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February 24, 2009

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It's mind bending to see a $35 pinot from a winery that, from what I've seen, has $40 cab francs.

That would have to be considered a "best-buy" down there, lol.

Bryan,

Wineries have a wide range of reasons for charging in the $30 to $40 range. Red Newt just released two Gewurztraminers for more than $35; Wiemer has three single-vineyard Rieslings for more than $35. Those are just examples, and they fall in the category of charging more based on limited supply and an effort to price relative to quality.

I'm not suggesting it's "right" or "wrong," and certainly the market will determine whether those prices are in line. But are you saying it's out of line for a winery like Wolffer to charge $35?

Lenn, perhaps you can also address the cost issue, as you've spent time with these producers.

I've spent some time visiting Wolffer in my early days of L.I. tasting and remember being surprised at the cost of some of the wines.

Since pinot is often priced higher due to reduced yields and higher labor costs, the $35 price tag seems like a deal.

I'm not suggesting that it's right or wrong, just surprising that's all.

I wonder if Lenn was surprised...lol

Gentlemen, nothing surprises me when it comes to Long Island wine prices. We have wineries charging $20 for rose, multiple wines that are $80+ and very little worth drinking under $15.

That said, I consider this a very fair price. In fact, I believe that previous vintages of this wine have been $45 or even more.

There is a much larger post coming about this and it's something that I've touched on before, but there IS such a thing as value wines at every price point.

There are 2 reasons I still get Wine Spectator delivered to my house:
1) Matt Kramer's 1 page article each week
2) My father in law always gives it to me free as "friend membership" when he renews his.

What's this have to do with the current post? Well I also read Matt Kramer's post in the Oregonian newspaper. Check out his latest that tackles the very subject of price:

http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2009/02/expensive_wines_doesnt_always.html#more

PS: If you don't get WS and read Kramer, you are missing some great wine writing. He is the lone voice of reason in their entire magazine. He is the anti-WS writer right in the WS magazine.

Dave and Lenn,

I'm operating on the assumption that we all realize there is value in some high-priced wines. I hosted a tasting party at my house last year and the theme was Value -- and I opened a $50 bottle. In fact, if you love Amarone, one of the great values in the wine world is Quintarelli's Rosso del Bepi; at $125 it is about a third of the cost of his regular Amarone, and it's the same exact wine (it's simply sold under a different name when the exacting winemaker doesn't love the vintage).

So when I raise the issue of the cost per bottle at Wolffer or elsewhere, it should go without saying that I'm not averse to high-priced wines in relation to value. I'm just curious about how certain places arrive at certain price points.

Perhaps I could put together a post on how Dave Whiting, for example, arrived at the price point for his new single-vineyard Gewurztraminers. It was not arbitrary by any means, though often that kind of decision is indeed arbitrary.

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