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Bulk Wine and Grape Brokers

Bulk Wine Market Update

INTERIOR
Written by Marc Cuneo, Broker/Partner

As harvest gets under way bulk demand remains consistent for quality wines, primarily 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.   In the last few months Buyers have turned their focus from 2015 and 2014 wines to contracts for 2016 and beyond.  Recent sales of 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon have been in the $6.50 to $8 per gallon range.   Recent sales of 2015 Interior Pinot Noir lots have been in the $7 to $8.50 per gallon range.

Interior Chardonnay demand is moderate, which is an improvement and supply actively for sale is moderate.

Sellers would like to clear out tanks of the remaining gallons of older vintage Merlot, Zinfandel, or older style blenders, but those wines are competing directly with newer available gallons of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot, which are preferred for adding color and intensity to a blend. There continues to be very little bulk demand for dry red or dry white programs at the super value bottle price point.

NORTH COAST
Written by Steve Robertson, Broker/Partner

We have seen the usual Summer slowdown in the bulk market in the last few weeks due to vacations, wine makers preparing for harvest, and we are also seeing a slow down in the market due to higher asking prices.  In Napa Valley, supply of 2014 and 2015 wines continue to become available and asking prices continue to escalate.  As they have escalated more buyers hold off purchases.  Recent sales of 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines have been in the $40 per gallon range and reserve quality or sub appellation have been in the $55 to $65 per gallon range.  There are very few gallons of Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon available and demand continues to exceed supply.   Recent sales have been in the $25 to $30 per gallon range.

Lake County and Mendocino County Cabernet Sauvignon volume actively for sale is down and recent sales are consistently in the $18 to $20 per gallon range.  Demand for dark red blenders in the North Coast has slowed as a result of blends being completed and bottled and wineries focusing on harvest. In summary, buyers of North Coast wines have seemed to slow purchases or increased the search for wines from other regions due to higher asking prices.

Pinot Noir in Sonoma County continues to sell quickly when available and priced right.  Asking prices have increased, but buyers remain conservative in chasing Pinot Noir at a high price vs. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  Supply remains limited.

CENTRAL COAST
Written by William Goebel, Broker

Activity remains steady in the Central Coast for 2015 and 2014 bulk red wines, but continues to be slower for the whites. Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be a focus for most buyers, but limited availability and asking prices above $20 per gallon continue to hold the market back.  Buyers are also actively sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon in other regions and have increased their focus to contracts for 2016 wines.  Merlot demand remains soft for varietal programs and buyers interest has been directed toward darker red varieties from the Central Coast and Northern Interior such as Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Malbec.  Some good Merlot opportunities are available.

We have moved Central Coast 2015 Chardonnay in the last few weeks for deals priced below $10 per gallon.

In a change from a few months ago there are some good opportunities for 2015 and 2014 Central Coast Pinot Noir.

OREGON and WASHINGTON
Written by Neil Koch, Broker

After coming off large back to back crops, Oregon has continued to have excess 2015 Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio. With limited tank space available, many wineries are motivated to move their additional wines before the 2016 harvest begins. Due to these factors, an opportunistic winery outside of Oregon could take advantage of the market conditions. Truckload volumes of Willamette Pinot Noir have moved in the $12 to $15 per gallon range.

We have some Washington clients offering contracts on 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah with the ability to increase volumes in 2017.

IN SUMMARY…

The markets are dynamic and every client has a different need, so please call and talk to your Turrentine Broker to get an update on the dynamics that are most important to you.  With our broad base of understanding and experience in the market, Turrentine Brokerage will come up with creative ways to help you, even in challenging markets.