Burgundy’s skyrocketing prices are coming back to bite the area as numerous are simply too expensive to sell.
© Image by wendy CORNIQUET from Pixabay|Burgundy producers are plowing a progressively lonely furrow as rates scare off buyers.
Has Burgundy lastly hit a ceiling in how high its costs can go? It depends upon who you speak to, but … possibly.
Liv-Ex released a report today concluding simply that: that with costs having soared, again, for the 2021 vintage, unexpectedly there is something brand-new: a scarcity of purchasers. Liv-Ex claims there is a bid-to-offer ratio of 0.26, down from 1.1 simply in 2015. This suggests that for every Burgundy white wine put on the market, in 2015 there were more bidders than there were red wines. Now it’s the opposite.
“High release prices and high secondary market prices will continue to discourage buyers– particularly the experts, but quite potentially the brand-new too,” the report states. “The falling bid: offer ratio is pointing to this. At these rates, stock (albeit restricted) is sticking around on lists longer.”
It’s a hot subject amongst enophiles. The Liv-Ex report prices quote Jancis Robinson as stating she did not recommend any grand crus “as these are now so expensive”, and Vinous’ Neil Martin calling Burgundy costs “an auto accident waiting to happen”. Liv-Ex states that Burgundy on the secondary market has become “too hot for lots of to manage”.
But our own Margaret Rand reported simply 2 weeks ago that when a British importer informed a Burgundy negociant that he wouldn’t buy Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc at double in 2015’s rates, the negociant stated: “Fine. I can sell them somewhere else.”
Of course he would say that. The question is, can he?
Earlier this month, we ran a story in which the CEO of Cult White wines said Burgundy’s rate of rate boost– which his company pegged at 31.3 percent in 2022– is not sustainable. Cult Red Wines and Liv-Ex do something extremely comparable in tracking the costs paid for white wines on the marketplace. Now this month both of them are warning that Burgundy costs are too expensive.
“Finding worth in Burgundy has actually become harder than ever,” the Liv-Ex report reads. “When one can purchase a Bordeaux Second Development for the very same cost as a Burgundian village red wine, one may start to question the region”s market dynamics.”
The small size of the 2021 Burgundy crop– the Bourgogne Wine Board reported that it had to do with half of a regular year– is misshaping the picture in the short-term. For something, it encouraged producers to raise prices to make up for the shortfall. It likewise created shortage, which will encourage some purchasers to get the wines for worry that they will not get another opportunity. And certainly, Liv-Ex reports that some sellers are informing customers that white wines they generally carry will not be readily available. Even if there are just half as many purchasers, there’s only half as much red wine.
By all accounts 2022 yielded a much larger crop, so there might be as many as twice as numerous white wines for sale next year. And after that we’ll see.
Change in the air
British buyers are turning away from Burgundy, according to Liv-Ex; the UK’s share of the Burgundy market has dropped from 62 percent in 2017 to 37 percent in 2023. The United States market share leapt up to almost 30 percent in 2021 but fell back below 25 percent last year. So far the slack has actually been used up generally by other European nations.
Chinese purchasers could keep prices rising if they jump back on the market going to invest. Asian nations integrated now purchase about 21 percent of Burgundies. But the days of Chinese paying too much for anything with a French label might be over.
Liv-Ex reported that its index of the top 150 selling Burgundies– vintage-denoted– really went down in cost by 1.5 percent in the previous 2 months. That might be a harbinger of further cost drops to come.
As for the wines themselves, Rand reported that the 2021 Burgundies “are hugely pleasurable, specifically for those traditionalists who believe Burgundy ought to taste like Burgundy and not like Russian River Valley”. That brings in another question: Burgundy costs pumped up so quickly over the last few years while environment change resulted in ever-riper wines. Is that what the marketplace desires? As the cost of leading Burgundy red wines reaches thousands of dollars per bottle, it moves beyond the Burgundy aficionado market into the luxury-goods-status market, which might be a completely different group.
However it’s not simply the grand crus. The rates of less-anointed white wines is increasing at an even more fast rate. Liv-Ex reports that five years ago, Domaine Leflaive’s Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2016 cost eight times as much as its town wine, Puligny-Montrachet 2016. The grand cru has increased in rate by 83 percent over five years– but the village red wine is up 284 percent. The grand cru now costs less than 4 times as much as the Puligny-Montrachet, suggesting that the latter is likewise now just practical for a very small area of the red wine market.
“Burgundy seems to be playing in a league of its own,” the Liv-Ex report concludes. “It has actually ended up being riskier to purchase, and harder to sell. While its secondary market is getting broader, the group of purchasers of its finest red wines is getting narrower. The concern maybe is this– if collectors are to commit brand-new cash to the fine white wine market, will it be to Burgundy, or to other areas that this money gravitates?”
To join the conversation, discuss our social media channels.