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Discover France through Alsace.
[ Discover France through Alsace. ]

·Riesling, The Great White Hope
·An Alsatian at the Table
·Alsace, The pedigree of Pinot Gris
·Is Alsace in dilemma?
· Alsatian Pinot Gris: How Sweet It Is!
·Reconnecting with Alsace
·Another French Paradox: Alsace Riesling
·Rieslings from Alsace are drier
·Wine Issued from Organic Grapes

Colmar. Nice city.

Colmar. Nice city.

Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.

Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.

Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and Grand Cru d'Alsace.Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and Grand Cru d'Alsace.
French Recipies and Alsacian GastronomyFrench Recipies and Alsacian Gastronomy
Growing grapes in Alsace.Growing grapes in Alsace.
History of Alsace and alsacian wine.History of Alsace and alsacian wine.
Market Export InformationsMarket Export Informations
Soils and grounds.Soils and grounds.
Travellers memories around AlsaceTravellers memories around Alsace
Wine and healthWine and health
Wine booksWine books
Wine route in Alsace.Wine route in Alsace.
Wine Tittle-TattleWine Tittle-Tattle

Burgundy and me Burgundy and me
Discover France through Alsace. Discover France through Alsace.
Events in Alsace. Events in Alsace.
Follow the Froggies: Alsace gastronomy. Follow the Froggies: Alsace gastronomy.
Inside Bordeaux Inside Bordeaux
Wine classifications AOC - Grand Crus... Wine classifications AOC - Grand Crus...

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Vintage of the century? Already?

Vintage of the century? Already?
Inside BordeauxShould you dive in to the pricey but high-profile 2005 wines from Bordeaux?
Depends on your tastes and your wallet.
French winemakers, like French fashion designers, try to make news every year. But the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux is generating the kind of press last seen when Christian Dior's "New Look" dropped hemlines nearly to the floor more than a half century ago.

Critics are raving about the quality of the wine, which won't be released for another two years. Yet many are also raging at the high prices.

Indeed, the quoted prices for the finest wines, the legendary first growths and top-notch second growths, have reached jaw-dropping heights.

Consider, for example, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. The 2005 is selling on the futures market for $600 a bottle, said Doug Jeffirs, wine director of Binny's Beverage Depot stores. He noted the 2003 and 2004 vintages were sold as futures for just $250 to $275 a bottle.

Buying futures is kind of like buying stock. You hope to get it for a relative bargain and sell it for a nice profit or consume it with the satisfaction of knowing you paid less for the wine than it's worth. Purchasing futures means you're buying wine now that won't be delivered for some months or years.

For Bordeaux wines, it is usually a wait of two years, which is why wine merchants are selling 2005 futures just as they're receiving actual shipment of the 2003.
Wines purchased as futures also tend to be priced lower than the suggested retail price. That means the already high 2005 prices should go even higher once the wines are in the stores in 2008.

For some lucky wine lovers, money is apparently no object when it comes to fine Bordeaux.
Howard Silverman of Howard's Wine Cellar knows this firsthand. The Chicago retailer said he has sold almost $400,000 worth of 2005 Bordeaux since the prices were first announced a few weeks ago. Sounds like a lot of wine sold but, ironically, it's not, especially when cases of 2005 Bordeaux are selling for thousands of dollars.

"It doesn't take long when you're selling the stuff at $2,000 or $3,000 a case to sell a couple of hundred thousand dollars of wine," he said.
Who buys this stuff? Well-heeled collectors, of course. These pricey reds are indisputably among the finest in the world; any wine lover would think they've gone to heaven in trying them.

"The wines are amazing," said Tanya Hart of A Taste of Vino in Hinsdale, Ill., who traveled to Bordeaux this spring to taste them. "You could tell right off the bat you were tasting something special."

So good were the wines Hart tasted that she found there were no bad ones. Her goal became searching out the wines better than good.

These 2005 Bordeaux reds are more than just taste. They exude a kind of magic and speak to a certain income, a certain quality of life, a certain savoir-faire. They are like the pourable equivalent of your grandfather's Cadillac: a top-of-the-line status symbol purchased every year.

That is the reason, perhaps, why the French began energetically pumping prices up when it became apparent how good the 2005 Bordeaux would be.

Some wine pros wonder if the French have hurt their wine industry by jacking up prices. Others disagree, saying the French are simply trying to get what they can when the getting is good.

"The French sell their wines regardless," Hart said with a sigh. "As much as we're irritated by (the price), they still sell."

But Jeffirs said a number of investors are balking at buying 2005 because they don't think the wines will be able to appreciate in value enough to make it worth their while. Other customers, he said, are looking for Bordeaux bargains, particularly sleepers in the lower-profile 2004 vintage.

Silverman said a dozen customers flatly refused to buy the 2005 because they still have plenty of wine from previous years.
"My customers don't need it at this price," he said.

Ironically, so much attention has been paid to the price of the priciest 2005 bottlings that the American publicists for the Bordeaux Wine Bureau felt compelled to issue a press release reminding all there are, indeed, "affordable" Bordeaux.
"It is useful to remember that 85 percent of Bordeaux retails for less than $25 per bottle and those prices are expected to remain consistent," the press release promised.
"People don't realize there are thousands of chateaux out there and many are good ones," said Barbara Glunz of Chicago's House of Glunz. "We are promoting the wines with a good track record and reasonable price."

Silverman, who also traveled to Bordeaux to taste the 2005 vintage, bought a lot of wine from the smaller, lesser-known makers. These wines, $10 to $20 bottles, "are going to mature fairly early and will be nice wines for people to pull out of their cellars," he said.

A number of these wines, what Silverman calls "little wines," were sold on the futures market this time because the quality was considered so good.
The same quality that has made the mighty first growths of 2005 really shine will likely be found in lesser Bordeaux wines as well. This may be one way the general public is able to take part in the hoopla surrounding the 2005 vintage.

"The everyday styles are very, very tasty," said Hart. "You can get good value out of this vintage without spending on the first growths."
That said, the question for some still remains: Is it worth buying the top-notch Bordeaux of 2005?
"As someone who has tasted it, it's a question of weighing the value of an amazing vintage against a poor dollar," Hart said. "If the dollar wasn't so bad against the euro and if the values weren't so inflated by the French, no one would hesitate. These wines will blow people away for decades."

Bill Daley; Chicago Tribune; Aug. 18, 2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 @ 19:14:15 MST by pierre
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Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.
Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.

Colmar. Nice city.
Colmar. Nice city.

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