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January 18, 2008


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Lenn: "starting to price their way out" or already have?
Not many years ago I remember picking up a split case of the Main Road Red and Main Road White for just over $100. That same case today would be over $200 (after tax).
Maybe the North Fork needs a high end flagship to push forward, but I miss the old Bedell a bit.


Bedell is clearly positioning themselves as a high-end, boutique producer...at least from a price standpoint. I'm not crazy about the pricing either, because it makes it much harder for me to drink Bedell wines with much regularity, but the proof is in the juice. If it's good enough, people will buy it.

Unfortunately, they probably aren't going to be a very approachable winery for the younger crowd who is just getting into wine anymore. At Bedell (Corey Creek, their sister winery still has some affordable wines), the only wines priced under $30 are the Main Road Red and Main Road White, since the $25 merlot is sold out.

It seems like a lot of wineries (Macari comes to mind as well) have started making these pricey blends lately. Taking advantage of the good 2005 year I guess. There are very good wines available for $35-$45 though. Not sure I'd pay the $20 extra for this one.

This almost seems inevitable. Consider the recent "high-price is perceived as better" research that got so much play the past week, add the fact that we live in a celebrity-dominated culture, and that the current owners of Bedell are in the movie business, and I think this is probably just one step in the race to the top of the price heap.
While, as a wine consumer, I don't like to see this, it makes perfect business sense for the wineries.
What would be great is if they use these high-end prestige labels to support lower-priced, but still good quality, wines that will help create an everyday wine culture in the US. The current weak dollar situation gives American winemakers the opportunity to do this. How will they respond?

Just a few thoughts about this wine, its price and your comments.

Number one-I'm glad to see that what Bedell obviously considers one of their top wines is a Merlot. I'll be interested to see if they release a Cab Sauv dominated blend from '05, and what they price it at.

Number two-As you yourself have argued many times, LI wines are not overpriced (or even particularly high priced), when compared to wines grown and vinified with similar practices in other areas of the world. Bedell has invested heavily in equipment, manpower and yield reduction to try and produce the elusive "world class wines". If the product deserves it, why shouldn't they charge a commensurate price?

Which brings us to number three-I'm very surprised, Lenn, that you would make a judgement like "Not sure I'd pay the $20 extra for this one." WITHOUT EVEN TASTING IT!!!!

Guess you're just jealous of the Giants! Go Big Blue!


Thanks, as always, for your comments.

You're right...I haven't tasted it yet, which is why I said "I'm not sure..." :) They have invested heavily in all aspects of their operation, but I think they may (MAY!) be passing the costs of those investments on to the consumer a little too quickly without showing that the wines deserve it. Like I said in the post, time will tell. Trent tells me that when I taste this wine, I'll be on board and find it a good value.

And I DO say that Long Island wines aren't overpriced, because in general I don't think that they are. But, that doesn't mean that some are, right?

I should have this wine in hand this week...so I'll be tasting it soon.

AND I'M ABSOLUTELY JEALOUS...but will be pulling for the Giants tonight.

Cheers...when can I look forward to tasting some McCall reds?

Tasted Musee yesterday.

It was delicious.

So I bought three bottles without asking what the price was.

Did you see Asimov's column today?

As for the McCall wines......I'll get back to you on that ;>)

I just think it's funny that they're charging an extra $10 for the wood case. Having tasted only the Bedell Tate Red, and thinking it was OK (but not wanting to pay the price for *that*), the Musee would have to absolutely blow me away for $65. I have my doubts...

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