Frenzy!!! That’s the word we keep hearing to describe the market for Burgundy lately. 

After a difficult stretch in 2019-2020, due to the pandemic, US trade restrictions and political unrest in Hong Kong, global Burgundy sales dropped for a time. But the lull didn’t last long. In the past few months, Burgundy sales have come roaring back. 

Liv-ex documents the heart-stopping trend: “US Burgundy buying is up 201% versus 2020 (!!!!) illustrating the impact of sanctions being suspended – while Asian buying has risen by 86% and the UK by 36%. No surprise that the Burgundy 150 index hit a new high of 686.80 at the end of November, up 28% on last year and nearly 90% above the level of five years ago.”

Adding to the Burgundy fever is a drop in availability after the catastrophic 2021 frost. “Average production was down 50%, with some producers and appellations 70% short. In all there were 900,000 to 950,000 hectolitres of wine produced, compared to an average year of 1.5 million hectolitres.” (Bourgogne Wine Board)

Worse yet, already high prices are being compounded by other production and import costs — with transportation as the most voracious monster. International shipping costs have increased by 55%. (Wine Enthusiast) As the post-pandemic economy recovers and consumers spend again, the increased volume of imported goods is arriving too quickly for the global supply chain to handle. The result is dramatically higher costs at every logistical link. Within the wine industry, a process that used to take 30 days can take four to six months. (Elenteny Imports)

Beyond transportation are additional costs all along the supply chain. “Cardboard for cartons, glass for bottles, and even wood for the pallets has risen — up to 30% for cartons and 100% for pallets. (Anne Moreau, Bourgogne Wine Board )

Now for the Good News…sort of
A quick break from the bleak statistics for a much happier side story! (and yet another element contributing to the craze for Burgundy.) Twenty-two Pouilly-Fuissé climats have recently been upgraded to Premier Cru.

It’s a remarkable history that goes all the way back to World War II when France was split into two countries: one controled by Nazi forces and the other “Free France.”

In Occupied France, Nazi forces could requisition village-level wines, but had to pay for wine, at least theoretically, from a higher classification. At the time, the only higher classification was Grand Cru. Premier Cru did not exist.

Roc des Boutires iconic Pouilly-Fuissé landmark. Photo courtesy of Wilson Daniels.

In Pouilly-Fuissé, located in Free France, the German occupiers had to pay for all wines, even those with only a village classification.  Consequently, there was no motivation to create a higher wine category.

Now, more than 75 years later, the French National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO), has recognized vineyards in the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation that merit Premier Cru status — the beginning of a new era for the entire Mâconnais region and increased prestige for the region as a whole.

All of which brings us back to the original issue of the ever-growing passion for Burgundy. And an even more fundamental question: Do Burgundy wines have a price ceiling?

Jasper Morris, Master of Wine since 1985 and an expert on Burgundy, marvels that despite the ceaseless price increases, the wines continue to sell out. “The Burgundy commercial year seems to be one of 50 weeks,” he says. “Initially, everybody complains that prices are too high, then the new vintage releases — and everything sells through in two weeks!” (Inside Burgundy)

Where will it end?

Wine lovers have treasured Burgundy for centuries. Its Kimmeridgian soil, with chalky marl containing layers and layers of  Jurassic seashells is unrivaled.  The region’s cool-damp climate (at least for now) is ideal for vineyards. Moreover, few regions can match Burgundy’s history, from the early Gauls in 300 BC, to the Romans in 51 BC and later the Catholic monks in 200 AD. In short, Burgundy is the benchmark for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Many collectors feel that the region balances power and finesse like no other wine in the world. 

Château du Clos de Vougeot established by Cistercian monks in the 12th century. Photo courtesy of Château du Clos de Vougeot

Ultimately, the thirst for Burgundy is a case of simple economics — supply and demand. A tiny wine region to begin with, the impact of poor harvests inevitably increases prices, causing allocations to be managed with ever greater care. As global demand rises, prices continue to escalate, etc….

So how high? Who knows? But when even the experts can’t imagine what might happen next, it’s time to buy!

