Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bordeaux 2008: Futures VS. Liquor Board

The ordering of Bordeaux Futures, the practice of purchasing wine still in barrel and two years prior to release, gives one a limited, yet, intriguing insight into the complex and sometimes comical world of government regulations imposed on liquor and wine procurement in the province of British Columbia.

There are no guarantees when purchasing Futures. The wine, which, unless you're an international critic or a diligent wine merchant, you've never tasted, is bought and paid for based on the tasting notes of others or with a collection in mind. Some may say for "investment", but since it's illegal for consumers in BC to resell their collections, any investment "worth" is essentially, incalculable.

When you receive your wine you won't know if it's as good as advertised until you actually open and try a bottle, which for some wines will be unlikely for many years, if ever, due to the collectible nature of Bordeaux and the personal (or perceived) sense of pride that accompanies a collection of any kind.

It's a game. A fun game for some, which should be treated with the same degree (or lack there of) of importance associated to any elective pastime.

If, it's a game as I've suggested, then with whom are you competing? The BC Liquor Distribution Board. Which, with their formidable size (bureaucracy) and unpredictable moves (right to change prices on a whim), provides a worthy opponent.

How did Futures fare in 2008? You be the judge.

We purchased the following wines via Marquis Wine Cellars' annual Bordeaux Futures offering. First amount is the Futures price from Marquis and the (bracketed) figure is the current BCLDB price as part of this weekend's release event.

Château Calon-Segur $90 ($78)
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou $200 ($199)
Château Leoville-Barton $100 ($98)
Château Montrose $150 ($159)
Château Pavie Macquin $95 ($98)
Château Pontet-Canet $140 ($188)
Vieux Château Certan $130 ($150)

Where we scored highest in 2008 was with the Pontet-Canet and the VCC whose brands have both risen dramatically in recent years and for which the current price could be attributable. As I said above, there are no guarantees.

Did we destroy our opponent? No. Worth a victory lap? No, but I do feel like a winner for 2008 and I've enjoyed playing the game. How will 2009 and 2010 go? It's anybody's guess.
  -  Liam Carrier ©copyright 2011 IconWines.ca

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