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Bordeaux 2013: ‘Chateaux pricing to protect their pride’

Disagreements between merchants and chateaux over Bordeaux 2013 prices have continued this week after the en primeur campaign picked up speed with a flurry of releases.

Among some of the biggest releases this week, Chateau Haut-Bailly came down 6% from 2012 – and 56% down from 2010 – to €39.60 ex-Bordeaux, returning to its 2008 price.

The move is likely to be well-received, given that many merchants and market observers have been calling for prices in general to return to 2008 levels.

However, Cos d’Estournel’s release at €81.5, down from €89 last year, drew some criticism for being unrealistic.

‘When you look at Cos’ pricing over the past decade, it has yo-yo’d so much, and been discounted so frequently, that the market no longer has any incentive to buy on release,’ Nicola Arcedeckne-Butler MW, of Private Cellar, told Decanter.com.

‘Chateaux talk about protecting their brands,’ Arcedeckne-Butler said, ‘but a brand has no value if no one is buying it. I’m not sure who the chateaux are relying on to buy this vintage – China has backed away, and Russia, Brazil and India are not taking its place. No one is scared of losing their allocations anymore, and at this stage the pricing seems to be less about protecting their brand than protecting their pride.’

In other releases this week, Chateau Canon dropped 10% to €33, 8% below its 2008 price, following on from a similar drop for Rauzan-Ségla from the same owners. Chateau Lagrange is out at €22.80, down from €24 last year, with Fiefs de Lagrange at €13.80.

There were also releases from Calon Segur, down 3% at €37.2, and Climens, down around 5% at €38.6.

Chateau Doisy Daene was unchanged from 2012 at €26.40, with Chateau La Tour Carnet at €17.52, Chateau Guiraud at €28, Chateau Dalem at €10.70 and Clos Floridene at €9.60. All prices are ex-Bordeaux, so the price from négociants before local taxes and margins have been added.

See full Decanter tasting notes and ratings from the Bordeaux 2013 vintage.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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