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End of good times for Bordeaux?

>> Thursday, January 07, 2010

One of the most influential wholesalers of Bordeaux wine has closed down its Bordeaux business. It’s a potentially revolutionary story that has attracted surprisingly little attention. Diageo Chateaux and Estates has decided to abandon all trade with top Bordeaux wine, according to a story in the AFP. DCE has been the biggest actor on the American market for top of the range Bordeaux (primeurs). The decision means that they will cease trading in Bordeaux wines and that they will liquidate the stock that they have.

This means that the single biggest US customer will disappear and that there may be an oversupply of dumped Bordeaux on the market. According to some estimates their stock may be worth up to $200 million. A trader in New York, quoted by the AFP, says that he has stocks of Bordeaux worth $5.5 M that is now unsaleable since his prices would be 50% over the dumped DCE wines. Read the original article from AFP here.

Dan Berger, writing in the Napa Valley Register, thinks it may be the start of a crisis for Bordeaux , others don't agree, e.g. Tyler Colman (Dr Vino) is more sanguine and does not seem to think it’s a big issue.

One can’t help wondering what impact it will have on the Bordeaux Primeur Circus that will soon kick off for the 2009 vintage and for the Bordeaux market as a whole.

What do you think? Are we exaggerating the possible impact? What will the consequences be?


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