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28/02/2013

The Great Debate: Who Will Be The New 'Perfect'?

by Giles Cooper (Head of Marketing & PR)

A few of us from the BI office went for an old-school wine-y lunch yesterday to celebrate the impending departure of two much-loved colleagues (off to pastures new but with BI hats firmly on – more exciting details to follow shortly!). The place was Otto’s in Clerkenwell and the wines included a few treasures… ’02 Comtes Rose, ’06 Y de Yquem, ’01 Faiveley Clos des Cortons, ’01 Charvin Chateauneuf, ’04 Rousseau Clos St Jacques… and a very special bottle of ’69 Sociando Mallet.

Inevitably the conversation turned to Parker’s impending re-scoring of 2010 Bordeaux and his cryptic musings on the Wine Advocate’s Bulletin Board. We know the title of the review will be 'Un train peut en cacher un autre'', a French road sign which literally means ‘one train may hide another’ (something to do with a looming train crash, perhaps?). We also know that there will be nine 100-point wines, one of which has never before received a perfect score. So, we did what any thinking, well-oiled gentlemen would do: We opened a book on what this wine would be, 10 quid each in the pot – winnings divided amongst those who guessed correctly.

Pichon Baron led the way (98 points in 2009 and 97-99+ in 2010), along with Vieux Chateau Certan (99 points in 2009 and 96-98 in 2010), with honourable mentions for Lynch-Bages, La Conseillante and… Caronne St Gemme (thanks Tom – Francois Nony would be flattered I’m sure).

We’ll soon see what the scores are and what impact they have on the market. As you’ll no doubt remember, the 2010 release prices were generally high, and many have taken the full force of the post June 2011 falls (more on this in our latest Investment Report). Any rises post-Parker will probably just about cover losses already sustained – apart from the joker in the pack, that elusive virgin 100-pointer. With the impact of Smith-Haut-Lafitte’s first perfect score still fresh in the memory (springing from £500 a case to £1700 a case overnight) you just never know what might happen.

What we don’t need to wait for Mr Parker to tell us is that 2010 is a truly spectacular vintage, and one which all long-term planners should have a good smattering of in their cellar. More tomorrow.

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