Article on BDX

The Bordeaux market is complicated.  There are some pretty big companies that own many of the producers, the Chateaus themselves, negociants, importers, distributors, and retailers-it becomes a little complicated, really quickly.

This article by Wine Spectator talks about how the United State's largest purchasing and redistribution agent; Chateau & Estates, has left the market and how that has affected everybody involved.  They were owned by Diageo, a publicly traded spirits company, and the expense didn't seem to be something they could stomach during the economic crisis of 2008-present.  Here's some excerpts that I like and a link to the full article.

"It (Chateau & Estates) left a gaping hole in the U.S. market,” said Steve Wallace, of Wally’s Wines in Los Angeles, a major retailer.

More than a year later, the landscape for selling classified-growth Bordeaux in the United States has changed dramatically. New players have scrambled to fill that gaping hole.

Within a decade, (Ab) Simon turned Chateau & Estate into the leading source for classified growths. The New York Times wrote in 1988 that he was responsible for selling one out of every five bottles of the first-growths alone.

Chateau & Estate succeeded partially because it had Seagram’s extensive distribution network. It also had the capital to buy large amounts of Bordeaux futures, pay for them up front and then hold onto them. “It was the Ab Simon method,” said John Laird, a former senior vice president at the importer. “Sell one-third to the best retailers and restaurateurs, sell one-third to the rest, and then hold onto one-third.”

These quotes are from Wine Specator .com, Mitch Frank, March 28, 2011 see article HERE

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