Enologix Warns of Endangered Napa Cabernet Sauvignons
Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is being commoditized by overplanting elsewhere; Enologix, a Sonoma-based wine "Quant," warns vintners to classify Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon before its price slides the same as Napa Chardonnay
NAPA, Calif., Nov. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Napa is to California wine what Yosemite is to our National Parks. An economic underworld of oversupply is shifting the price of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon down, says a November story in Wines and Vines magazine(1). The story's author and President of Enologix, Dr. Leo McCloskey(2), says, "Figures show Cabernet Sauvignon is exhibiting early signs of commoditization."
Dr. McCloskey warns, "Price data supports the view that California Chardonnay became a commodity after the 2002 recession as a result of New World overplanting. The tipping point to commoditize Chardonnay appears to be only 90,000 bearing acres in California. Over one decade the number of 90-plus point California wines dropped 50% in Wine Spectator."
According to McCloskey, today, in the midst of the Great Recession, there are 75,000 acres of California Cabernet Sauvignon. As with Chardonnay, there is a path to commoditization for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Diffusion of intellectual property creates a planting path that may pass through the same 90,000 bearing acres that commoditized Chardonnay.
"Diffusion of Napa's intellectual property such as rootstocks, scion wood and techniques from Napa led to plantings across California, Australia, New Zealand and Chile. Worldwide overplanting creates an oversupply, resulting in a downward trend of lower prices that cannot be avoided without classification or regulation of the type found in Europe," warns McCloskey.
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(1) Wines and Vines, "Will Napa Cabernet Become A Commodity?": http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=columns_article&content=80435&columns_id=26&ctitle=Will%20Napa%20Cabernet%20Become%20a%20Commodity%3F
(2) New York Times, Sunday Magazine. "The Chemistry of a 90+ Wine.": http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/07/magazine/07ENOLOGI.html?pagewanted=all