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Château Guiraud fires starting gun with 2016 release

Château Guiraud has already released its Bordeaux 2016 Sauternes wine price, putting itself out in-front of the usual en primeur campaign season.

Château Guiraud has taken the unusual step of releasing its Bordeaux 2016 Sauternes and dry white wine ahead of en primeur tasting week, starting 3 April.

Guiraud released at 30 euros ex-Bordeaux on Monday 27 March, keeping its release price level with last year.

It is extremely rare for anyone to release this early and Guiraud co-owner Xavier Planty was keen to stress that he still looks forward to welcoming critics and journalists next week.

Planty also said that he valued a ‘sincere’ relationship with consumers and that this played into the estate’s thinking.

Some merchants were already offering the in-barrel wine for sale. In the UK, Millesima was offering a case of 12 half-bottles for £184 in bond on 27 March.

Others said that they would hold back. ‘We have not tasted the wine and therefore will not yet promote it,’ said Max Lalondrelle, fine wine buying director at Berry Bros & Rudd.

But, he said that the move was a good one overall for Guiraud.

‘It will give a chance for the wine to be promoted on its own, away from the madness of the releases,’ he told Decanter.com. Berry Bros does plan to sell the wine as soon as its team has tasted a sample.

Sauternes and Barsac wines command lower prices in general than the equivalent, top red wine estates Bordeaux’s Left and Right Banks. As a result, Bordeaux’s premier sweet wines have often struggled for recognition during the annual en primeur campaign.

Jane Anson is tasting hundreds of Bordeaux 2016 en primeur wines for Decanter this year. Look out for her full notes and scores online next month. 

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