The new owner of Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey in Sauternes has given consumers a taste of things to come by significantly cutting production of the chateau's grand vin from the 2013 vintage, which has been priced 30% higher than 2012 at around €35 ex-negociant.
Silvio Denz at a welcome lunch at Lafaurie-Peyraguey during 2013 en primeur week
Silvio Denz, who acquired Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey earlier this year in a deal believed to have been worth around €10m, has already begun making good on his promise to restrict Sauternes production to only the best plots of vines.
After arriving in time to oversee the blending process from the 2013 harvest, Denz has cut production to just under 30,000 bottles. On average, the estate used to produce 60,000 bottles annually.
‘We talked for two hours about what we should do,’ Denz told Decanter.com. ‘We decided to concentrate only on the old terroir on the estate.’
In general, Sauternes producers have fared better in 2013 than their red wine-producing counterparts on Bordeaux’s left and right banks. The onset of botrytis in many vineyards across the region last autumn was welcomed in Sauternes.
But, Denz said he wants to reposition Lafaurie-Peyraguey for the longer-term by reducing Sauternes production, particulularly in light of weak market demand for Bordeaux’s signature sweet wine.
He described the 2013 vintage as ‘above average’ defended the 30% price increase for 2013 versus 2012. The estate released at an ex-chateau price of €29.
‘You cannot compare it to 2012, because most of the chateaux did not come out at all.’ Several of his neighbours, including d’Yquem, did not produce a wine last year, due to tough conditions.
He said that he plans to reduce Lafaurie-Peyraguey’s production of Sauternes further in future years.
Written by Chris Mercer