Cheval Blanc has become one of the last remaining big-hitters to release its Bordeaux 2017 wine en primeur, at 22% below the 2016 release price.
Cheval Blanc 2017, rated 96 points by Decanter’s Jane Anson, was released today (19 June) at 432 euros per bottle ex-negociant, versus a 2016 release price of 552 euros.
That makes the wine cheaper on the market than both the highly rated 2016 and 2015 vintages, but still more expensive than 2014, in sterling terms, according to Liv-ex analysis.
UK merchants were offering Cheval Blanc for around £5,300 per 12-bottle case in bond.
In the US, Millesima was offering six bottles in bond for $3,618, again making the wine cheaper than 2016 and 2015 but more expensive than 2014 on the merchant’s platform.
Also released today was Vieux Château Certan, rated 93 points by Jane Anson. The Pomerol estate’s 2017 wine was launched at 168 euros per bottle ex-negociant, down by 13% on the 2016 release price.
Cheval Blanc earned praise for following other estates by cutting its release price significantly. Yet the immediate focus of some analysts was on whether the estate had created enough of an incentive for buyers.
‘Other vintages look attractive by comparison, but rarity comes into play here too, with only one third the usual amount available [in 2017], due to frost,’ said Wine Lister.
Liv-ex said that its members had been expecting a higher price for the 2017. But it said that, even so, buyers looking for value in physical vintages might consider the 2006, or even the 2005.
There has been a general trend for Bordeaux estates to cut release prices for a 2017 vintage that has emerged as excellent in parts but distinctly uneven.
Devastating frosts meant that it was the smallest Bordeaux for several decades, although not everybody suffered to the same extent – even in the worst-hit areas on the Right Bank and also in Pessac and other areas south of the city.
A number of the top estates have priced their 2017 en primeur wines between 2014 and 2015. That said, an individual château’s history and availability should be taken into account.
Update 14 June
Château Lafite Rothschild has released a first wave of its 2017 wine in the Bordeaux 2017 en primeur campaign. The wine was launched ex-château – prior to mark-ups by Bordeaux and overseas merchants – at 350 euros per bottle, 8% cheaper than the equivalent price for the 2016 release, according to Wine Lister.
Millesima UK was selling Lafite 2017 on Thursday afternoon (14 June) for £2,538 per six-bottle case, in bond. For comparison, it was selling the same amount of 2016 for £3,330 in bond.
However, as in previous years, Lafite was understood to be releasing in more than one ‘tranche’, said Liv-ex analysts.
The release means that Lafite has followed a broader trend among top châteaux for cutting 2017 release prices.
A significant number of estates have priced themselves somewhere between the 2014 and 2015 vintages, although it is hard to generalise and, as ever, it is important for buyers to consider the availability and particular circumstances of each estate.
Lister said of the Lafite 2017, ‘Given the wine’s imperious performance in last year’s campaign, and in general, there should be strong demand at this price, despite being at the tail end of a lacklustre campaign.’
Liv-ex added that the 2017 vintage could represent a ‘considerable opportunity to buyers’.
Decanter’s Jane Anson rated Lafite 2017 at 98 points, making it one of the wines of an uneven Bordeaux vintage.
For comparison, Premium members can read Jane Anson’s recent tasting of 150 years of Lafite Rothschild wines
Update 14 June, 9am (UK time)
Château Haut-Brion has joined a flurry of high profile Bordeaux 2017 en primeur releases this week, with its red grand vin launching onto the market at 348 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux.
That marks a 17% drop on the 2016 release price, mirroring a similar move by Château Margaux yesterday (13 June) and is in-keeping with an overriding trend for price cuts on the 2017 primeur wines versus the previous vintage.
In its early analysis this morning (14 June), Wine Lister noted that, although Haut-Brion 2017 would likely be available at a discount to the 2016 and 2015 wines, ‘2014, 2012 and 2008 all look appealing in comparison’.
La Mission Haut-Brion 2017 was released at 240 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 29% on the 2016 release price.
Haut-Brion 2017 white was also released, at 600 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux. That is roughly the same as the 2016 release, with dry whites earning high praise in Bordeaux in the 2017 vintage.
Update 13 June
Margaux 2017 released its 2017 wine at €348 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 17% on its 2016 wine.
This is the same price as Mouton Rothschild, which released the 2017 price yesterday (see update below).
Margaux was being offered the trade at £4,320.
Jane Anson said the wine had ‘some of the best aromatics in the business this year’ in her Bordeaux 2017 en primeur tasting notes.
Wine Lister suggested that the 2012 and 2014 vintages look ‘attractive by comparison’ – but added that Margaux’s status ‘means that there will always be demand.’
Angélus also released the 2017 price, at €276 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 6.1% on the 2016 release price.
It was being offered by the international trade at around £3,360 per 12 bottle case.
Anson said ‘It’s a beautiful wine, voluptuous but elegant.’
