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           Sydney Time



   Copyright © Ric Einstein 2009





Grange 2004 CommethÖ(22 April)


The release of the iconic Penfolds labels is always eagerly awaited and this year will be no different. If anything, despite the tough economic climate, demand for Grange should still be strong.


Over the years, the profile of Grange buyers has changed. It used to be an affordable wine that was purchased by Ďdevotedí wine lovers to drink, costing not much more, in percentage terms, than say Bin 389.  It may have been about 50% more. Over the years, the price rose gently at first, and then rocketed to the point that it is now about ten times the cost of Bin 389.


Gone are the days at average wine buyers like me can afford it, but this is not about me, itís about those wishing to buy Grange now. Itís keenly sought by those with deep pockets, those wishing to have a flutter or investment, and those who buy it as a special gift for someone else. Itís the first two groups that my comments are addressed to, because the third, in most cases donít know the difference between a 1993 and a 1996 in terms of quality.


According to Chris Snow, in this article, the 2004 Grange is tipped to be one of the all time greats. That sort of advanced publicity can only ratchet up demand when the wine is released on 1 May.


All savvy Grange buyers are aware that the best time to buy it is on release. Firstly, in theory, you donít miss out, and secondly, the prices are at their sharpest. The choice of words ďin theoryĒ in relation to missing out, was absolutely deliberate!


Every year there are some unscrupulous retailer/e-tailers out there that cash in on the year's Grange release. Already one Melbourne retailer, and another in Sydney, is offering Grange for sale at near cost price. Like all retailers, their allocated supply will be limited and it is extremely doubtful, as history has shown that they will be able to fulfil all their customer orders.


This results in two problems. Firstly, some customers will be pretty upset when they miss out at the quoted price. Secondly, it creates a problem in the market for other retailers by setting a false expectation of the market price. Consumers think, well XYZ was selling it for $D00 so ABC is ripping me off by wanting $D00 plus $80.

According to one retailer, ďThe thing that pisses me off is that this has been going on for years and these guys have no problem with looking bad and then doing it yet again the following year.Ē

All's fair in love, war and wine retailing, but if you are intending in buying Grange, go to a reputable retailer, or the deal that looks too good to be true, may turn out to be exactly that!


Feel free to submit your comments!

From: Fred Curtis: Thursday 23 March

Small error oin your percentage terms: even going back to late 1960ís Grange was about double the price of bin 389 (of course in about 1966/7 that meant $8 to just under $4 !!)Ö

 Copyright © Ric Einstein 2009