Another rash of releases this week has seen some of the biggest names of Bordeaux show their hands, as price rises continue to mark the 2015 en primeur campaign.
Yet, several merchants reported that it worked because of the universally positive reaction to the wine from critics, and the small quantity of wine released.
Other price rises this week came from Leoville Poyferré up 24% to €55.20, Canon la Gaffeliere up 36% to €56.40, Smith Haut Lafitte up 31% to €60, Grand Puy Lacoste up 24% to €48 and Gruaud Larose up 18% to €46.75.
Carmes Haut Brion came out at €44.40 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, a rise of 37% of the 2014 vintage, with 40% less wine offered on the market than last year. Livex described the price as a ‘repositioning’ of the brand.
Up to Wednesday of this week, the average increase stood at 15.26% from the 2014 vintage, 22.45% from the 2011 vintage and just 3.08% down from 2010. The two appellations with the biggest increases so far are St-Emilion (20% up from last year) and Margaux (again 20% up), and the smallest increase not surprisingly being shown by Sauternes, which is just 3% higher on average than 2014.
Shaun Bishop of JJ Buckley in California reported that the best received wines in his campaign so far have been Chateaux Malescot Saint Exupery and Giscours, while at the value end it has been Chateau Siran. ‘All three from Margaux, really the star appellation so far’.
Max Lalondrelle at Berrys told decanter.com that only ten brands have worked particularly well and have been, ‘propping up the rest of them’, but that without those ten brands, their sales stand at 8% behind where they were at this stage last year. ‘So En Primeur is not out of the woods yet’.
Buckley reflects the concerns of many merchants when he points to the ‘structural issues of the process itself. When you have 20 or more wines coming out in a day, it is almost impossible for retailers to have the time to make correct buying decisions and then get behind selling those brands to the consumers. How does this help anyone?’.
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