Even the most prestigious and prized winery in the world is suffering "technical" problems. Originally scheduled to arrive to US clients in October 2017, the eagerly awaited 2014 Ch. Petrus was MIA for months. In November, the winery recalled all of the wine that had set sail around the world back to Bordeaux. At first, delivery was expected in January 2018, then April 2018. Well, it's May and the wine has yet to depart Bordeaux. As the highly regarded 2015s are arriving, what is happening with the prima donna of Pomerol? A letter from winemaker and general manager Olivier Berrouet states, "We have since detected an imperfection due to a technical error made by one of our suppliers which can lead to the front label coming detached." In an effort to better understand, we asked a label printer in California what could possibly lead to the front label coming off. The answer was, "cheap glue."
Given that 2014 Petrus is currently trading around $2500/btl, I wondered how much is the "expensive glue?"
Answer, "permanent adhesive on basic labels is about .10/label."
Wow. You would think Petrus had a better supplier and the oversight to have caught this problem at the bottling line.
In an age of fake bottles penetrating the market, it seems as though Chateau Petrus has made the right decision to recall the wine. But, at what cost? How will the wines that have traveled around the world and back to Bordeaux be handled and endure the long voyage? And, what about folks who purchased this wine years ago in advance of the arrival? I hope the winery will reward our patience because this is, as the Brits would say, "bollocks."