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Bordeaux 2013: Concern at Pontet-Canet early release

As the en primeur week gets underway, the initial feedback of Pontet Canet’s early release has been one of concern.

Pontet-Canet cellars

Pontet-Canet surprised many of its fellow chateaux, and also several negociants and merchants, by releasing its 2013 vintage last week at €60-a-bottle, the same price as 2012.

‘What Pontet [owner Alfred Tesseron] did was perhaps smart for him, but terrible for the collectivity,’ Alain Raynaud, president of the Grand Cercle de Bordeaux, told Decanter.com.

‘It’s human nature to want to conserve prices of course, but the higher priced wines need to come down by 30% to stir up interest, and the concern is that Pontet has sent out entirely the wrong signal to other chateaux. The contagion can spread fast in Bordeaux.’

Alfred Tesseron was sticking to his decision. ‘I was sure of my wine, and sure of my price. Now people can judge for themselves’. Tesseron confirmed that he sold out all the wine that he put on the market, around 80% of the overall crop, although négociants report that so far it has not moved beyond Bordeaux.

‘We sold 12 bottles on Friday of last week,’ said Bud Cuchet of Fine+Rare, ‘compared to 180 cases that we sold the day after the release last year. We will do the full offer when we get back next week, but were not prepared to make an offer to our clients until we had tasted the wine.’

Rob Lench, of BWI, said, ‘We appreciate that he is trying to distance himself from other estates, and clearly his wine is excellent, but we won’t take our normal allocation. The whole nature of allocations has changed because chateaux don’t respect the chain and take all the profit upfront. I don’t know what we have to do to get the message through’.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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