It was really interesting to see how 2009 is viewed by the French, especially the Bordeaux en primeur offer. I didn’t buy because they are overpriced and earlier vintages from good makers, that are better value and drinking well now, are readily available. Long-term they may be a good investment and will be enjoyable wines but I have a feeling there may be a few price dips over coming years and the usual re-evaluation of initial impressions. I will back-fill once picture is clearer and dust has settled.
Vintages of the century are unsustainable if they occur every 5 years and the opportunism of the recent prices stinks. Bordeaux is becoming increasingly irrelevant to younger wine consumers and even old friends are feeling exploited. The first growths can rest on their laurels and name any price but lower down the pecking order producers will suffer because of a strategy based on short-termism. This attitude is characteristic of many businesses and not peculiar to the wine world but it does seem likely that as wine becomes more of an investment vehicle that corruption will increase. Dodgy wine funds (with no wine), ‘insider dealing’ (how can critics justify expensive jollies on companies that they are giving scores to?) and forgeries (just check out the price of empty bottles on ebay!). Consumers are being misled and ripped off in such a multitude of ways
Anyway, 2010 is unlikely to scale the heights of 2009 judging by the current wet weather and relatively poor quality grapes (anonymous example pictured left). I most enjoyed visiting St Emilion, Monbazillac and Bergerac and drank good wines at all price points. France is still awash with honest and affordable wines made by dedicated people. I hope to blog in more detail when I get the time.