Liv-ex called this pricing ‘a very brave price.’
‘It is pitched among the more expensive vintages on the market but without the critical acclaim to match.’
Both the 2010 and 2014 vintages can be bought for less.
Pavie 2017 was also released today, at €276 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, which is down 6.1% on the 2016 release price.
Anson said it was ‘a very good wine for the vintage, with impressive texture.’
Liv-ex advised caution as this ‘release [is] more expensive than the higher scoring 2016… but also the “perfect” 2009 and 2010 vintages.’
Wine Lister also said it is ‘well above market price for the higher-scoring 2015 and 2014, in its continuing repositioning bid to edge ever closer to the left bank first growths.’
Figeac 2017 was released at €120 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 20% on the 2016 release. Anson called it ‘an excellent wine.’
‘This 20% discount year on year should spark sufficient interest to carry it through,’ said Wine Lister – although, again in this campaign, the 2014 vintage is cheaper.
La Conseillante 2017 has been released at €120 per bottle ex-negociant, down 20% on 2016.
Ducru-Beaucaillou 2017 released at €120 a bottle, ex-Bordeaux.
Wine Lister called this an ‘ambitious release price,’ putting it below 2016 in the market, but above 2015, 2014 and 2012.
Pavillon Rouge 2017 has been released at €132 per bottle ex-negociant, an increase of 16% on the 2016. Only Le Petit Mouton 2017, released yesterday, is also an increase on last year’s price.
Update by Ellie Douglas.
Decanter Premium members can find Jane Anson’s full Bordeaux 2017 en primeur notes here or in the July 2018 issue of Decanter magazine, on sale now.
Update 12th June
Mouton Rothschild has released their 2017 wine, at €348 ex-Bordeaux, which is a 17.1% decrease on the 2016 opening price of €420. They are the first of the left bank first growths to release.
It is being offered by UK merchants for £4,320 per 12 bottle case.
‘It’s a beautiful, persistent, gorgeous wine that will age gracefully.’
‘Today’s opening price is quite punchy,’ said Liv-ex analysts.
Le Petit Mouton has also released, at an increase on the 2016 price, at €144 per bottle ex-Bordeaux – a rise of 9.1%.
Although this is a higher release price, it is the cheapest current vintage of Petit Mouton on the market, according to Liv-ex, which makes it ‘look attractive to collectors of the Mouton brand.’
Wine Lister also noted ‘Petit Mouton’s excellent post-release price performance’.
‘This is accomplished and lovely, but has a little less of a Petit Mouton signature than usual,’ said Anson on the 2017 wine.
Château Montrose also released, at €96 per bottle ex-negociant, down 5.9% from the 2016 release.
Jane Anson called the wine ‘correspondingly powerful with a robust accompanying acidity that promises a long life’.
However, Wine Lister suggested that the Montrose 2014 vintage would be a ‘more inviting buy’.
‘Buyers perusing back vintages have a range of higher scored wines such as the 2014, a wine noted as one of the finest Left Bank wines of the vintage,’ said Liv-ex analysts.
La Dame de Montrose 2017 has also been released today at €26.40, the same as last year.
Pontet-Canet has released, at €80 ex-Bordeaux, which is 26% down on 2016.
Anson called it a ‘very charming Pauillac with texture, rippling energy and undoubted finesse.’
Wine Lister called this pricing ‘a significant gesture in the spirit of the 2017 campaign.’
Other châteaux that have released at this level price drop include Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, at 25% and Palmer, at 20% (see earlier updates below).
Haut-Bailly released its 2017 price at €72 ex-Bordeaux, down 14% on 2016.
But Wine Lister points out ‘the higher scoring 2014 and 2012 are available at lower prices.’
The ‘three Léovilles’ have also all released.
Léoville Las Cases released €144 ex-négociant, which is down 20% on 2016.
However, Wine Lister said ‘as is becoming a pattern in the 2017 campaign, the higher scoring, lower priced 2014, and in this case 2015, look appealing in comparison.’
Léoville Barton 2017 has been released at €52.80, down 17% on the 2016.
‘It might offer value compared to the similarly scored 2015 and 2016 vintages, however does look overstretched compared to 2014,’ said Liv-ex analysts.
Wine Lister also remarked that the ‘2014 looks appealing.’
Léoville Poyferre 2017 was released today at €54 ex-Bordeaux, down 18.2% ex-Bordeaux, which puts it priced below the ‘duo of great vintages 2015 and 2016,’ according to Wine Lister.
Those looking for more value ‘might consider the higher scoring 2014,’ said Liv-ex analysts.
Update by Ellie Douglas.
Update 7th June
Pichon Baron has released its 2017 wine priced at €96 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 16% on the 2016 release of €114.
Smith Haut Lafitte has also released today, at €67.20 per bottle, down 12.5% on the 2016 release price.