Our current collection of Burgundies.  To order, write mthibaultwine@gmail.com or call 850-687-1370. Linked products can be purchased directly online.

FAVORITE PRODUCERS
Domaine Olivier Bernstein
2016 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru. $399.99. 2 bottles
2017 Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru. $999.00. 3 bottles
2017 Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. $723.00 3 bottles
2017 Chambertin Grand Cru. $999.00. 3 bottles

Domaine Henri Boillot
2018 Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. $399.99. 3 bottles in Magnums
2019 Volnay 1er Cru “Les Chevrets” $89.99. 16 bottles
2019 Volnay 1er Cru “Les Fremiets” $89.99. 16 bottles
2018 Pommard 1er Cru “Clos Blanc” $89.99. 4 bottles

2020 Henri Boillot Bourgogne Blanc. $29.99.  90 bottles. ETA May 2022Domaine Henri Gouges
2017 Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru “Les Saint Georges” $182.99. 3 bottles
2018 Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru “Clos des Porrets” $99.99. 12 bottles
2019 Pinot Blanc. 39.99. 10 bottles
2019 Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru “Les Pruliers” $99.99. 12 bottles
2019 Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru “Les Chaignots” $99.99. 12 bottles

Domaine Louis Michel et Fils
2018 Chablis 1er Cru “Montée de Tonnerre” $38.99. 24 bottles
2018 Chablis 1er Cru Forêts. $38.99. 36 bottles
2018 Chablis 1er Cru Montmain. $38.99. 48 bottles
2019 Chablis Grand Cru “Grenouilles” $79.99. 1 bottle
2019 Chablis Village. $25.99. 47 bottles

Domaine Mongeard Mugneret
2019 Grand-Echezeaux Grand Cru. $219.99. 6 bottles
2019 Echezeaux Grand Cru. $144.99. 12 bottles
2019 Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru “Les Narbantons” $53.99. 12 bottles
2019 Vosne-Romanée. $63.99. 6 bottles

Domaine du Roc des Boutires
2019 Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Bouthières. $59.99. 4 bottles

OTHER SELECTIONS
Grands Crus Blanc
2017 Vincent et Sophie Morey Batard Montrachet. $249.99. 3 bottles
2017 Remoissenet Chablis Les Clos. $99.99. 6 bottles
2017 Laroche Chablis Blanchots. $109.99. 5 bottles
2019 Drouhin Chablis Les Clos. $89.99. 6 bottles
2019 Drouhin Chablis Vaudesir. $79.99. 12 bottles
2019 Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche. $799.99. 3 bottles
2019 Drouhin Batard Montrachet. $529.99. 3 bottles2019 Vincent Girardin Montrachet. $999.99. 2 bottles
2019 Vincent Girardin Batard Montrachet. $529.99. 3 bottles
2019 Vincent Girardin Corton Charlemagne. $199.99. 3 bottles
2019 Bouchard Montrachet. $1,049.99. 2 bottles

Premiers Crus Blanc2016 Genot-Boulanger Puligny Montrachet La Garenne. $109.99. 3 bottles
2018 Comtes Lafon Meursault Porusots. $368.99. 6  bottles
2018 Chateau de Meursault Meursault Charmes. $89.99. 6 bottles
2018 Dominique Lafon Puligny Montrachet Champs Gains. $199.99. 2 bottles
2019 Michel Niellon Chassagne Montrachet Maltroie. $124.99. 6 bottles
2019 Drouhin Clos des Mouches Blanc. $154.99. 24 bottles2019 Louis Jadot Chablis Fourchaume. $46.99. 6 bottles
2019 Vincent Girardin Saint-Aubin en Remilly. $69.99. 2 bottles

Village Blanc
2017 Comte Armand Bourgogne Aligoté. $32.99. 6 bottles
2018 Ambroise Bourgogne Aligoté$18.99. 12 bottles
2018 Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Baronne. $138.99. 9 bottles
2018 Anne Gros Hautes-Côtes de Nuits “Cuvée Marine” $46.99. 6 bottles
2018 Anne Gros Bourgogne Blanc Limited Edition. $38.99. 12 bottles2019 Drouhin Chassagne Montrachet. $69.99. 12 bottles
2019 Benjamin Leroux Auxey-Duresses. $49.99. 3 bottles
2019 Louis Jadot Auxey-Duresses. $56.99. 6 bottles

