What happenswhen vintages become extinct?

There is clearly a finite amount of any given vintage date. So, how does this affect pricing, demand, and people’s willingness to consume these irreplaceable products?

Is there an endangered list for wines? What’s the SD?

Wine of any vintage will “peak” at some point, and then decline in quality. Demand for the wine will start to fall, and this should lead prices to decline.

Stocks are finite, and most of the vintage will have been drunk by the time that it is past its peak. Remaining supplies will be small which, all other things being equal, should tend to make prices to rise. But all other things are not equal. Why pay as much for an aged vintage as you would have paid when it was at its peak, a few years ago? So you wouldn’t expect declining stocks fully to counteract the tendency of the price to fall.

Furthermore, while the supply of any given vintage is finite, new vintages are of course constantly being released to the market, and vintages which were previously immature are reaching their peak. Wines of two different vintages are not unconnected products; consumers make choices based between competing vintages, taking into account both the merit of the vintage, how near it is to its peak, and what it costs.

A particularly good vintage may be permanently scarce (because, for example, of a small harvest in that year); that will tend to sustain the price of other, more plentiful vintages, which are otherwise regarded as a bit past their peak, or not quite there yet. Conversely if a vintage now at its best is plentiful, that will tend to depress prices of the most suitable alternative vintages.

A wine which was once great will fairly rapidly reach the point where it is nothing special, or perhaps even not worth drinking. To the extent that it still commands a premium price, it is not for its drinking value but for its memento value - a restaurateur may buy a bottle to display, for instance. But this end of the market must be tiny.

I knew I came here for a reason. Thanks. How’s that for a first reply answer?