Monday, May 14, 2007

Parker on 2006 Bordeaux Futures

Pricing is starting to roll out for 2006 Bordeaux futures, and already prospective buyers are up in arms about prices that are not far below those from 2005, a far superior vintage. The usual venting has been on display on the Squires Board, and Robert Parker himself weighed in on this thread. As usual, Parker's market analysis is worth hearing:

I still believe the "futures" market in the USA will be largely a failure....we presumably purchased loads of expensive 05s, after taking a gigantic position on 2000s....moreover, the dollar is so weak that it just doesn't make much sense to pay up front two years in advance....what if 2007 is fabulous?.....too many negatives working against the USA buyer.

In his book on Bordeaux, Parker advises that there are only four valid reasons for purchasing Bordeaux futures (two years before the wines actually hit the shelves): superb wine from a great vintage; prices that will save you money 2-3 years down the line; securing a limited production wine; or buying in bottle sizes other than the standard 750 ml. Right now, it just does not look like the first two conditions are being met, despite wines that have surpassed the initially dismal expectations for the 2006 vintage. Of course, as Parker observes:
I definitely believe the finest 06s are superior and more complete wines than the 2004s, but the Bordelais also realize that and will price the 06s accordingly...will be interesting to see if the "new" emerging markets....eastern Europe, central and South America, and of course the Pacific rim countries, take important positions on 06s.

Parker acknowledges that his 2006 report gave the Bordelais license to price the '06s above the '04s, despite the hope of many consumers to see Bordeaux prices fall back to earth. Here's hoping that a failed 2006 en primeur campaign in the U.S., as Parker predicts, will help bring the market in that direction.