Sunday, April 25, 2010

What We're Buying Now

Two suits are on the subway riding home after work.  One guy says to the other, I got a hot stock for you.  You should buy Bear Stearns.  The other guy looks up from the paper and says, How much did you buy?

Advice and reviews are fine, but putting your money where your mouth is means more.

This is by no means a reflection of the best wine we've had lately, but it is a sampling of what we've been spending our hard-earned shekles on.
2007 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Stupid-yummy and not a flaw to be found. Super deal available everywhere. $11

2008 Loimer Lois Gruner Veltliner
Not at all austere, packing body but light on its feet...great summer wine $15
Highly Unusual, Extremely Satisfying $28

Barbaresco May Cross Your Mind, But Not For the Price Tag $15

2006 Piazzano Ventoso Toscana
Italy in a glass.  Nothing crazy, but classically perfect.  What's not to love at $10?
Colombard? Wow!  Fruity nose, great acids keep it in check - balanced and awesome $9

2006 Huntington Petite Sirah California
Smooth, balanced, and felxible.  Easy with (or without) pretty much anything.  Crowd pleaser.  $8

We also took advantage of the free shipping on 2 cases or more sale and put in a huge (5+ cases), cellar-stocking order with Cameron Hughes of predominately Cabs including:
Elegant and high class. Collectible capable of improving with extended aging. Unbelievable at $16.

Immediate Gratification Cab that hits all the pleasure points. $12

Monster, chewy, textured, different, and irresistable. Unreal deal. $12


  1. What are your views on Bordeaux 2009 as an investment, or is it too early to tell? Very mixed views from the press so far, everyone is raving about it as a vintage, but their buy advice is heavily caveated

  2. Hi Cork & Foil!

    Thanks for your question. We have no views on the quality of the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux and we're not likely to until...hmmm...around late 2012 when those wine start hitting the market. Why not? Because, frankly, it's a little silly to judge a wine when it's just 6 months off the vine and hasn't been blended, assembled, aged, or fined. Kinda like judging how beautiful a woman will be based on her looks as a toddler. So take that heavily-caveated advice with a grain of salt.

    If you've ever done much barrel tasting you know that most wine tastes good in barrel - just as most toddlers are cute. Hardly a reliable indicator of what's to come. Not to mention, every third year is the "Vintage Of The Century" in Bordeaux. Future prices are a function of hype, critics' hedged guesses, and hype built on those guesses.

    But your question was "as an investment". Wine as an investment is categorically insane. Look at it this way: Except in very special (few) circumstances, the vast majority of ultra-premium wines from earlier vintages sell for less than their current release counterparts. Auction prices are evidence of that.

    So that leaves the buy on futures, sell on release play. In order for that to make sense investment-wise, you've got to buy at a discount substantial enough to cover transaction costs and outpace the opportunity cost of capital. And even then, there needs to be liquidity in the market for what you've bought. Perhaps that's even more important a risk factor than quality and predictability. Very risky indeed, especially these days - and especially in the US.

    Finally, and back to the hype, variability in vintages is incredible. The going price for a bottle of 2005 Haut Brion is $1500, but the 2006 is half that, and futures on the 2007 are $500.

    Bottom line, unless you are able to buy blue chip chateaux at substantial discounts (and if you are, God bless you) our view on Bordeaux 2009 as an investment is to take a pass.


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