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Bordeaux 2016: Montrose leads rush of releases

UK merchants remained confident that Bordeaux 2016 en primeur buyers were thirsty for deals, as Château Montrose led an increase in releases on Monday and Tuesday this week.

A rush of châteaux have now joined in the Bordeaux 2016 en primeur campaign, bringing a much needed sense of momentum – although with prices that are tempering enthusiasm.

Leading the pack on Tuesday was Château Montrose, rated 96 points by Decanterat €102 ex-Bordeaux, unchanged from its 2015 price and should be offered at around £1140 per case of 12 (a 6% rise in the UK with exchange rates). It was being offered at just over £600 for six bottles in bond at Millesima UK.

By Wednesday morning (17 May), Montrose was listed as sold out on the BI Wine & Spirits website. However, Decanter.com understands from Bordeaux sources that the initial Montrose release was release small and that a second en primeur release is possible.

La Lagune came out early on Wednesday at €35.4 ex-Bordeaux, up by around 9% on its Bordeaux négociant release price for the 2015.

The flurry of releases this week will go some way to kick-starting a campaign that some thought need an injection of pace. More big names are expected this week and next.

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The last few days have also seen Château Pavie Decesse at €96 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, a rise of 6.5% on the euro price of last year and being sold in the UK at around £1,100 for a case of 12.

Other prices include Fronsac’s Château La Vieille Cure at €13.92 ex-Bordeaux, translating to a consumer price in France €192 for case of 12. There has also been Chasse Spleen at €21.60 (up 9%, UK price of £258 per case of 12), Du Tertre at €29.40 ex-negociant, up 16.6% on 2015 (UK price £348) and Kirwan at €31.50 ex-negociant, up 10.5% on 2015 (UK price £378).

‘People are primed and waiting for big releases’

William Gardener, buyer at Nickolls and Perks, told Decanter.com, ‘The sterling question does have an impact because the increases aren’t actually too bad as a rule, although it would be nice to see more stick to their 2015s, which were already a healthy rise on the previous few vintages and some estates are finding a slow reception.

‘But overall the general quality message is very strong, so a lot of people are primed and waiting for the big wines to come out, and I get the feeling that the budget to buy is a little bigger than last year. After 2009 and 2010 a number of people dropped out and some of them seem to be coming back.’

‘It’s like a Burgundy campaign’

Charles Taylor, of Charles Taylor Wines, said, ‘People are being prudent in their purchases, and they are not speculating because no one is expecting to make a quick buck, but there is still plenty of money and people are buying.

‘It’s more like a Burgundy campaign when clients come to tastings, decide what they like, then look at pricing to see if it suits their pocket because they are going to be drinking the wines rather than selling them on. I rather like that approach.’

Editing by Chris Mercer.

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