2019 Louis Jadot Rully Blanc. $36. 99. 5 bottles
2019 Louis Jadot Saint-Romain Blanc. $39.99. 6 bottles
2019 Ferret Pouilly-Fuissé Tête de Cru Les Perrières. $49.99. 6 bottles
2020 Laroche Chablis Saint-Martin. $26.99. 48 bottles

Grands Crus Rouge
2010 Dominique Mugneret Romanée Saint-Vivant. $499.99. 2 bottles
2015 Château de la Tour Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes. $339.99. 4 bottles
2015 Ambroise Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes. $339.99. 3 bottles
2016 Ambroise Corton Rognet. $82.99. 4 bottles
2016 Camille Giroud Charmes Chambertin. $259.99. 1 bottle
2016 Drouhin-Laroze Bonnes Mares. $249.99. 2 bottles
2016 Drouhin-Laroze Latricières-Chambertin. $249.99. 3 bottles
2016 Drouhin Chambertin Clos de Bèze. $599.99. 3 bottles.
2019 Drouhin Charmes Chambertin. $299.99. 3 bottles
2016 Drouhin Mazis Chambertin. $499.99. 3 bottles
2017 Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Bèze. $339.99. 2 bottles
2017 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche.  $499.99. 3 bottles
2018 Anne Gros Clos Vougeot. $249.99. 4 bottles
2018 Anne Gros Richebourg. $589.99. 2 bottles
2018 Vogue Musigny. $789.99. 1 bottle
2018 Bachelet Charmes Chambertin. $749.99. 2 bottles

Premiers Crus Rouge
2016 Courcel Pommard Epenots. $139.99. 6 bottles
2017 Comte Armand Pommard Epeneaux. 199.99. 2 bottles
2017 Georges Noëllat · Vosne-Romanée Beaux Monts. $269.99. 1 bottle
2017 Aurélien Verdet Vosne-Romanée Beaux Monts $189.99. 3 bottles
2018 Benjamin Leroux Chambolle Musigny Amoureuses Magnum. $1,079.99. 1 Magnum.
2018 Groffier Chambolle Musigny Amoureuses. $999.99. 2 bottles
2019 Drouhin Chambolle Musigny Amoureuses. $589.99. 6 bottles
2018 Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Champans. $169.99. 3 bottles
2018 Mugnier Nuits-St-Georges Clos de la Marechale. $149.99. 6 bottles
2019 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin “Clos St. Jacques” $179.99. 12 bottles
2019 Louis Jadot Santenay Maladière. $46.99. 3 bottles
2019 Faiveley Mercurey Clos des Myglands. $47.99. 3 bottles

Village Rouge
2015 Damoy Gevrey Chambertin. $119.99. 4 bottles
2015 Philippe Pacalet Gevrey Chambertin. $88.99. 6 bottles
2018 Bachelet Gevrey Chambertin. $149.99. 2 bottles
2018 Dominique Lafon Volnay. $79.99. 6 bottles
2018 Lignier-Michelot Morey-Saint-Denis Vieilles Vignes. $69.99. 6 bottles
2016 Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis “Cuvée des Alouettes” $199.99. 4 bottles
2019 Benjamin Leroux Savigny les Beaune. $49.99. 3 bottles
2018 Georges Noëllat Côtes de Nuits. $52.99. 3 bottles
2018 Anne Gros Bourgogne Rouge Limited Edition. $38.99. 6 bottles
2016 Thibault Ligier Belair Chambolle Musigny $109.99. 8 bottles
2018 Thibault Ligier Belair Nuits st Georges Les Belles Croix. $89.99. 6 bottles
2019 Louis Jadot Nuits-St.-Georges. $59.99. 5 bottles
2019 Louis Jadot Savigny Les Beaune “Clos des Guettes” $54.99. 3 bottles
2019 Château des Jacques Morgon. $25.99. 2 bottles

2022-02-28T20:57:18+00:00February 28th, 2022|0 Comments

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