Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

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YacobovE
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Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#1 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 12:12 pm

This Coche ‘17 release pricing is beyond absurd! $5,500 for ‘14 Corton Charlemagne and $2,750 for a ‘17 Hospice Corton rouge bottling.

Raveneau '17 release pricing is no better. $275 for Butteaux when the ex-cellar price is still only ~€30.

Maybe you get 10 shares of Tesla stock with each purchase and they forgot to mention it?



Edited to include Raveneau pricing.
Last edited by YacobovE on July 20th, 2020, 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#2 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » July 17th, 2020, 12:36 pm

I wonder how much of that is tariff.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#3 Post by BlaineRyanHunt » July 17th, 2020, 12:37 pm

I tend to find Kermit Lynch pricing pretty absurd, from bottom to top.

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#4 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 12:45 pm

My understanding is that Corton Charlemagne ex-cellar is under $500/bottle, so 25% tariff would represent no more than $125.

For context, they’re asking $850 for the ‘17 Enseigneres and I have a friend who bought that bottle at a merchant in Europe for 90 euros (implying that the ex-cellar on that is 40-50 euros max)
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#5 Post by Mark Golodetz » July 17th, 2020, 12:47 pm

My guess is that he is paying a fraction of that. It is a cash cow, and I suspect pays for other parts of his business.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#6 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 12:55 pm

Received some additional info that one of Coche's agents was selling 2014 Corton Charlemagne for 1,250 euro and 2017 Hospice Corton Rouge for 350 euros wholesale...so again domaine pricing would be substantially lower.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#7 Post by JonathanG » July 17th, 2020, 1:22 pm

Is that Kermit Lynch or K&L? assuming the former.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#8 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 1:24 pm

JonathanG wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 1:22 pm
Is that Kermit Lynch or K&L? assuming the former.
Kermit Lynch direct pricing
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#9 Post by Ethan Abraham » July 17th, 2020, 2:06 pm

If you want to vomit in your mouth read their IG post from two days ago about burgundy prices.

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#10 Post by Marc Hauser » July 17th, 2020, 2:43 pm

If they can find buyers, then I’d argue, no, they’re not out of their minds. I also suspect that they have some experience in reading the market and demand (to be clear, that last part is sarcastic).

Then again, New Coke.....
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#11 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 3:43 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 2:06 pm
If you want to vomit in your mouth read their IG post from two days ago about burgundy prices.
That feels like a purposefully timed post...”hey we’re about to be super greedy with Coche pricing, let’s preemptively explain that away”. I noticed the post had 279 likes, were all of those likes by Martin Shkreli from prison?

In the last 7 years the favorable on release price for Coche CC has increased ~650% (based on this $5,500 price) and DRC La Tache has increased ~67% over the same time period (again, the favorable first tranche pricing). Plenty of importers could raise their price on other marquee domaines to extract the last possible penny, but it screws over long term buyers and pisses people off. I get it if Coche is raising the price, but from everything I’ve heard, that’s not what’s happening.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#12 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » July 17th, 2020, 4:23 pm

Well, if you're struggling to shell out $60,000 for a nice case (after case discount) I guess it's time to admit you just can't AFFORD Coche Corton Charlemagne ;)!!
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#13 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 4:31 pm

Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 4:23 pm
Well, if you're struggling to shell out $60,000 for a nice case (after case discount) I guess it's time to admit you just can't AFFORD Coche Corton Charlemagne ;)!!
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#14 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » July 17th, 2020, 4:41 pm

YacobovE wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 4:31 pm
Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 4:23 pm
Well, if you're struggling to shell out $60,000 for a nice case (after case discount) I guess it's time to admit you just can't AFFORD Coche Corton Charlemagne ;)!!
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#15 Post by johnbonds » July 17th, 2020, 4:45 pm

Burgundy has fallen off the deep end price-wise. There's plenty of other great wine out there and always more to discover. Perhaps pull an Ivanka and "Find something new".

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#16 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » July 17th, 2020, 4:50 pm

johnbonds wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 4:45 pm
Burgundy has fallen off the deep end price-wise. There's plenty of other great wine out there and always more to discover. Perhaps pull an Ivanka and "Find something new".

champagne.gif
New? You have a substitute for GC burgundy?

