Why A Famous Market Strategist Can No Longer Afford His Favourite French Wine

Raymond James’ Jeff Saut loves him some Burgundy wine.

The market strategist is a longtime connoisseur, and his favourite French bottle is La Tâche, a rare French Burgundy.

“I used to buy them in the 80s, for 6…7…800 dollars,” Saut told Business Insider. So imagine his surprise when he went into Morrell wine shop in Manhattan (for an interview with Bloomberg Radio), and saw that his old favourite is retailing for $US5,000.

Morrell only had one bottle, a 2010 vintage, and Saut says the salesperson told him the price was so high because “the Chinese are buying up a lot of really high-end, First Growth wine.”

Saut says he switched to Pinot Noir, the less-tasty American rendition of France’s Burgundy, once prices starting going up in the 1990s. But $US5,000 was just beyond belief.

The phenomenon has been around for some time. Chinese wine consumption has doubled twice in the last 5 years, according to Morgan Stanley. By 2016, China is set to become the world’s largest global wine consumer.

Rising exports to China has Burgundy lovers clamoring to get their hands on bottles — and paying a premium price to do so, as the New York Times reported last year. Plus, it hasn’t helped that Burgundy harvests in particular have had a rough few years.

“La Tâche is arguably my favourite in the world, but I’m not paying 5 grand for it,” Saut said. “Evidently the Chinese are.”

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