Category Archives: Wine Market

Jun 06 2012

Are Australia’s Top Cabernets Undervalued?

Posted on June 06, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In its promotional material for its Bin 707, Penfolds states that “Bin 707 is Penfolds’ Cabernet Sauvignon version of Grange: ripe, intensely-flavoured fruit; completing fermentation and maturation in new oak; fully expressing a Penfolds understanding of multi-vineyard, multi-region fruit sourcing.”

No-one can doubt the pedigree of Bin 707 or its status as one of the Australia’s benchmark wines. It is up there with Grange in the pantheon of Australia’s 17 most exceptional wines, as ranked by the Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine V – the form guide of Australia’s best performing and most prized wines.

But current prices of more recent vintages of Bin 707 are less than half the price of comparable vintages of Penfolds Grange. Current prices for other iconic cabernets like the Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, the Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon and the Mount Mary Vineyard Quintet Cabernets, for example, are all in the $100 to $200 price range, even though most of these wines are made in vastly smaller quantities than Grange and have almost equally impressive reputations for longevity.

But is the price discrepancy between top Australian cabernets and and their shiraz counterparts, which would also include acclaimed drops like Henschke Hill of Grace and Torbreck’s The Laird, warranted?

Certainly Australian cabernets are up against some stiff competition from overseas. Great Bordeaux cabernets like Château Margaux  and Château Lafite Rothschild are widely considered the greatest wines in the world. And in the New World, California’s reputation has largely been forged by international acclaim for a stellar line-up of cabernets from great producers like Harlan Estate, Bryant Family Vineyard and Shafer to name but a few. The top wines from all of these producers typically trade at much higher prices than comparable Australian cabernets.

For Australian shiraz the international competition is not so fierce. Fortunately, Australia lays claim to some of the oldest shiraz vines in the world,.. [Read More]

Aug 08 2011

Château Pétrus 1990: Is it worth the price?

Posted on August 08, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you’ve recently scanned the Cellarit Wine Market you may have noticed that a bottle of 1990 Château Pétrus is available for $4,700. It’s not the most expensive bottle on the list. That honour belongs to a 375 ml 1952 Penfolds Grange signed by Max Schubert and available for $12,500. But nevertheless the price does seem extraordinary for an item that, after all, is designed to be eventually consumed! (Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate, who scored the 1990 Pétrus 100 points,.. [Read More]

Dec 12 2010

Artisans of the Barossa: Breaking down the Stereotypes!

Posted on December 12, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In my article, Australian and New Zealand Wine: Telling a Complex Story!, 28 September 2010, I mentioned that 12 of the country’s most prestigious wineries have joined forces to create Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) – an export oriented venture designed to explain and promote the character, heritage and quality of Australia’s family-run wine companies.

In the Barossa region another group of like-minded winemakers formed their own alliance in 2006 with a similar purpose. Today, Artisans of the Barossa consists of 12 wineries that are working together to market their small production,.. [Read More]

Oct 10 2010

A Few Aged Classics on the Cellarit Wine Market

Posted on October 10, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In a previous post, A Great Week for Wine Tasting! I mentioned that the Lebanese Chateau Masur is bottle aged for four years before being released!

Unfortunately the costs associated with holding back bottled stock for ageing is usually prohibitive for all but the makers of very expensive wine. Torbreck’s The Laird 2005, for example, spent two years in the bottle before release, and Penfolds Grange is released only after three years of bottle age.

But you only have to read the tasting notes of wine critics and winemakers to see that the peak drinking window for many of the finest red wines and some whites as well is often five,.. [Read More]

Oct 10 2010

The Two Speed Wine Market!

Posted on October 10, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

For most Australian wine consumers the last few years have been a buyer’s heaven. The wine glut, increased competition from overseas, a high Australian dollar and the GFC have created a ‘perfect storm’ – leading to some of the best buying opportunities in decades!

So you may be surprised to hear that in Asia, and in particular Hong Kong and China, demand for wine is accelerating and prices, especially for first growth Bordeaux, are booming. William Lyons of The Wall Street Journal reported that the price of Chateau Lafite Rhothschild 2000 has climbed 611 per cent since December 2004. .. [Read More]