I’m very concerned about the lack of affordable left and right bank Bordeaux wines available in the £20-£40 range. Is this just because of Christmas or is the Wine Society (WS) focusing on buying alternative old and new world wines?
I would be interested to see if other members had similar thoughts and would appreciate it if the WS could let me know when new stock in this price range will be arriving.
There’s not a huge selection of ready to drink Bordeaux in that price range I agree. I think you’ll need to be a bit more strategic with your buying and look at the En Primeur offers. [2016 BDX EP remaining stock].
I’m one who much prefers quality Bordeaux with some bottle age. Quality wines from good years need 10 years to start showing their best for my taste, some are tough going at only 5 or 6 years. Hence I’m not organised or patient enough to consider EP and buy from other retailers that have stock.
The price is higher, but you can also avoid some of the early hype, 2015 was being touted as a truly great vintage but early tastings of bottled wines are a little more restrained in their praise for example.
Personally, I find this price range offers some excellent fifth growth Grand Cru Classé wines (eg Chateau Batailley and Chateau Croizet-Bages), or second wines of Grand Cru Classé classified wineries (eg Baron de Brane, Chateau Lacoste Borie and Chateau Moulin-Riche). Apart from Chateau Batailley, none of these wines are now available. I understand that stocks deplete, but I find that the WS has done very little to replenish these wines or present others of a similar calibre.
One excellent wine I have purchased previously is Chateau Carteau Cotes Daugay 2010 for £16. Now I find that even the 2012 vintage is no longer available!
Filtering the search to 20-40 quid, 2010 or earlier, in stock, full bottles gives 7 results. There’s a 2009/10 mixed case too, right in your price range, and with 4 wines not otherwise available.
Never counted before but gut feel that’s fairly low especially given all 7 are in the medoc. Then again the 2012 right bankers are drinking fine. I assume it’s down to stocks running low this time of year, red burg choice seems thin on the ground too, but I’ve seen a few come and go quickly.
If you look beyond TWS you’ll find widespread availability of almost anything you might want at a very wide range of price points.
In many respects this is what the traditional wine merchants do so well and is one reason why I’m not too bothered if TWS has a relatively small share of this ‘10 years on’ market.
I take some comfort in the thought that when TWS do decide to release a parcel of wines later on, they have good reason for doing so.
As regards that secondary market: I find Farrs for example just too slightly stuffy for me and it’s only very recently that online platforms have started to democratise this market - see Justerinis platform (them of all people!) or BBX.