Don't get me wrong. If you offered me a glass of Domaine Romanee Conti you'd be in danger of losing your arm.
I love Burgundy and have done for many years but it's just got so expensive I can't afford to buy good ones anymore. I drink a lot of New Zealand Pinot Noir, in fact it is almost the only red wine I drink nowadays but it's not the same as the sinuous, silky and lengthy Burgundies I've drunk.
Burgundies have always been expensive. This is because it is a relatively small delimited area with some producers making only a few hundred cases of wine, not the thousands and hundreds of thousands made by producers in larger areas.
There was a point where Burgundy, while still affordable, wasn't representing good value for money. This was in the late '70's when after a few generations of intensive fertilisation and 'over-farming' the crops were too large and the soil was being stretched. This was remedied a couple of decades later but just when quality came up to match and in some cases exceed the price, disaster happened.
It wasn't the Americans this time. They'd 'discovered' Bordeaux wines in the 1980's and first pushed the price of the top wines through the roof, only later to be followed by the Chinese.
No, it was the Chinese with Hong Kong buyers
This week there was news of Henry Tang (Hong Kong billionaire who wanted to be Hong Kong Chief Executive)'s Burgundy collection fetching over USD 6 million at auction. Now, even though a few of the lots have been under suspicion as being possible fakes, this will undoubtedly set new record prices for Burgundy in Hong Kong and mainland China.
Probably in the future the only chance I'll have of drinking or even tasting Domaine Romanee Conti again is to sell up the house and all of our possessions and spend the proceeds on DRC and other top burgundies while living rough on Queen Street.