Investment in expensive 'Irish' clarets turns sour
The mandarins whose job it is to entertain foreign dignitaries on our behalf have decided to cut back on their expenditure on wines, which means they now have wines to sell, wines now deemed too posh and too expensive to serve guests in these austere times.
I know of only three wines they are intending to sell: Chateau Lynch Bages, 1998; Chateau Leoville Barton, 1997; and Chateau Kirwan, 2000.
These are all Grands Crus of clarets, and fine wines, but all three have Irish connections. The Bartons, the Lynches and the Kirwans were all part of the Irish diaspora to Bordeaux, so serving their wines at state dinners is about as close as we can get to serving Irish wine.
Normally anyone who buys classed growth clarets can expect to make a good return on their investment, or at least watch them hold their value.
The Lynch Bages was bought for €58. If it goes to auction it can expect to make around €65. That's a profit, but only just.
The Leoville Barton, 1997, was €75, but it can be bought from various UK merchants at around €50. At a recent auction in Germany it made €60 a bottle.
Lastly, the Chateau Kirwan, 2000, was €65. It's retailing in the UK between €50 and €60, so there may be no profit there either.
I have no idea when the wines were bought, but at first sight it looks as though too much was paid for them. But then, isn't that what you'd expect?