Two of Bordeaux's first growths, Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild, have entered the en primeur fray just ahead of Easter, dropping prices for their 2013 wines by 14% and 10% respectively.
Charles Chevallier of Chateau Lafite Rothschild pours 2013 wines during an interview with Decanter.com
Lafite released yesterday (16 April) at €288 ex-Bordeaux, in a move that was initially well received by several UK merchants. Mouton Rothschild followed this morning, priced at €216 ex-Bordeaux.
‘We think it’s a very good price indeed and are confident we’ll have willing customers,’ Oliver Sharp at Bordeaux Index told Decanter.com.
Analysis by Liv-ex, the fine wine trading platform, showed that Lafite 2013’s price makes it the chateau’s cheapest vintage available on the market – something that many observers have said will be the acid test for success in a vintage that is likely to be ready for drinking relatively early.
Speaking to Decanter.com, Christophe Salin, managing director of Lafite owner Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR), said it ‘wasn’t difficult’ to decide the price for 2013. He said it was important to give buyers an incentive.
Regarding the timing of the release, he said, ‘We always release around the 20 April. [This year] I thought the market was a bit flat and that we had to give some news.’
He said that expects the remaining big names in Bordeaux to follow relatively quickly. ‘There is no reason to wait,’ he said.
Some merchants, including Sharp at Bordeaux Index and Will Hargove at Corney & Barrow, expressed some concern that negociants may try to ‘bundle’ other DBR wines in with the Lafite grand vin, which might make the Lafite price less attractive.
Salin said that he does not agree with bundling wines together. ‘We don’t do it,’ he said, adding that he would encourage negociants not to either.
Philippe Dhalluin at Mouton could not be immediately reached for comment.
Among the other releases in the past couple of days, both Lafite and Mouton released their second wines – Carruades Lafite and Petit Mouton – with the former down 5% at €90 and the latter flat against 2012’s price, at €66.
Chateau Kirwan released down 4%, at €21.5 ex-Bordeaux, and Duhart Milon released down by 9% at €44. Evangile was flat against 2012, at €100 ex-Bordeaux.
Written by Chris Mercer