French wine – Chateau Pavie. Are French wines worth the premium?

Posted: July 7, 2014 in wine
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The most affordable of the French Grand Cru is buying the off years where the critics don’t give it high marks.  It’s the only way I can afford to purchase a bottle.  This is my first and last time drinking fine French wine.  $900/bottle vs. $1500 starting point for a wonderful vintage (good year) with most at the $2k mark.  I don’t understand the market for French wines, is it a Giffen good or a Veblen good?

In China, they sell more expensive French wines than the wineries are able to produce.  Fake wines are abundant.  The weird thing about the Asia clientele is its not just Hong Kong and China that only care for French wines, Japan is quite similar as well.  If you plan to consume French wines on a regular basis, it’s best to purchase en primeur – buying the wine while it is still aging in the barrel.  With the fine French wines you would most likely let it sit in the cellar for another ten years before uncorking.  It makes no difference to buying the wine after the winery bottles it vs buying the wine before the winery bottles it; regardless, the wine will set in your cellar for another decade.  The wine lover may as well exploit the arbitrage opportunity that is currently available and buy en primeur.  En primeur only works for fine French wines.  I’m a avid drinker of Trader Joe’s 2 buck chuck and Costco’s Kirkland wines which I like to think are en primeur wines that are dumped onto the open market.

The Pavie tastes right.  It lacked the alcohol taste found in most new world wines and it had a lot of sediment in the bottom of the bottle.  I would probably drink again if it wasn’t such a giffen good and more affordable to the plights of the working man in HK.  It drinks similar to my wine purchases in the $300 range but not French origin.  The label, country of origin and other fine details make it worth 3X the cost?  What do you think?

I think Chateau Pavie is worth it, so long as I am not the one footing the bill.

 

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