practices.

Jon Moramarco, editor of the wine analysis Gomberg Fredrikson report, told The Drinks Business that while Baby Boomers are still the driving force of wine consumption, sales are slowing down as the generation ages and presumably drinks less. As such, “wine marketers are working to maintain the interest of boomers and attract gen x’ers and millennials with new and different wines.”

Some 95% of US wine exports come from California, with the EU, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan and China accounting for its top markets.

According to data from Nielson, Chardonnay remains California’s best-selling grape variety by volume, with an 18.3% share of the market.


‘Unprecedented’ French heatwave is no cause for concern

French officials have issued a public health alert ahead of what is expected to be record June temperatures, set to hit 45°C in southern parts of the country.

However, while school exams have been postponed and authorities are taking steps to protect vulnerable citizens, the heatwave is unlikely to cause trouble in French vineyards.

According to a number of winemakers, vineyard shift patterns have been altered to prevent workers from bearing the worst of the heat, but the weather is not expected to have any impact on vines, since the heatwave is forecast to be short-lived.

Speaking to Decanter, Champagne AR Lenoble winemaker Antoine Malassagne said that a heatwave later in the season would be more problematic, as it would create the possibility of water stress and lead to grapes scorched by the sun.

Meanwhile, Domaine AF Gros winemaker Mathias Parent said that a heatwave at this time of year could actually be beneficial, as it could reduce the risk of disease in the vineyard.

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