Almost alone among the top properties in Bordeaux, there is a strong likelihood that Cos d’Estournel will come out at the same price as last year.
The first growths are adamant that they will make reductions – substantial or otherwise – on the price of the 2007s.
But Jean Guillaume Prats at Cos – the St-Estephe second growth – told decanter.com this morning that of all the options open to him, a major reduction in price was the least attractive.
The best course, he suggested, would be ‘to release very very little wine at a price close to the 2007s.’
If he took that course he would waive the allocation system, by which the top chateaux dole out wines according to how loyal a purchaser the client has been. ‘The next great vintage would be allocated according to the purchase of the 2007.’
Stressing that this was ‘only one option’, Prats went on to make his case, demolishing other arguments along the way.
The first growths indeed had a huge responsibility this year, he said, but to reduce to €100 or €130 a bottle when last year the price was over €200 (this is an unstoppable rumour in Bordeaux this week, and no major proprietor has definitely denied it) would be catastrophic.
‘Yes, many people who have been unable to buy first growths would come back into the market,’ he said. But to price a very good vintage at so much less than previous, lesser vintages, ‘would seriously anger their other clients’ by implying they had been paying over the odds since 2005.
At the same time it would devalue all stocks of 2007 and 2006, betraying all those who still had considerable inventory of those vintages. ‘They would suffer quite a lot.’
‘If I was a first growth I would not downgrade the price. I would keep the same price and invite my clients to buy.’
The implication was, he said, that he would sell some 5% of the vintage.
Last year, Cos was released at around €60 a bottle.
Written by Adam Lechmere in Bordeaux