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Burgundy price differences ‘ridiculously wide’

The price difference between Burgundy’s great wines of the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits was declared “ridiculously wide” by Guillaume d’Angerville last week.

Guillaume d’Angerville
Former Paris banker Guillaume d’Angerville took over the domaine following the sudden death of his father in 2003

During the London-launch of the 2014 vintage from the Domaine Marquis d’Angerville on 16 March, Guillaume, who owns and runs the property in the Côte de Beaune’s Volnay, said that he couldn’t see why red wines from northern part of the Côte d’Or, the Côte de Nuits, should be so much more expensive than those from the south, where his domaine in located.

When asked about the relative pricing between top wines from Volnay in the Côte de Beaune versus others from villages in the Côte de Nuits, such as Vosne-Romanée, he commented, “I think that the gap in price between the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits is ridiculously wide, and I feel quite strongly that Volnay wines compare extremely well with wines that are two to three times as expensive; some village level wines of the Côte de Nuits are priced more than a premier cru of Volnay, which is ridiculous.”

Considering reasons for this gap, Guillaume suggested that fashion may be partly to blame, while, for Volnay specifically, he said he thought that the appellation could be less well known because it is “a small village even by Burgundian standards”, with only 110 hectares of vineyards.

Despite a lower level of awareness for Volnay compared to villages of the Côte de Nuits – such as Vosne Romanée, Gevry Chambertin or Chambolle Musigny – Guillaume stressed that the Domaine Marquis d’Angerville still has “less wine than we can sell”.

He also said that he predicts an increasing interest in Volnay. “Volnay is a unique village in the Côte de Beaune and I think its day will come… and the average quality has gone up a great deal in one generation.”

Furthermore, he said that the graceful style of Pinot produced in Volnay was on trend with current consumer tastes.

“I think the style is perfectly in sink with the period: people are looking for exactly the type of wines we are making in Volnay – wines that are elegant, pure and very delicate.”

Summing up, he said that Volnay “is not very good at marketing itself,” before adding, “But that does protect us from speculation”.

Following Guillaume’s comments, db contacted Liv-ex, the global marketplace for fine wine, to see whether the Côte de Beaune was significantly cheaper than the Côte de Nuits.

Liv-ex director Anthony Maxwell said that Guillaume was loosely correct, but noted that the price differential was more marked between villages, than it was between the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits.

Indeed, he said that wines from Nuits St Georges in the Côte de Nuits weren’t anywhere near as expensive as those from Vosne-Romanée, even though it is the neighbouring village.

Concerning Volnay in particular, he said that it was “a bit more niche” and not as well known as Gevry, Chambolle or Vosne-Romanée, but added that price differentials were “grower dependent”, pointing out that Volnays from Domaine Leroy or Coche-Dury “do trade at punchy prices” (although he also said that these two producers were “outlyers: no matter where they make wine they sell at high prices”).

Suggesting reasons for Volnay’s relative lower pricing compared to certain villages in the Côte de Nuits, Maxwell said that the absence of grands crus in Volnay may be affecting its overall perception of quality, while he also said that it could be possible that Volnay’s large number of monopoles makes it a hard place to benchmark.

Whatever the reasons, he shared some Liv-ex current trading prices (by the case) with db to show the gap – or not – between Volnay and other villages in the Côte de Nuits.

2012 comparison – Volnay and Chambolle-Musigny premier crus:

• Domaine Marquis d’Angerville, Champans, Volnay Premier Cru, 2012 = £800
• Serafin Pere & Fils, Les Baudes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru, 2012 = £800

2010 comparison – Volnay, Chambolle-Musigny and Musigny:

• Domaine Marquis d’Angerville, Clos des Ducs, Volnay Premier Cru, 2010 = £1800
• Domaine Robert Groffier, Les Amoureuses, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru, 2010 = £2,500
• Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier, Musigny Grand Cru, 2010 = £48,000

Domaine Marquis d`Angerville consists of 13.5 hectares of biodynamically-farmed vineyards, including plots in eight Volnay premier crus and smaller holdings in Pommard and Meursault. The domaine is best known for its historic 2.90ha monopole of Clos Des Ducs in Volnay.

 

 

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