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Batailley 2021 release kick-starts Bordeaux en primeur

Château Batailley has earned praise for its pricing strategy after becoming one of the first big estates to launch its 2021 vintage en primeur.

Château Batailley 2021 was released en primeur this week at around €26.5 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, level with the debut price of the 2020-vintage release.

Batailley 2021 was being offered by international merchants at £330 per 12 bottles in bond, said Liv-ex, which described it as ‘one of the best value [Batailley] wines on the market today’.

Some analysts and merchants suggested the Pauillac estate had set a relatively positive tone for the Bordeaux en primeur campaign over the next few weeks, although it remains early days.

‘The price was perfectly judged – customers cannot buy any other vintage of Batailley at a lower price than the 2021,’ said Thomas Parker MW, buyer at Farr Vintners.

‘This is what we need to have a chance of selling this vintage en primeur. The sales [of Batailley] have been steady, but not as good as recent years,’ he told Decanter on Tuesday morning (10 May).

There has been significant uncertainty surrounding the Bordeaux 2021 vintage, largely emanating from weather-related challenges in the vineyards. While undoubtedly challenging, excellent wines have been produced if collectors know where to look, as this Decanter first impression of the vintage explains.

Coming soon: Our full Bordeaux 2021 en primeur verdict with tasting notes and scores on top wines

Analyst group Wine Lister said Batailley 2021 was level with the 2020 vintage market price, which hasn’t moved since release, and was ‘comfortably below all other recent back vintages’.

It said the release was ‘perhaps a more positive start to set the pricing tone of the campaign than we might have been expecting, given communication from Bordeaux on a general rise in price versus last year’.

Matthew O’Connell, CEO of LiveTrade and head of investment at the Bordeaux Index merchant, said, ‘The release price was roughly in-line with the 2020 and 15% below the market price of the 2019, something we saw as fair for collectors of Batailley but not a level which inspired interest beyond that.’

Pricing is always a big talking point during Bordeaux en primeur.

However, each château sets its own pricing strategy based on various factors, including brand positioning, quality scores, macro-economic conditions and the availability and price of back-vintages already in the market.

Fine wine market momentum for Bordeaux has been solid in the past year, particularly for the very top names.

Yet 2021 wines must also follow three vintages – 2018, 2019 and 2020 – that have been talked about as a high-performing trilogy, albeit with different characteristics.

Recent years have seen some estates release a smaller proportion of their wine en primeur, according to merchants. With harvest yields also lower in some cases in 2021, release volumes could be an interesting aspect of the campaign to watch.

Join Decanter Premium today to enjoy full access to in-depth tasting notes on the latest releases from the 2021 vintage, coming very soon.

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