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Bordeaux 2014: Lafite releases but merchants concerned at small quantity

Chateau Lafite Rothschild has released its Bordeaux 2014 wine at an approximate price of 285 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, which makes it the same price as last year and around 14% lower than 2012, so the cheapest on the market excepting the 2013 vintage.

The warm reaction to the price was, however, tempered by the fact that it was the first of two expected tranches and released in limited quantities, so most merchants were either not offered it from Bordeaux, or chose to hold it back before offering on to customers.

Other high profile Bordeaux 2014 releases over the last two days have included Pontet Canet at 66 euros ex-Bordeaux (+10% on 2013), Carmes Haut-Brion at 32.40 euros (+12% on 2013), Calon Ségur at 42 euros (+12.9% on 2013), Cantenac Brown at 25.80 euros ex-Bordeaux (+7.5% on 2013) and Cantemerle at 17.50 euros (+3.6% on 2013 and down almost 2% on 2012).

James Wormall at Jeroboams wine merchants in London told Decanter.com that the Lafite quantities released were ‘simply too small to sell on. We would be disappointing too many customers, and it would be impossible to honour existing commitments. There is no justification for second tranches in this type of campaign.’

Chuck Hayward, at JJ Buckley in California, confirmed that they also had been offered small amounts of Lafite but that they have yet to be allocated, while Wormall said the small quantities released have been reflective of the campaign overall. ‘The wines that should work have been released at quantities that make it impossible to fulfill orders, or where we are being told by négociants that we can not be given our usual allocation, while others have priced at levels that make you wonder if that actually are trying to kill off the en primeur system, and simply have not sold’.

Liv-ex reported that Pontet Canet‘s 2014 was the fourth most expensive vintage of the estate currently on the market, while Calon Segur was the second cheapest – with merchants widely reporting that Calon had not released enough wine to satisfy demand.

‘So many estates are missing a trick to really bring Bordeaux back to the consumers,’ said Wormall, ‘and as the campaign goes on we are running out of time and names.’

See more Bordeaux 2014 coverage:

Bordeaux 2014

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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