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#17 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 5:03 pm

johnbonds wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 4:45 pm
Burgundy has fallen off the deep end price-wise. There's plenty of other great wine out there and always more to discover. Perhaps pull an Ivanka and "Find something new".

champagne.gif
We can debate whether burgundy prices are crazy all day long, but clearly the winner of greedy pricing goes to Kermit Lynch. I think KLWM can still survive without making 11x+ their cost on Coche CC. My understanding is no other importer is asking to make anywhere near that kind of margin, including the importers of DRC, Leroy, Rousseau, etc.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#18 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 17th, 2020, 5:21 pm

Why should Kermit Lynch subsidize your purchase of $5,000 wine below its market value? Why's he greedy for asking market price, but you're not greedy for wanting it below market price? Seems to me it was the old practice of selling it cheap and letting his customers make a quick buck flipping that belongs in the "losing his mind" category.

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#19 Post by PeterH » July 17th, 2020, 5:32 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 5:21 pm
Why should Kermit Lynch subsidize your purchase of $5,000 wine below its market value? Why's he greedy for asking market price, but you're not greedy for wanting it below market price? Seems to me it was the old practice of selling it cheap and letting his customers make a quick buck flipping that belongs in the "losing his mind" category.
So, you are suggesting that KLWM customers have lost their collective minds. I can go along with that. It works for the Kosta Brown question equally well. Kind of a Tulip Mania, with way too much money sloshing around to feed it.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#20 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 5:33 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 5:21 pm
Why should Kermit Lynch subsidize your purchase of $5,000 wine below its market value? Why's he greedy for asking market price, but you're not greedy for wanting it below market price? Seems to me it was the old practice of selling it cheap and letting his customers make a quick buck flipping that belongs in the "losing his mind" category.
Why should Coche sell it to KL for 500 euros or less—seems they’re subsidizing KL’s greed. I have so much to say in response to this ridiculous post, but instead, I’m going to go scream into my pillow
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#21 Post by Mark Golodetz » July 17th, 2020, 5:35 pm

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 4:50 pm
johnbonds wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 4:45 pm
Burgundy has fallen off the deep end price-wise. There's plenty of other great wine out there and always more to discover. Perhaps pull an Ivanka and "Find something new".

champagne.gif
New? You have a substitute for GC burgundy?
Yes, Bordeaux newhere
Seriously the pricing gap between greatest, great and very good continues to widen. I buy Trapet instead of Rousseau, and Rossignol Trapet when available. Premier Crus such from Pommard and Volnay are lovely, and still relatively affordable. Do I miss the Rousseau and Roumiers. Can’t say I do; my epiphanies were Clair Dau and Trapet.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#22 Post by Eric Michels » July 17th, 2020, 5:37 pm

I actually think that this would make a very interesting business school case study. We have a relatively highly regulated market with a middle-man (importer/distributor) mandated by law. For whatever reason, market dynamics in one market (the US) have resulted in pricing that far outstrips those in other markets. The producer must balance the seemingly obvious choice to raise wholesale prices and redistribute production capacity toward the US to capture the excess margin being retained by the middle-man while at the same time supporting other markets that seemingly don't support the high prices in order to maintain broad distribution and demand in case of market disruption (tariffs anyone?). The middle-man is incented to 'meet the market' without damaging their relationship with the producer. All-the-while, there would seem to be huge gray market opportunities if the geographic price differences referenced in the thread are real. Finally, whatever B-school professor writes this case up would seem to have an excellent shot at getting one of the many parties involved to open up a bottle in the name of a full understanding of the topic.

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#23 Post by RickieM » July 17th, 2020, 5:44 pm

I am curious, what is the source of that pricing? Is that from someone at KLWM? It isn't on their site which at that price and short supply I wouldn't expect it to be, but I am wondering if this price was given to you by one of their staff people.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#24 Post by Mel Knox » July 17th, 2020, 5:56 pm

I suppose this is why Asian housewives line up at the Louis Vuitton boutique in Paris. The company says, OK, if the price of X is 100 in Paris, then it's 120 in Tokyo, 130 in Beijing, 110 in New York etc. But there is no limit as to how many LV bags can be made, legally or by a family in Bangkok, whereas the Coche family doesn't make that much wine. If you have an allocation in France, you drink it.
Kermit used to sell handbags on Telegraph Avenue.He knows all about pricing strategy.

