Pricing and Availability for WS Top 10 Wines

A little less than 72 hours ago, the Wine Spectator announced its 2006 Top 100 List. Since then, prices have fluctuated for some of the list’s top ten wines, though not all of them. Most of these wines are still available as of this writing, though possibly in limited supply; two are not available online or from the winery. (However, you might get lucky if you know which restaurants still serve them.)

In the following list, the WS$ column shows the price listed in Monday’s announcement for each of the Top 10 winning wines. The Avg. $ column shows today’s average price based on a search of the inventory on winezap.com and wine-searcher.com.

Some of the price differences are staggering, others are negligible. Assuming demand is proportional to placement on the win list relative to all 100 wines on the list, then scarcity of supply may be the driving factor behind the current price.

Average prices since WS Top 100 announcement WS $ Avg. $
1. 2001 Casanova Di Neri Brunello Di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 70 64
2. 2003 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 85 282
3. 2003 Chateau Leoville Barton St. Julien 75 160
4. 2003 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Don Melchor 47 47.49
5. 2003 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reserve 70 79.99
6. 2003 Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes, 375ml 45 27.97
7. 2004 Kosta Browne Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 38 *
8. 2003 Kongsgaard Napa Valley Chardonnay 75 **
9. 2004 Brancaia Toscana Il Blu 70 75
10. 2004 Two Hands Shiraz Barossa Valley Bella’s Garden 50 62.65

Conclusion: by the time you read this, you probably won’t be able to find any of these wines, with the possible exception of auction houses such as winebid.com (see their current auction on the Casanova di Neri, for instance); no doubt prices will be higher there if there’s any inventory at all. Then again, if you’ve got your own inventory and want to dump some or all of it, you might just fetch a nice return on your investment here.

Gee, could that be the reasoning behind the judging of 13,500 wines?

*From the Kosta Browne website: Since our production is limited, we currently have a wait list, which is sorted chronologically by the person’s date of registration. As quality allows, we intend to increase production levels so that we can offer introductory allocations to those on our wait list in the order of wait list placement. We plan to announce our next Mailing List offering (our 2005 Appellation Wines) on February 6, 2007.

**From the Kongsgaard website: The wines are sold through an online mailing list offering in June of each year for shipment in October, and in fine restaurants around the world.

~winehiker

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7 thoughts on “Pricing and Availability for WS Top 10 Wines

  1. Tom, it pleases me to have sparked a post and an anecdote here from ya. You nailed it down nicely.

    Nice way, too, to start a weekend for which being thankful is key. Thankfully I didn’t have to offer any sexual favors! (Um, please see Tom’s post to understand my contextual meaning here….)
    Meanwhile, it appears there are currently 10 bottles of the presumably luscious 2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova available on winebid for (only) $120 bid, $125 ask, from 3 separate sellers, ending Sunday. If the name is any indication, I’m sure the wine is indeed a mouthful.

  2. What’s strange is that all of these wines have been available in the retail channel for months and months. I know we offered two-thirds or more of them at one point in email offers or on Vinfolio’s site. The power of ranking proves itself again!

  3. Steve, thank you for weighing in. One can almost envision a “Dow Jones Wine Index” in which prices might be swayed by the very same issues that move other markets: opinion, perception, announcements, and insider information. Oh, the pressure of being a wine judge!

  4. Winebid follow-up: the Kongsgaard Chard, of which there is only one bottle up for bid, is now at ASK:$390. The estimated range for this bottle is now suggested to be anywhere from $410 to $500. Bids close at 6pm PST this Sunday, 11/26/06. Good luck!

  5. With less than 2 hours to go in the auction, the Kongsgaard Chardonnay is still holding at $390 ask. Could saner minds be prevailing on the demand side?

    But wow — nearly four hundred bucks for a bottle of Chardonnay that probably won’t last 5 years. Wow.

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