There has been an avalanche of reports in the media lately, social media included, about falling demand for Bordeaux wine. Often suggesting that China has fallen out of love with Bordeaux, that it would now be all about Burgundy and that Bordeaux wine prices have but one way to go: South.
It seems to be fashionable these days to engage in a bit of “Bordeaux Bashing”. “Bordeaux would be out of fashion. Grossly overpriced. The bubble has burst. Nobody wants overpriced Bordeaux. Burgundy, even Rhone and Italy is what people want. Sell sell sell”.
We think those reports are suggestive, onesided, written with headlines in mind and lagging behind the curve. We think it’s sensationalistic reporting, as rightfully pointed out by @DuvaultBlochet. Primarily based on two disappointing auction results and the recent price drops, these reports suggest Bordeaux is dead, done and dusted.
Yes, top Bordeaux wine has had a tough 6 months. Yes, China for the moment is saturated with younger Bordeaux. Yes, prices have dropped. And yes, for a lot of people Bordeaux Chateaux are guilty of over-asking, which has indeed led to a quite widespread feeling of being fed up with Bordeaux Chateaux owners and their wine.
But does that warrant all these “Bordeaux bashing” headlines and Doom & Gloom stories? We think not and here’s why:
- There have been many times in the history of Bordeaux where customers and the trade felt prices to be out of control. Each time, these people have been proven wrong, although it might have taken a few years.
- It’s old news. Prices have already corrected. In fact, the momentum is swinging back – the smart money is moving back in, just when all the Doom & Gloom stories get picked up by the crowd.
- These reports fail to mention that Bordeaux prices have increased so much over the last 10 years, that even after the current price drop, return on investment is still 300%.
- Reports would suggest that Bordeaux is no longer fashionable and that it’s all about Burgundy now. True, Bordeaux is not as “hot” as it was, but Burgundy is never going to be a viable alternative. In the few cases where it has a similar pedigree, there just isn’t enough of it and customers will soon get frustrated with the lack of supply.
- Most importantly, Bordeaux produces amazing wines, more than ever actually. Recent vintages have received unprecedented critical acclaim.
- And whether you like it or not, there will always be plenty consumers that want to buy the most famous, most decorated, most historic wines that are being produced by Bordeaux.
At the moment, we’re very close to reaching a price level where we were in July 2008 (!!) Before all the madness began. I can tell you from our own experience as fine wine merchants that Bordeaux 1st Growths at £250 a bottle are being snapped up by our customers. There are plenty consumers that view the recent price drops as a healthy correction, not a bubble burst, and they love the opportunity to buy their most coveted wine at current prices.
Bordeaux is not going to go away, whether you like it or not. Therefore, instead of believing tendentious and lagging behind the curve “news”, you could also view this as a great moment to buy Bordeaux. Hopefully to drink it and enjoy it and if not, for wine investment.