The LA Times recently unearthed some interesting pieces of retro writing that show just how much the wine world has changed, especially when it comes o the impact on your wallet.
Columnist S. Irene Virbila wrote about how she came across some old newsletters from Kermit Lynch, a famed early importer of small French and Italian wine producers. Though you’d expect listed wine prices to have gone up since the late 1980s – inflation has raised prices about 150 percent since then – just how much they’ve increased really drives home how one importer’s approval can change the future of an entire winery.
Virbila cites examples like a 1978 Vietti Barolo “Rocche” that sold for just $9.95 in 1984 compared to current vintages that go for over $150 and a 1980 Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru “Valmur” that in 1982 went for $12.50 but now “is about $285 on release and almost impossible to get your hands on.” Her kicker is the 1980 Mas de Daumas Gassac, listed for just $5, which saw its 2011 vintage go for almost 12 times that much.
Of course, basic economics say that price is driven by demand, and it’s no surprise that undiscovered great wineries will increase prices after landing a passionate international audience. If there’s any moral here, it seems to be that wine leaders will be more rewarded than wine followers. Also that decisions are much easier to make in hindsight.
Still, since 2015 was the infamous Back to the Future: Part II year, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little fanaticizing about stealing Doc’s DeLorean not to grab a sports’ almanac, but to stock up on Chablis.
[h/t LA Times]