• Price cuts dominate early stages of Bordeaux 2017 en primeur campaign, although some frustration at a slow start.

  • Talbot, Beychevelle and Gazin drop ex-Bordeaux release price by between four and 11% versus 2016.

  • Rieussec and Suduiraut also released in Sauternes.

Château Talbot dropped its release price for its Bordeaux 2017 en primeur wine by 11% versus the 2016 release, to 37.20 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux.

Beychevelle also released its 2017 wine on Wednesday (16 May), priced at 52.8 euros ex-Bordeaux and down by nearly 7% on the 2016 release price.

There has been a general movement towards price cuts on 2017 primeur releases so far, although few have ventured as far as the widely praised Château Palmer, one of the earliest out of the blocks and down by 20% on last year’s release.

A number of UK merchants have also been frustrated at the relatively slow start to this year’s campaign.

Liv-ex cited Beychevelle 2017 as being offered by UK merchants at £650 per 12-bottle case, making it the St-Julien estate’s cheapest grand vin on the market, in sterling currency terms.

This ‘could make today’s offer attractive, especially for buyers in Asia where the wine is widely followed,’ said Liv-ex analysts.

Wine Lister said Beychevelle’s release was ‘characteristically well-judged’.

Its analysis showed that the estate was one of the top performers in terms of price appreciation post-en primeur release between 2009 and 2016.

Decanter’s Jane Anson said that Beychevelle 2017 was ‘certainly a wine to recommend’ from an uneven vintage, even if it lacked the full expression of the exceptional 2016. She gave the wine 92 points.

Talbot’s 2017 release price pitched the wine as slightly cheaper than the current market price for the 2016 in sterling terms, according to Liv-ex.

The estate is known as a popular seller and came sixth when Wine Lister asked its founding members to name which wines sell most consistently year-on-year.

But, Liv-ex analysts questioned whether the 2017 release price would prove tempting enough.

Jane Anson praised the ‘great balance’ of the 2017, rating it 89 points, but she rated the 2016 wine at 94 points in a recent vertical tasting.

Other releases this week have included Marquis de Terme at 30 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 4% on the 2016 release price and following an emerging trend among several estates to price the 2017 vintage between their 2014 and 2015 wines.

Gazin was one of the estates that kick-started this week’s leg of the campaign, releasing on Monday 14 May at 57.6 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, also a 4% drop on the 2016 release price. In sterling terms, Gazin 2017 was more expensive than the most recent market price for every vintage since 2010, according to Liv-ex.

Rieussec and Suduiraut in Sauternes have also released their 2017 wines this week, at 42 euros and 45.6 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux respectively – both equal to the 2016 release price.

Update 11 May

Lafleur has seen demand outstrip supply following its 2017 en primeur release. Decanter’s Jane Anson said the wine was one of the triumphs of the Right Bank after it managed to avoid frost damage that hampered several estates in the area.

Read the full story on the Lafleur 2017 release here

Coming soon: A vertical tasting of Lafleur wines, to be published exclusively for Premium members.

Update published on 4 May

Châteaux injected some pace into the Bordeaux 2017 en primeur campaign on Thursday (3 May) with several releases hitting the market.

Many estates have increased prices over the previous three vintages and, this week, there continued to be signs that some properties were rolling some of this back for a frost-hit 2017 described as great in parts but considerably uneven.

It’s early days, but it still appears as if Palmer set the initial tone for the campaign last week by pricing its 2017 wine somewhere between the 2014 and 2015 release.

‘Palmer made the right move,’ said Gavin Smith, head of fine wine at Fine & Rare merchant, on Wednesday (2 May). ‘The price reduction judged the mood of the consumer well following two big campaigns in 2016 and 2015.’

He said that he was confident that the most highly regarded 2017 wines would sell, and that it could be an exciting campaign if others follow Palmer’s lead. But he added that several big names may have ‘missed an opportunity’ by not releasing early in a relatively quiet period.

Thursday 3 May releases 

Malartic-Lagravière 2017 red was down by 21% ex-Bordeaux, to 32.4 euros ex-Bordeaux.

For consumers, Malartic-Lagravière 2017 red was just under the current 2014 price at Millesima USA. It was offering 12 bottles of Malartic-Lagravière 2017 red – rated 93 points by Decanter’s Jane Anson – for $570 in bond with the 2014 at $576 and the 2015 at $696.

In the UK, Fine & Rare was offering the Malartic 2017 red at £395 per 12-bottle case in bond. The 2014 vintage was available for £343 per case in bond on Fine & Rare Marketplace, with the 2012 available direct from the merchant at £359 per case. The 2016 was sold out and the 2015 was available on Marketplace for £418 per case.

Search all of Jane Anson’s Bordeaux 2017 en primeur scores

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Langoa Barton in St-Julien released its 2017 with an ex-Bordeaux price cut of 15% versus last year, at 31 euros per bottle. Its 2015 wine was released en primeur at 32 euros ex-Bordeaux and its 2014 vintage at 29 euros.

Liv-ex said that it was being offered by UK merchants at around £390 per 12 bottles, down 7% in sterling terms versus the 2016 release.

Château Pape Clément also released its 2017 wine on Thursday (3 May), at a 7% discount to the 2016 release and at 61.2 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux.

Liv-ex reported that Pape Clément had released around 50% less wine than last year, mainly due to frost damage.

BI Wines & Spirits was offering Pape Clément 2017 at £760 in bond for a 12-bottle case. For comparison, the 2014 and 2015 vintages on BI’s LiveTrade platform were priced at £670 and £840 in bond respectively for 12-bottle cases.

Jane Anson rated both Pape Clément and Langoa Barton 2017 at 92 points, describing the two wines as having good structure yet lacking some of the fruit concentration of 2015 and 2016.

This week has also seen a primeur campaign debut for Trotte Vieille, which saw its 2017 wine available at 60 euros ex-Bordeaux. Jane Anson rated the wine at 94 points, praising its balance, power and good ageing potential.

Berry Bros & Rudd was offering six bottles of Trotte Vieille at £369 in bond, with the 2015 vintage also available on the merchant’s BBX trading platform, in bond, for £1 more per case.

La Lagune’s 2017 release, down 14% ex-Bordeaux versus 2016 to 30.6 euros per bottle, saw it join a number of estates that have opted to price within a range roughly between the 2014 and 2015 vintages so far.

Other releases so far this week have included Marquis d’Alesme, Dauzac, Vray Croix de Gay and Cos Labory, as well as Pape Clément and Malartic-Lagravière white wines.

Ex-Bordeaux pricing data by Liv-ex and Wine Lister

Read about more releases, plus scores and an exclusive vintage report via Decanter’s Bordeaux en primeur homepage