Bordeaux 2015 prices continue to rise as Château Palmer released with an ex-Bordeaux figure of €210 per bottle.

Palmer 2015 prices

This is 31% up on 2014 price of €160 and is being offered on the market close to its 2010, 2009 and 2005 prices.

It follows a Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction last month when a barrel of the 2015 en primeur was sold for six times estimate at HK$3.06 million, working out at close to €1,000 per bottle.

The buyer will have his name on the back label of each bottle and get to enjoy a dinner at Château Palmer with director Thomas Duroux.

‘When you can get £10,800 for a case with a château dinner thrown in, I suppose £2,200 per case en primeur feels rather modest in comparison,’ Nick Martin of Wine Owners told decanter.com.

‘For the actual en primeur release, Palmer 2015 is 99% downside. A great way to tie your money up and lose the opportunity cost of doing something sensible with the same cash’.

Paul Marus at Corney & Barrow said, ‘At least Palmer is honest about its intention to hold stock back, finance it and release at a later date, Latour-style, but in my eyes many of the other properties are also using this business model while not being totally transparent about it.

‘With some of the release prices, it is obvious that the properties clearly have no interest in selling en primeur’.

Palmer is only one of several high price releases that have flooded the market this week.

Château Haut-Bailly posted a full 52.7% rise on 2014 with a wine at €66 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, while Lynch-Bages rose 40% to €84 and Pichon Baron up 45% to €96. Over in Pomerol, Clinet posted a 36% rise to €60, and Soutard a 36% rise to €32 ex-Bordeaux.

While some of these wines – notably Haut-Bailly – did find an audience, most struggled. Average percentage price rises are creeping upwards.

According to Liv-ex, in April and May prices were on average 10-15% higher than last year, while over the past month 15% has been the absolute starting point, with many returning closer to prices last seen in the 2010 campaign.

Shaun Bishop of JJ Buckley says there is an upside to new strategy. ‘It’s fine to keep some wines back because consumers are clearly getting a pretty terrible experience through en primeur right now. They assume a currency risk, a quality risk… and have to store them before they are ready.

‘Plus the inconsistency of the pricing makes it incredibly difficult for merchants. Holding good vintages hostage to price is just a trap – most merchants simply want to sell a consistent brand’.

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