Until lately the Coche family hasn t shown much interest in this pricing question but now it seems they are on it.

Louis Vuitton and other luxury companies actually send agents around to tell housewives not to let their hubbies buy fake versions of their products. A friend of mine s wife loved this gym bag he showed me at the boutique in SF...$6000...beautiful bag, green leather outside, red leather outside. $200 perfect rendition in Bangkok. His wife would n't let him buy the cheap version...morally wrong. The woman he showed us the bag...her husband worked for Kermit...hmmmm
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#25 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 6:14 pm

RickieM wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 5:44 pm
I am curious, what is the source of that pricing? Is that from someone at KLWM? It isn't on their site which at that price and short supply I wouldn't expect it to be, but I am wondering if this price was given to you by one of their staff people.
Email offer by KLWM that gets sent out every year to the regular buyers of this stuff
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#26 Post by RickieM » July 17th, 2020, 7:53 pm

YacobovE wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 6:14 pm
RickieM wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 5:44 pm
I am curious, what is the source of that pricing? Is that from someone at KLWM? It isn't on their site which at that price and short supply I wouldn't expect it to be, but I am wondering if this price was given to you by one of their staff people.
Email offer by KLWM that gets sent out every year to the regular buyers of this stuff

Thank you. Wow, that's a high tariff to remain a regular buyer!
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#27 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 17th, 2020, 8:01 pm

YacobovE wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 5:33 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 5:21 pm
Why should Kermit Lynch subsidize your purchase of $5,000 wine below its market value? Why's he greedy for asking market price, but you're not greedy for wanting it below market price? Seems to me it was the old practice of selling it cheap and letting his customers make a quick buck flipping that belongs in the "losing his mind" category.
Why should Coche sell it to KL for 500 euros or less—seems they’re subsidizing KL’s greed. I have so much to say in response to this ridiculous post, but instead, I’m going to go scream into my pillow
Correct. It doesn't make much sense for Coche to sell so cheap - maybe he's feeling generous towards people like Kermit who supported him before he struck gold. Instead of screaming into your pillow, why don't you collect your thoughts and explain what's so ridiculous?

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#28 Post by Greg K » July 17th, 2020, 8:30 pm

I’m confused. Is anyone being forced to buy at these prices? That would indeed be unfair.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#29 Post by YacobovE » July 17th, 2020, 8:50 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 8:01 pm
Correct. It doesn't make much sense for Coche to sell so cheap - maybe he's feeling generous towards people like Kermit who supported him before he struck gold. Instead of screaming into your pillow, why don't you collect your thoughts and explain what's so ridiculous?
Okay, I'm going to remove the pillow just long enough to get this out...I wouldn’t have a problem with the price if Coche was leading the price increases. But KLWM is choosing to mark up 11-12X, and Coche isn’t reaping the rewards. I've bought Kermit for many years. They are heavy handed in “asking” you to buy large numbers of other Kermit wines in order to get access to Coche and Raveneau. For years they have told people, if you’re loyal, you buy our products every year, we reward you. The retailers I’ve bought them through tell me they're asked the same thing from KLWM. By the way I’ve never sold a bottle of Coche or Raveneau.

Funny enough I’ve actually received multiple messages from people in the wine industry after creating the thread who preferred not to post themselves. One wrote: “They are not following the market, this is not like DRC where the market drove the price. Now it is Kermit driving the price themselves, and it is an open secret that they are alienating customers. Over the last few years I have heard from many people on both sides of the Atlantic, who’ve become both stunned and disgusted at the prices Kermit Lynch is now asking for these wines. They also continue to ask stores and their own retail customers to buy broadly, though Kermit has now eliminated the potential profit that stores formally were able to make from these wines that justified the extra purchases. The prices Kermit Lynch is asking are now so high that many stores still have past year's Coche on the website, because the price is too high, and over market. That would never have happened in years past. And they are doing this so they can make more than 1,000% markup. If you looked at the Corton Hospice price they are selling, you would most likely see they purchased the barrel for very little, and paid Coche a nominal fee."

The bottom line is Kermit has asked for loyalty from their customers for decades, and specifically asked their customers to buy broadly of Kermit wines, telling them they would get “reasonable” prices on their favorite wines like Raveneau and Coche, allowing loyal wine customers to purchase them even if they weren’t extremely wealthy. Coche keeps their prices low to allow their historic customers, such as friends and neighbors and businesses in Burgundy, to continue to afford the wine. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants used to follow that same lead, giving customers that supported them for years the same consideration, but no longer. Now, Kermit Lynch is firmly telling their historic, long-term customers, stores and restaurants they couldn’t care less about them. Kermit is deciding these wines should only be for the uber-wealthy…and again Kermit Lynch is doing that not Coche…and they don’t have to do this to still earn a ridiculous profit. Also, you keep mentioning Kermit directly, he isn’t the one driving these decisions and hasn’t been involved in these types of decisions for years (when I say Kermit I mean KLWM), same applies to Coche (where Raphael is driving the decisions now).

Welp, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this game of devil’s advocate (based solely on this interaction, I'm going to guess you were rooting for the Russian hockey team at the 1980 Olympics...sorry for your loss).
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#30 Post by Greg K » July 17th, 2020, 9:08 pm

If you think Kermit is treating the customers unfairly, there’s a simple solution - don’t buy. Seems straightforward to me. I’ve had very little Coche. When I have, it’s been very good. It’s not work these prices. So I don’t buy it. If Kermit has raises prices too high, the market will stop buying it too. If not...perhaps the prices aren’t too high!
Also, you do realize that the Soviet hockey team in 1980 were the socialists, yes?
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#31 Post by Andrew K. » July 17th, 2020, 9:26 pm

Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 4:23 pm
Well, if you're struggling to shell out $60,000 for a nice case (after case discount) I guess it's time to admit you just can't AFFORD Coche Corton Charlemagne ;)!!
rolleyes

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#32 Post by Andrew K. » July 17th, 2020, 9:30 pm

KLWM is doing the same stuff with Roulot. The retailers I know are disgusted by their shameless ploy to drastically reduce long time customers' allocations until they start buying tons of other overpriced offerings they're peddling. There's smart, fair business and there's slimy business and they have dived into the deep end.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#33 Post by jbray23 » July 17th, 2020, 10:20 pm

I’m not standing up for Kermit here but I would’nt be surprised if this wasn’t coordinated effort of KM and Coche.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#34 Post by Justin Bonner » July 17th, 2020, 10:58 pm

I’m one of those said retailers who has seen the dramatic price increases via wholesale the last few years. Allemand Reynaud just went from $185 for the 2016 vintage to $250. Roulot was basically priced to auction on the last release and Raveneau was damn close. Clape wholesale prices now meet or exceed auction in comparison to better vintages. Needless to say, my support of the KL portfolio is nearing its end. Next we can talk about what Martines is doing to Dugat-Py, Claude Dugat and Rayas. Similar pricing strategy. Time to start taking your chances at auction.

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#35 Post by Mel Knox » July 17th, 2020, 11:35 pm

That Kermit should be in cahoots with Team Coche is an interesting one and who knows??

My thought is this: Team Kermit must know some really really rich wine nuts.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#36 Post by Martin Steinley » July 18th, 2020, 1:04 am

YacobovE wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 8:50 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 8:01 pm
Correct. It doesn't make much sense for Coche to sell so cheap - maybe he's feeling generous towards people like Kermit who supported him before he struck gold. Instead of screaming into your pillow, why don't you collect your thoughts and explain what's so ridiculous?
Okay, I'm going to remove the pillow just long enough to get this out...I wouldn’t have a problem with the price if Coche was leading the price increases. But KLWM is choosing to mark up 11-12X, and Coche isn’t reaping the rewards. I've bought Kermit for many years. They are heavy handed in “asking” you to buy large numbers of other Kermit wines in order to get access to Coche and Raveneau. For years they have told people, if you’re loyal, you buy our products every year, we reward you. The retailers I’ve bought them through tell me they're asked the same thing from KLWM. By the way I’ve never sold a bottle of Coche or Raveneau.

Funny enough I’ve actually received multiple messages from people in the wine industry after creating the thread who preferred not to post themselves. One wrote: “They are not following the market, this is not like DRC where the market drove the price. Now it is Kermit driving the price themselves, and it is an open secret that they are alienating customers. Over the last few years I have heard from many people on both sides of the Atlantic, who’ve become both stunned and disgusted at the prices Kermit Lynch is now asking for these wines. They also continue to ask stores and their own retail customers to buy broadly, though Kermit has now eliminated the potential profit that stores formally were able to make from these wines that justified the extra purchases. The prices Kermit Lynch is asking are now so high that many stores still have past year's Coche on the website, because the price is too high, and over market. That would never have happened in years past. And they are doing this so they can make more than 1,000% markup. If you looked at the Corton Hospice price they are selling, you would most likely see they purchased the barrel for very little, and paid Coche a nominal fee."

The bottom line is Kermit has asked for loyalty from their customers for decades, and specifically asked their customers to buy broadly of Kermit wines, telling them they would get “reasonable” prices on their favorite wines like Raveneau and Coche, allowing loyal wine customers to purchase them even if they weren’t extremely wealthy. Coche keeps their prices low to allow their historic customers, such as friends and neighbors and businesses in Burgundy, to continue to afford the wine. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants used to follow that same lead, giving customers that supported them for years the same consideration, but no longer. Now, Kermit Lynch is firmly telling their historic, long-term customers, stores and restaurants they couldn’t care less about them. Kermit is deciding these wines should only be for the uber-wealthy…and again Kermit Lynch is doing that not Coche…and they don’t have to do this to still earn a ridiculous profit. Also, you keep mentioning Kermit directly, he isn’t the one driving these decisions and hasn’t been involved in these types of decisions for years (when I say Kermit I mean KLWM), same applies to Coche (where Raphael is driving the decisions now).

Welp, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this game of devil’s advocate (based solely on this interaction, I'm going to guess you were rooting for the Russian hockey team at the 1980 Olympics...sorry for your loss).
This is no different than any other importer. If you support the importer's portfolio, you get access to the cherries. An importer, distributor or retailer can't operate a viable business any other way. I have no expectation of having access to an importer's cherries unless I am doing a lot of business with them.

From my experience, the market is driving the prices. I could sell my allocation ten times. There is no good reason for a retailer to be sitting on these wines. Kermit does not force Coche-Dury and the like on anyone, so a retailer can't complain if they can't sell them.

As mentioned up-thread, no one is forcing you or anyone else to buy Coche-Dury or anything else from Kermit Lynch. If you don't like the prices, don't buy the wines and stop bitching.

I am Canadian and was playing hockey at the University of Denver during the 1980 winter Olympics. I was rooting for the U.S. The Russians were so much better (as they were in the 1972 Summit Series with Canada, which Canada won only by resorting to goon tactics). The chances of the result were about one in a million. Although, I don't understand WTF that game has to do with anything here.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#37 Post by Robert Grenley » July 18th, 2020, 2:00 am

Perhaps I do not understand the business, but it seems to me that there is a difference between an internet or brick and mortar retailer wildly inflating the price to what the market will bear vs. the U.S. importer doing the same. The importer has been chosen to represent the producer and usually, as I understand it, has sole rights to bring that producer’s wines into the U.S. and determine what allocations are given to various distributors (or retailers, if they are also distributors) around the country. (In WA state, I believe, retailers cannot import directly and gets their allocation from a licensed distributor who in turn gets an allocation from the U.S. importer.)

If a retailer chooses to keep the cherries and auction them or sell them online at grossly inflated prices rather than allocate them to their long term valuable customers, and if the customers are unhappy with that, then the customer can shop elsewhere. If an importer/distributor marks wines up 1000%, it is not like the customer can shop elsewhere...at least in this country. It is my understanding that they hold a monopoly, of sorts, on selling those wines in the U.S.

Yes, I know, no one forces you to buy Coche or Raveneau (or Rousseau or DRC). And yes, I know, anyone can gouge pricing on any goods they distribute and make as much profit as they can get away with. But it does seem to me that there is a difference between retailers choosing between honoring their customers’ loyalty or gouging vs. the sole US. importer gouging.

But, ultimately, I am not losing sleep over it...screw Kermit.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#38 Post by Martin Steinley » July 18th, 2020, 9:39 am

Robert Grenley wrote:
July 18th, 2020, 2:00 am
Perhaps I do not understand the business, but it seems to me that there is a difference between an internet or brick and mortar retailer wildly inflating the price to what the market will bear vs. the U.S. importer doing the same. The importer has been chosen to represent the producer and usually, as I understand it, has sole rights to bring that producer’s wines into the U.S. and determine what allocations are given to various distributors (or retailers, if they are also distributors) around the country. (In WA state, I believe, retailers cannot import directly and gets their allocation from a licensed distributor who in turn gets an allocation from the U.S. importer.)

