Burgundy 2012: 70% down but prices won’t rise

11th January, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

While 2012 yields are down in Burgundy by as much as 70%, prices among many producers are not expected to rise significantly.

Meursault - one of Burgundy's many villages

Meursault – one of Burgundy’s many villages

Speaking to the drinks business at the Corney & Barrow Burgundy 2011 en primeur tasting at the Tower of London this week, Adele Matrot of Domaine Matrot in Meursault said: “Our 2012 yields were down by 70%, but we don’t envisage our prices going up by more than 10%.

“We put our prices up 10% for the 2011 vintage and I don’t think we’ll be able to put them up any higher than a further 10% next year – it’s a question of demand.

Matrot highlighted that the Burgundy model is very different to Bordeaux, with stiff competition from neighbouring properties, and an expectation to keep prices uniform.

“You have to follow the market and keep and eye on what everyone else is doing in terms of their prices. There’s more togetherness in Burgundy – save for the very top estates, we have to keep our prices in line,” she said.

“We’re having to be clever this year and not sell all of our stock so we’ve got something to sell next year as there’s going to be so little 2012 bottled,” she added.

China is starting to catch on to white Burgundy

China is starting to catch on to white Burgundy

Speaking of the 2011 vintage, Matrot was enthusiastic about the quality: “It’s a very expressive, forward vintage; the wines are drinking wonderfully already.”

Matrot also revealed that she is seeing the beginnings of an interest in white Burgundy in Asia.

“Japan is a very important market for us, and they are slowly starting to catch on in China.

“Right now the interest is very much centred around high-end hotel restaurants in Shanghai, like the Shangri-La and the Four Seasons.

“I think white Burgundy could do really well in China and Singapore because the minerality of the wines assuages the spices in Asian cuisine,” Matrot told db.

“The next step is for us as producers to go out and educate Chinese consumers about white Burgundy,” she added.

Meanwhile, Catherine Javillier of Domaine Patrick Javillier in Meursault, whose yields were down 50% in 2012, is equally optimistic about the opportunity in Asia for white Burgundy.

“China is just starting to catch on to our whites – it’s where Japan was 30 years ago.

“As you’d expect, they discovered our reds first, which will hopefully lead them to the whites. It will take some time, as Chinese consumers are still quite hung up on red Bordeaux at the moment,” she said.

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