Left on the shelf

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 July, 2004, 12:00am

In response to what is being described as a crisis, the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB), which says the region is producing far more wine than it sells, has decided to warehouse some of the 2004 vintages until the market improves. According to The Guardian newspaper, this does not affect the region's famous classified growths such as Chateaux Margaux, Lafite Rothschild and Latour, which still demand top prices and whose yields cannot keep up with demand. The wines affected are the standard Appellation d'Originee Controlle Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur chateaux which make up most of the estimated 9,000 vineyards in the region. According to the article, there has been a price collapse on the AOC wines as demand has fallen. The decrease in sales has been caused by the French drinking less wine and overseas customers turning to wines from the New World. The crisis is regarded as so serious that some people involved are comparing it to the phylloxera plague that almost obliterated the industry in the 1860s.