If a retailer chooses to keep the cherries and auction them or sell them online at grossly inflated prices rather than allocate them to their long term valuable customers, and if the customers are unhappy with that, then the customer can shop elsewhere. If an importer/distributor marks wines up 1000%, it is not like the customer can shop elsewhere...at least in this country. It is my understanding that they hold a monopoly, of sorts, on selling those wines in the U.S.

Yes, I know, no one forces you to buy Coche or Raveneau (or Rousseau or DRC). And yes, I know, anyone can gouge pricing on any goods they distribute and make as much profit as they can get away with. But it does seem to me that there is a difference between retailers choosing between honoring their customers’ loyalty or gouging vs. the sole US. importer gouging.

But, ultimately, I am not losing sleep over it...screw Kermit.
Right, perhaps you don't understand the business. If an importer is pricing wine too high, the grey market will take care of that. The Coche-Dury that I see coming in through the grey market are much more expensive wholesale than what Kermit offers. The prices to which the OP refers are those offered by Kermit Lynch direct from his Berkeley retail store. The wholesale prices that distributors and retailers to which Kermit sells wholesale direct in California are such that they can take even a generous margin and still be well below the prices offered by Kermit's retail store, and easily sell the wines. There are no consumers being hurt here, only some complaining that they cannot afford or prefer not to pay market for what has become a luxury product.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#39 Post by William Kelley » July 18th, 2020, 9:47 am

jbray23 wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 10:20 pm
I’m not standing up for Kermit here but I would’nt be surprised if this wasn’t coordinated effort of KM and Coche.
I would!
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#40 Post by Dave Nerland » July 18th, 2020, 9:49 am

Say what you want about KLWM. It will be interesting to see what prices retailers are selling the 2017 Coche. I passed on the Corton Charlemagne this year. But did request some of the other wines which I am sure will be lower than retail. Maybe not the grey market bottles, who knows. If you ever get the chance to go to the store in Berkeley, I recommend as it shows a remarkable selection of affordable wines for those who cannot afford Roulot, Raveneau etc. I remember when Dustin told me, you need to buy Arnaud Ente, before the price went really started to jump. My allocation really dropped last year (2017) as Will said KLWM allocation was considerably lower. Kermit has done a lot for the wine consumer in America bringing in affordable and some not affordable wines.

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#41 Post by Mike C. » July 18th, 2020, 9:53 am

Andrew K. wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 9:30 pm
KLWM is doing the same stuff with Roulot. The retailers I know are disgusted by their shameless ploy to drastically reduce long time customers' allocations until they start buying tons of other overpriced offerings they're peddling. There's smart, fair business and there's slimy business and they have dived into the deep end.
Grand Cru distributes Roulot too, so KLWM is not the sole source and doesn’t have as much influence on those wines.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#42 Post by Marshall Manning » July 18th, 2020, 10:58 am

Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 4:23 pm
Well, if you're struggling to shell out $60,000 for a nice case (after case discount) I guess it's time to admit you just can't AFFORD Coche Corton Charlemagne ;)!!
Yes, and you HAVE to buy a case or it's not worth it [stirthepothal.gif] .
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#43 Post by Marshall Manning » July 18th, 2020, 11:04 am

YacobovE wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 5:33 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 5:21 pm
Why should Kermit Lynch subsidize your purchase of $5,000 wine below its market value? Why's he greedy for asking market price, but you're not greedy for wanting it below market price? Seems to me it was the old practice of selling it cheap and letting his customers make a quick buck flipping that belongs in the "losing his mind" category.
Why should Coche sell it to KL for 500 euros or less—seems they’re subsidizing KL’s greed. I have so much to say in response to this ridiculous post, but instead, I’m going to go scream into my pillow
I'm not one, as a consumer, who likes any large increases, especially those that don't go to the winery (I have no idea what KLWM pays Coche). But, if you were selling a wine that could fetch $5K/bottle, would you say "Oh no, it only cost me $500, so I'll sell it to you for $750?" If so, I'll take all your old Coche, Clape, Verset, etc.[wow.gif]
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#44 Post by Marshall Manning » July 18th, 2020, 11:26 am

