January 19, 2007

1990 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches, Burgundy (Part Two)

I had a scare yesterday. It was one of those moments where you quietly freak-out to yourself. I was doing a little digging into this wine in preparation for writing Part II and came across a review of it. The reviewer was looking at a number of Burgundies from 1990, both red and white. He exclaimed that he did not see what the big deal was surrounding Clos des Mouches. He found it thin, uninviting and not worthy of further investigation. Uh... say what? My first thought was how I would break this to all of you... I mean, I'm trying to build a little tension here.

Then I scrolled down to the bottom of the page and saw the post date. November of 1998. HA! That was 10 years ago. I did a little more research and discovered that this was when this wine was smack dab in the middle of the aforementioned "dumb" period. Dumb periods are like minefields to wine collectors. You have to be checking all of the time to make sure you get maximum enjoyment out of your investment. Or, you could just be like Cat and I and drink the freaking wine when it suits you (but after checking around, natch...).

But then I started this blog and now have to DELIVER. What if the wine blows? What if the whole thing was just one big waste of our collective time? Well, we'll just have to wait and see as I'm not cracking the magnum until tomorrow.

I did get confirmation that the wine is killer and that now is a good time to drink it. Maybe not the "best" time, but "best" is theoretical and we are all about practical action over here. Also, as a result of the confirmation I wanted to do a financial break down of this wine for you:

Purchased in 1993 for $90.00
Lot sold at auction in 1995 for average of $56/bottle or $120 for a magnum
Retail price in 2000 averaged about $60/bottle or $140 for a magnum
Last price review in 2006 had bottles around $150 and a magnum holding at $325 (updated!)
Restaurants are listing 1990 Clos des Mouches for between $300 and $500/bottle and around $700-$1000 for a magnum (updated... did more research and found a chart on proper valuation validated by Robert Parker)

Magnums tend to command a premium. I'm not exactly sure why, but my guess is that it is because they are more limited in availability and tend to age better due to the additional volume. I'll check this out and tell you what I learn.

Anyway, $90 to $1000 (updated!) - not bad for just sitting around and yes, I understand that $1000 is a restaurant price... just be patient. Auctions and restaurants are the only places to now buy this wine. My associate said that it will probably begin to appreciate quickly over the next two years as more reviewers are beginning to assign it a "drink now" designation.

Here's the deal, though. We don't collect wine. We drink it. We have great wine around so we can share it with friends and family and the investment quality is purely academic to us. And yet, it is still fun to see how wine appreciates in value.

Will tomorrow's tasting be worth $1000 for the experience? Probably not. Will each glass taste like $100? I sure hope so. I once had a $100 glass of 1900 Madeira (on New Year's in 1999!) and I have to say, it was pretty damned good. I'll let you know how we make out here tomorrow, once the deed is done.

No comments: