I have heard from a couple of retailers recently and although I tend to avoid plugging offers it seems appropriate in this instance. They are relatively small operations and the wine they are offering is likely to be of interest to people concerned about terroir and accessing good quality individual bottles from Burgundy and the Rhone with solid provenance. The also have something to ‘say’ about the psychology and economics of collecting wine.
First is a tranche of Armand Rousseau’s finest being offered by the antique wine company. These wines have come from one cellar, the owner of which had (and still retains) a direct allocation with the producer. They have mixed cases such as one from 1985;
1985 – 75cl – 1bt – Chambertin
1985 – 75cl – 1bt – Charmes Chambertin
1985 – 75cl – 4bt – Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques
1985 – 75cl – 6bt – Clos de la Roche
The only catch is the £7500 you would have to find to indulge in such wonderful wines.
More affordable but equally interesting are wines available from Corky’sWine (possibly the worst name for a fine wine retailer I am aware of – apart from the connotations of wine being corky, it could also read as Corky Swine!). However, the wine available here includes superb Rhones such as The Roasted Slopes mixed case of Cote Roties;
1997 Chapoutier Côte Rôtie La Mordorée
1998 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d’Ampuis
2001 Michel Ogier Côte-Rôtie
2000 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde
1999 J M Gérin Côte Rôtie les Grandes Places
1998 Tardieu-Laurent Côte Rôtie
Not cheap at £390 (and out of my league as I have had to curtail spending to buy a new car) but some wonderful wines available in mixed cases. These too are the result of someone collecting with a passion but finding themselves with a surplus. Below is an extract from the site explaining the rationale of offering mixed cases rather than auctioning off the collection;
“The reason is the personal affection that is felt for the wines themselves, those who have made them, and those who have sold them. These wines need to go to ‘good homes’. To be bought, in other words, by those who would cherish them and enjoy them in the way, he believes, their producers intended: with food and friends, for personal pleasure and to learn more about terroir and the craft of great wine creation.”
I hope to share the full story of these wines with you in a post in a few weeks.
In the meantime consider Beverland (2006) who suggests that ‘authenticity’ is a ‘cornerstone of contemporary marketing practice’. After looking at 20 ‘ultra-premium’ wineries and interviewing wine drinkers, six key attributes of ‘authenticity’ were identified:
1. heritage and pedigree
2. stylistic consistency
3. quality commitments
4. relationship to place
5. method of production
6. downplaying of commercial motives
These attributes resonated with consumers but were both ‘real and stylized versions of the truth’.
I also hope to update the research page of the site soon as I have been sent so many new references to papers and books about wine and psychology.