State of Play – Wine Retail

The New World Wine Awards for 2015 have been judged and the Top 50 wines are now available in all New World stores. I am interested to see where wine prices are heading on an ongoing basis.

I have chosen Sauvignon Blanc as a case study for the purposes of this post. The 2015 Awards list 9 Gold medal wines in the Sauvignon Blanc class. The prices for these wines range from $9.89 per bottle to $14.89 per bottle retail. In other words, all under $15.

The trophy wine and 2 other Gold medal Sauvignon Blanc wines are from the 2015 vintage. The other 6 Gold medal Sauvignon Blanc wines are all from the 2014 vintage. The 2015 vintage saw a reduced harvest from that of 2014, so that there could be a shortage of this particular wine on the domestic market further down the track. Added to that, Bob Campbell MW is waxing lyrical over the  outstanding quality of the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc wines tasted to date.

It has clearly reached a point where even the best wines from top vintages are being regularly down- graded in price to ensure volume sales. A comparison with the 2013 New World Wine Awards shows that only 2  of the Gold medal Sauvignon Blanc wines were under $15 per bottle. The remaining 9 Gold medal Sauvignon Blanc wines ( all from the 2012 or 2013 vintages ) were in the $15 to $20 + price ranges.

It appears that the race to the bottom in wine retail is well and truly on…


BARRY JOHNS ( aka Le Vigneron )