While 2009 provided generous volumes, 2010 gave us incredibly miniscule yields. The differences in yields can at times account for 20-30% less wine in 2010 than in 2009.
While selling our 2009 wines direct yielded around 83 direct clients worldwide, 2010’s increased number of direct clients coupled with the majority of our production going to our former United Kingdom importer created a situation where our 2010s futures campaign was closed in under a month. The drop in the amount of wine that we produced meant that allocations were kept to a minimum, but the amount of orders tripled from the previous year.
While the 2009 allocation was being finalized, AOC Imports knew that the allocation of 2010s would be low, especially due to the low volumes in the vintage; they believed that the allocation would still provide for amounts that would be commercially viable. Due to the decreased amount of production as well as our methods of topping up barrels with marbles instead of using various other wines, it was difficult to know exactly what would be available until we bottled them. In many cases, the amount of wine that we had was not sufficient to fill the barrels. In these cases, several thousand marbles were used to complete the level inside of the barrel. In one case, Le Chambertin, the second barrel (out of two) was completed with literally over 7,000 marbles. Having recently bottled the 2010s it has become a disappointing reality to see just how much space inside of our barrels that the marbles actually took up. The result is having an allocation for AOC Imports that leaves a miniscule amount of 2010s, only useful for promotional purposes. To be sure, while this process is one that I believe to be the best solution for topping up, it does come with the unfortunate loss in available wines once the barrel is emptied at bottling.
This of course isn’t the greatest of news, and I sincerely apologize for this disappointment. However, I do have important news regarding allocations moving forward. AOC Imports of Los Angeles, California is now our only importer in the world and will be given a significant allocation of our wines to be made available at the retail level at such outlets as Woodland Hills Wine Merchants.
Our intentions are to place wines with those that have supported us in the past and continue to do so. The better news is that I personally feel that the 2011 vintage is quite similar to 2010. One last bit of news is that in 2011 we added a few new grape sources including our third Grand Cru, Mazoyères-Chambertin (located next to the road separating it from Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru, not in the flat lands by the RN74). Also, our source for Le Chambertin Grand Cru was expanded to yield (on average) five barrels each vintage.
As a fellow consumer, I understand that this may be a disappointment for some of you. I appreciate your understanding of the situation and look forward to sharing our wines with you in the future.
Thank you again
Ray Walker, MAISON ILAN