YacobovE wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 8:50 pm
Now, Kermit Lynch is firmly telling their historic, long-term customers, stores and restaurants they couldn’t care less about them. Kermit is deciding these wines should only be for the uber-wealthy…and again Kermit Lynch is doing that not Coche…and they don’t have to do this to still earn a ridiculous profit. Also, you keep mentioning Kermit directly, he isn’t the one driving these decisions and hasn’t been involved in these types of decisions for years (when I say Kermit I mean KLWM), same applies to Coche (where Raphael is driving the decisions now).
You're exactly right here. I love many of KLWM's wines (especially the older producers) and I consider KLWM the greatest American importer of my lifetime. But, I worked with them for about 8 years in distribution and they were doing the same thing to distributors at that time, and I imagine they still are. It's too bad, because their continued price increases turned off a lot of customers.

A funny story from around 2009 or so. We had ordered a few pallets of wine to be sent up from their Berkeley warehouse, and one of the pallets was a mistake. It was the entire US allocation of Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne. I called them to let them know of their error, and said we'd be happy to hold it for as long as they needed. The next morning one of their employees was waiting in our parking lot in a van to pick it up and give us the proper pallet. He drove straight from Portland to the Berkeley warehouse. That's how important those wines are to KLWM.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#45 Post by alan weinberg » July 18th, 2020, 2:27 pm

Marshall Manning wrote:
July 18th, 2020, 11:26 am
YacobovE wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 8:50 pm
Now, Kermit Lynch is firmly telling their historic, long-term customers, stores and restaurants they couldn’t care less about them. Kermit is deciding these wines should only be for the uber-wealthy…and again Kermit Lynch is doing that not Coche…and they don’t have to do this to still earn a ridiculous profit. Also, you keep mentioning Kermit directly, he isn’t the one driving these decisions and hasn’t been involved in these types of decisions for years (when I say Kermit I mean KLWM), same applies to Coche (where Raphael is driving the decisions now).
You're exactly right here. I love many of KLWM's wines (especially the older producers) and I consider KLWM the greatest American importer of my lifetime. But, I worked with them for about 8 years in distribution and they were doing the same thing to distributors at that time, and I imagine they still are. It's too bad, because their continued price increases turned off a lot of customers.

A funny story from around 2009 or so. We had ordered a few pallets of wine to be sent up from their Berkeley warehouse, and one of the pallets was a mistake. It was the entire US allocation of Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne. I called them to let them know of their error, and said we'd be happy to hold it for as long as they needed. The next morning one of their employees was waiting in our parking lot in a van to pick it up and give us the proper pallet. He drove straight from Portland to the Berkeley warehouse. That's how important those wines are to KLWM.
more than $1,000,000 of wine at $2000/b. I’d call that important! I’d bring an armed guard.

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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#46 Post by jbray23 » July 18th, 2020, 10:26 pm

Mike C. wrote:
July 18th, 2020, 9:53 am
Andrew K. wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 9:30 pm
KLWM is doing the same stuff with Roulot. The retailers I know are disgusted by their shameless ploy to drastically reduce long time customers' allocations until they start buying tons of other overpriced offerings they're peddling. There's smart, fair business and there's slimy business and they have dived into the deep end.
Grand Cru distributes Roulot too, so KLWM is not the sole source and doesn’t have as much influence on those wines.
They only are allowed to sell 3 wines outside of NY state, Kermit has the rest.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#47 Post by Eric Lundblad » July 18th, 2020, 10:29 pm

Looks like I'm glad I got KLWM's postcard that seemed to be offering Pizza (looks like a very good pizza!)...maybe all I could afford :)
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#48 Post by patrick c albright » July 19th, 2020, 5:57 am

Martin Steinley wrote:
July 18th, 2020, 9:39 am
Robert Grenley wrote:
July 18th, 2020, 2:00 am
Perhaps I do not understand the business, but it seems to me that there is a difference between an internet or brick and mortar retailer wildly inflating the price to what the market will bear vs. the U.S. importer doing the same. The importer has been chosen to represent the producer and usually, as I understand it, has sole rights to bring that producer’s wines into the U.S. and determine what allocations are given to various distributors (or retailers, if they are also distributors) around the country. (In WA state, I believe, retailers cannot import directly and gets their allocation from a licensed distributor who in turn gets an allocation from the U.S. importer.)

