Bordeaux 2011 En Primeur coverage from Decanter.com

Bordeaux 2011: Hong Kong buyers holding back as releases continue

Chateau Haut Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Chateau Montrose, Christie's in Hong Kong Bordeux 2011 En primeur coverage http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/000002e73/9cc7_orh100000w160/haut-bailly.jpg http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/000002e73/f068/haut-bailly.jpg
  • Thursday 17 May 2012

As Bordeaux takes another break for bank holidays, the market is digesting the latest round of releases.

haut bailly

Haut Bailly: 39% price drop

Yesterday in the Graves, among others, Chateau Haut Bailly came out at €54 ex-negociant (down 39.2%), Domaine de Chevalier red at €30 (down 37.5%), and Chevalier white down 7% to €58.

Chateau Malartic Lagraviere red came down 22% to €27 ex- negociant, and the white down 5% to €42.

In Pomerol, Chateau La Pointe was down 17.5% to €19.80. Chateau Montrose came out late on Tuesday at €72, down from €132 in 2010.

There are now around 50 estates left to release their prices, including Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Chateau Latour. But little is emerging to cast a positive spin on the wines' reception by the market.

Simon Tam of Christie's in Hong Kong told Decanter.com en primeur did not seem to be featuring as a topic of conversation this year.

'Colleagues and clients in Hong Kong who have bought en primeur for years are just not even talking about it. They have all of a sudden realised that they can buy 89, 90 - exquisite, ready to drink wines - for the same price or less.

‘The fundamental mistake that has been made is to assume the Hong Kong and Chinese clients are different from anybody else. They are not - they are lifestyle-minded wine lovers, who are behaving logically - they don't want to overpay for a vintage that is not even tangible.'

Decanter.com spoke with over five Hong Kong merchants, all of whom said they had bought between 10 and 20% of the quantity of last year. Successes included Pontet Canet and Calon Segur, but even stalwarts such as Lynch Bages and Haut Bailly had been judged too expensive.

Tam said older vintages were easily available ‘so it's hard to believe the hype about buying en primeur to ensure access to these wines. Pricing en primeur highly purely for the Hong Kong and Chinese market is simply no longer an option.’

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