One shall never look back and compare the prices paid a few years ago to the ones today. “Why didn’t I buy more?” – you have probably raised the question several times, especially when noticing the same wine in the latest released vintage now is three or four times up. I know I have – after all I’m just a wine consumer with a great memory when it comes to the prices I’ve paid!
I bought the 2004 Clerc-Milon at BBR for £150 in bond – a case. Quite good, right? The 2009 went around £425-450 (in UK) in bond and was torn from the shelves, well at least it quickly zeroed the supplied ones in the cyberspace. Three times as much – it was just five years ago. How can that be – is it three times as good?
We all know the reasons for the boom Bordeaux experienced with the release of 2009; a global crisis is slowly put behind us and people start looking forward again, an increased interest in Bordeaux in new parts of the world, all the signs of a great vintage and of course high ratings amongst the professionals.
That’s me, but I trust Robert Parker when it comes to Clerc-Milon. Over the years I have agreed with his ratings of the Clerc wines I’ve had. When it comes to the 2004 it receives a 90 points score and Mr. Parker calls it an “Outstanding effort…”. In The Wine Advocate #188, April edition, the 2009 receives a 90-92+ rating: an “impressively endowed effort that requires serious cellar age”. No doubt, the 2009 probably is a better wine than the 2004 – but is it worth paying three times as much for?
Well, that’s up to you and no one else. Considering it is sold out most places already, the demand was definitely there. For me, it had reached a price tag when I seriously questions my purchases. Sure, I buy wine that might cost considerably higher amounts than that but then I settle with one bottle. An old Vintage Madeira I happily buy from time to time but then I am also aware of the fact this exists in miniscule quantities. Clerc-Milon produces around 15,000 cases a year. Nope, my wallet doesn’t buy that equation – nor do I.
When a brand or a region’s popularity takes over and creates disharmony between supply and demand I know it’s time for me to move on. I will probably enjoy every single bottle of my 2004 Clerc Milon’s but will I miss drinking it in the 2009 vintage? Probably not, there’s just so much else to discover out there! So, thank you Bordeaux. Thank you for encouraging me to find new gems and broaden my palate – or to pick up bottles from lesser known sub-regions in Bordeaux.
Are you interested in tasting the 2005 Chateau Melin Cuvée Louis? Then contact the Vignobles Claude Modet. At 24 bottles the price today is EUR 13,15 (a price i do believe you will get at 12 bottles as well) and while ordering don’t forget a case of the delightful white 2007 Cuvée Osmose, a barrel fermented white resting on its lees. 9 euro’s….