If a retailer chooses to keep the cherries and auction them or sell them online at grossly inflated prices rather than allocate them to their long term valuable customers, and if the customers are unhappy with that, then the customer can shop elsewhere. If an importer/distributor marks wines up 1000%, it is not like the customer can shop elsewhere...at least in this country. It is my understanding that they hold a monopoly, of sorts, on selling those wines in the U.S.

Yes, I know, no one forces you to buy Coche or Raveneau (or Rousseau or DRC). And yes, I know, anyone can gouge pricing on any goods they distribute and make as much profit as they can get away with. But it does seem to me that there is a difference between retailers choosing between honoring their customers’ loyalty or gouging vs. the sole US. importer gouging.

But, ultimately, I am not losing sleep over it...screw Kermit.
Right, perhaps you don't understand the business. If an importer is pricing wine too high, the grey market will take care of that. The Coche-Dury that I see coming in through the grey market are much more expensive wholesale than what Kermit offers. The prices to which the OP refers are those offered by Kermit Lynch direct from his Berkeley retail store. The wholesale prices that distributors and retailers to which Kermit sells wholesale direct in California are such that they can take even a generous margin and still be well below the prices offered by Kermit's retail store, and easily sell the wines. There are no consumers being hurt here, only some complaining that they cannot afford or prefer not to pay market for what has become a luxury product.
Not really accurate.

Kermit’s complaints to Thierry Allemand regarding UK merchants selling to US client’s severely impacted the supply of Allemand that was making its way here.

What is CA wholesale for 2014 CC - $4000?
You can make a “generous margin” on that??
That is a big number when you can drink the wine at plenty of restaurants in France for probably close to half that.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#49 Post by YacobovE » July 19th, 2020, 9:26 am

I know a few folks have chimed in with the general gist of their comments being two fold: 1) stop your bitching, if you’re angry about the price, don’t buy the wine & 2) KLWM can charge whatever they want and the market will determine whether that is the right price.

I largely agree with what you’re all saying with one caveat. I agree that I don’t have to buy and I won’t at these prices. I also agree that KLWM can charge whatever they want. I disagree that those who are annoyed, like myself, should stop bitching. Just as KLWM has a right to price gouge (which I believe they’re doing if the ex-cellar price info that was privately shared with me is true), we all have a right to publicize our displeasure and Coche & Raveneau have a right to change importers if they’re intent in selling wine at a super low price to KLWM isn’t so KLWM can make 8-12x their cost. That’s why I posted in the first place...in hopes that if producers aren’t aware of extreme price gouging by their exclusive US importer, they may become aware now.

If anyone has the contact info for Coche or Raveneau I encourage you to share a link to this thread or feel free to send me their contact info and I’ll happily pass it along.
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Re: Has KLWM Lost Their Collective Minds?

#50 Post by Marc Hauser » July 19th, 2020, 10:08 am

YacobovE wrote:
July 19th, 2020, 9:26 am
I know a few folks have chimed in with the general gist of their comments being two fold: 1) stop your bitching, if you’re angry about the price, don’t buy the wine & 2) KLWM can charge whatever they want and the market will determine whether that is the right price.

I largely agree with what you’re all saying with one caveat. I agree that I don’t have to buy and I won’t at these prices. I also agree that KLWM can charge whatever they want. I disagree that those who are annoyed, like myself, should stop bitching. Just as KLWM has a right to price gouge (which I believe they’re doing if the ex-cellar price info that was privately shared with me is true), we all have a right to publicize our displeasure and Coche & Raveneau have a right to change importers if they’re intent in selling wine at a super low price to KLWM isn’t so KLWM can make 8-12x their cost. That’s why I posted in the first place...in hopes that if producers aren’t aware of extreme price gouging by their exclusive US importer, they may become aware now.

If anyone has the contact info for Coche or Raveneau I encourage you to share a link to this thread or feel free to send me their contact info and I’ll happily pass it along.
That’s fair to be angry, and it’s fair to try to use this platform to be alerting other non-US producers, but to be fair to the rest of us, that wasn’t exactly the tone of your headline or initial post....
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