Friday, April 3, 2009

It’s finally over

The crazy week presenting Bordeaux 2008 futures is finally over, phew. I gained 2 kilos (almost 9 lbs) and I am exhausted, but I feel that this event went very well. We mainly saw real customers instead speculators. The current period and the direction Bordeaux history is taking, some would say “the direction of the wind”, are changing Bordeaux, hard to believe; it is even becoming sensible! Why not!
Are dreams created by years of history, quality and adapted prices contradictory?
I have already spent a lot of time giving my opinion, which I could simplify as:
Bordeaux is a market place, producers and negociants are merchants, to begin with. They must listen to their customers. We already have been through many crisis and each time, Bordeaux comes out stronger! so what if mistakes were committed with the pricing of 06 and 07?
Why lament over the past? Did no one make money? Or got any pleasure?
Is there still a lot of inventory of 1998, 2000 and 2003?
Futures campaigns are not win-win events, or we would win every time.
No. Are professional whiners needed to feel bad about some poor speculators? The wine was sold as futures hoping to create some profit. It hasn’t always been the case.
The 2008 vintage will probably be released soon and will offer great deals, I believe it. Will the Bordeaux market place follow the same trend?
We will have the answer soon.

I had many conversation which will, with no doubt, be misinterpreted, concerning the return of power to merchants over journalists.
In fact, the wine market, long dominated by merchants, was, since the 90s, lead by the opinion of journalists, ratings, and particularly Parker, who was, himself surprised by the power they developed. His notes, in particular, had the to power to influence the price set by merchants and property owners who, in turn, only bought what they could afford. This, against his wish, as he always positioned himself as a consumer advocate.
Ratings will return to their initial intent: give an idea, an indication on successes and failures.
Property owners and winemakers who will only base their prices on this criteria will suffer, especially if merchants don’t agree with the price.
Like for Michelin, some top chefs have refused their stars (I don’t understand why): as stars are considered like a reward for work done and not an obligation to put gold taps in the restrooms or increase prices to scare customers away.

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