Château Latour's decision to release what is thought to be its final stocks of the 2000 vintage grand vin met with praise from several merchants, despite being priced above the market.
Château Latour 2000 and Les Forts de Latour 2009 release
Latour released its latest set of wines on Tuesday 22 March, as part of its new strategy of putting mature wines onto the market rather than selling them before bottling under the Bordeaux en primeur system.
The first wine Château Latour 2000 was released at €770 per bottle ex-négociant from Bordeaux, and was being offered by merchants in London for around £8,000 per case of 12 75cl bottles.
The second wine Les Forts de Latour 2009 was released at €150 per bottle ex-négociant.
Data from fine wine trading platform Liv-ex shows that Latour 2000 was being sold at several hundred pounds more than its secondary market price; perhaps suggesting confidence that consumers would pay for the added value of the wine having come direct from Latour cellars in Pauillac.
Initial reactions were broadly positive in a market that has been relatively lukewarm to the top Bordeaux wines in recent years.
In Bordeaux itself, most négociants said that Latour 2000 sold out rapidly. An exact figure for the quantity of wine released could not be obtained, but it was believed to be the entirety of stocks left at the château.
The price was ‘within reason, allowing some margin to be added by the merchants’, said one broker.
Les Forts de Latour 2009 was reportedly seeing less enthusiasm, because the price offered represented a premium of around 20% on stocks already out on the market.
In London, some merchants did not want to comment, but Max Lalondrelle, fine wine director at Berry Bros & Rudd, told Decanter.com, ‘I think the price was good from the Château to the négoces.
‘For the UK merchants and consumers, the price could have been more attractive if it wasn’t for a weak sterling currency. As it is, the last time this vintage will be released, I still believe that in the long-term it will prove to be a wise buy for collectors.’
But, he added, Latour 2000 was already on sale on Berry Bros’ BBX exchance for £7,300 per case of 12 bottles and the wine had been stored by Berrys since its first release in bottle.
Extra reporting by Jane Anson, Decanter Bordeaux correspondent and contributing editor.