A spate of price drops has breathed life into the 2011 en primeur campaign.
Giscours: 33% down
Following Pontet Canet’s 34% drop earlier in the week, Pessac-Leognan’s Chateau Pape Clement came out today at €57.60, a drop of 39%, Chateau Giscours at €29.10, down just over 33% on last year and rated Margaux third growth Chateau Malescot St Exupery at €33.60, a full 44% drop from its 2010 price.
Other drops include St Emilion’s Chateau La Gaffeliere at €36 ex-Bordeaux, down 36.8% on 2010, and Margaux’s Chateau Marojallia at €42, down 15.6% on last year.
Hamish Wakes Miller, UK agent for Bordeaux negociant Vintex, told Decanter.com, ‘Pontet Canet got it sensibly right, and that has been the tipping point. Other chateaux seem to have listened to the need for price drops, which is not always the case.
‘It’s strange that Cos [d’Estournel] dropping 45% a few weeks ago didn’t have the same effect on its neighbours, but perhaps just shows the current power of Pontet.’
Adam Green of Roberson in London was less sure. ‘Price drops have not yet made a difference to consumers. They may have left it too late – enough chateaux have chanced their arm with high prices, and to a lot of consumers it feels all a little bit like the 2007 campaign – maybe not in quality of the wines, but the inept pricing strategies.
‘En primeur has to offer a true discount on existing vintages as a reward for buying early, and we’re still not convinced enough chateaux are going to offer that this year.’
Jeremy Stockman, trading director of Watson’s Wine in Hong Kong, said part of the problem has been the number of lesser-known wines released that took the steam out of the campaign before it even got going.
‘Too many wines have been released which are not followed en primeur and which I feel should be released only as physical wines.’
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux