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18 June 2010

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CityWineJournal

Great reporting and analysis, as usual. Lots of data to mine for many audiences. But it has to be said, based on what I am hearing from many would-be buyers, +20 to 30% for BDX09 vs 2005 is, frankly, shocking and disheartening.

I understand major increases vs 2008, which have moved up significantly. But the economy, financial stability, and currencty valuations have NOT moved up in concert and if anything pose even greater questions now than last year (hello Greece, hello Spain, hello Euro will you be with us in 2012, hello US Debt). Ergo many of the 2009 vintages are pressing forward without regard to these risks, the clogged pipelines in the distribution channel and even wine lover liquidity. Perhaps Asia will offset all of this with ease. We shall see.

Also, consider this: with such a quality vintage, it is an opportunity for Bordeaux to expand its market share, and drive acceptance among fine wine lovers who are new to the market. A few chateaux understand this, as your chart shows, and are pricing to gain share. But far too many are ignoring this major opportunity, seemingly hitting the "05 + 25%" button on Excel. They will risk not only their existing customer base, but also the chance to introduce and earn the business of new wine lovers.

Finally, with RP bestowing 100 point potential scores on 20+ wines, the cachet of points is not what it used to be. How will the Chateaux adjust to the dilution of RP points on the consumer, and the continued rise of the CellarTracker community for valued critical evaluation? That time is coming, and at these prices, perhaps sooner rather than later.

Miguel Lecuona
www.CityWineJournal.com

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