Wine Lister said that whilst it doesn’t match the quality of the past two vintages, the release price looks more reasonable than some.
However, Liv-ex analysts advised looking at other vintages for value.
‘Buyers looking for value may wish to consider the 2012, which carries a higher score and is available at a 24% discount to today’s release. The 2016 also offers relative value,’ said Liv-ex analysts.
Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2017 was released at €80.40, up 12% on the 2016 release of €72.
The white is ‘full of personality, zip and complexity, and is clearly going to age beautifully,’ said Anson.
Cos d’Estournel 2017 has released its 2017 price, at €108 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 10% on its 2016 price.
According to Liv-ex, it is being offered to the international trade at £1,308 per 12 bottle case.
However, looking at value in terms of price and critical scores, Liv-ex reports the higher scoring 2014 as the better value buy.
Wine Lister reports the same, stating ‘yet again in this year’s campaign, the 2014 looks like good value.’
Les Carmes Haut Brion 2017 also released its prices today.
Anson called this wine ‘rather gorgeous’ and said it will age well.
It has been released at €54 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 4.3% on 2016.
Wine Lister said it looks a ‘very attractive proposition en primeur’, as this price is below both the 2016 and 2014.
Liv-ex said it is ‘widely recognised as a brand on the move, this is likely to attract attention from collectors.’
Pavie Macquin 2017 has released at €51.60 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 12.2% on 2016.
Larcis Ducasse has been released at €48 ex-Bordeaux, which is down 9% on the 2016 price.
Clos Fourtet 2017 has been released at €72, a 13% decrease on the 2016 price of €82.80.
Update by Ellie Douglas.
Update 6th June
Calon Ségur in St-Estèphe has released its 2017 price, at €60 a bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 3.8% on 2016.
On the wine, Jane Anson said ‘The fruit is on the elegant side, and this should be earlier to drink than the 2016 and even the 2014.’
According to Liv-Ex, it is being offered by merchants at £738 per 12 bottle case, although many are already sold out. Volumes released are down 25% on last year.
Looking at the critical reception, and the price, Calon Segur 2017 looks like one of the best value on the market, said Liv-Ex analysts.
‘After several sluggish weeks, today’s release of Calon Segur, and yesterday’s release of Pichon Lalande, (see below) bring some optimism to the 2017 campaign,’ said Liv-Ex analysts.
Canon 2017 was released today at €66.00 ex-Bordeaux, which is 8% down on the 2016 release price.
According to Wine Lister ‘Canon was the wine trade’s fifth most successful en primeur release last year and the 2017 should follow suit given the wine’s rising star status. It is worth purchasing en primeur, if you can get it.’
Anson said the 2017 wine was ‘another successful year for Canon‘.
Château Giscours 2017 also released at €41.40 ex-Bordeaux, which is down 7% on the 2016 wine.
Anson called it a ‘An accomplished, enjoyable Giscours‘ and with a ‘juicy frame that will age well.’
Margaux estate Château Brane-Cantenac came out today at €46.80 ex-Bordeaux, down 9.3% on the 2016 wine.
It is being offered by UK merchants for £576 per 12 bottle case.
Although less powerful than the past two vintages, Anson said it ‘doesn’t sacrifice the excellent quality that this estate has been producing.’
Update by Ellie Douglas.
Update 5th June
Pauillac second growth, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, has released its price for the Bordeaux 2017 en primeur, at €90 a bottle ex-Bordeaux.
This is 25% down on 2016, continuing the trend for prices dropping for Bordeaux 2017 – and one of the more significant price jumps, along with the early-released Château Palmer.
Jane Anson called Pichon Comtesse one of ‘my wines of the vintage, no question’ in her Bordeaux 2017 en primeur tasting note, and predicted that it will ‘age extremely well.’
According to Liv-Ex it is being offered by the international trade at £1,116 per 12 bottle case.
The analysts said ‘it has entered the market below the current values of the ‘great’ vintages, but at a premium to several others.’
‘The new vintage is around £100 [a case] above the wine’s “fair value“, which followers of the estate may consider acceptable.’
Château d’Issan 2017 also released today, at €46.80 per bottle ex-negociant, a 10.3% decrease on the 2016 price of €46.80.
Jane Anson praised it for ‘plenty of Margaux elegance, precision and touches of florality.’
Château Lynch-Bages released on 22nd May, at €75 ex-Bordeaux, 21.9% down on 2016.
It is another well performing Pauillac in our Bordeaux 2017 en primeur scores, with Anson praising its ‘great finesse.’
Update by Ellie Douglas.
Update 16 May
Château Talbot dropped its release price for its Bordeaux 2017 en primeur wine by 11% versus the 2016 release, to 37.20 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux.
Beychevelle also released its 2017 wine on Wednesday (16 May), priced at 52.8 euros ex-Bordeaux and down by nearly 7% on the 2016 release price.
There has been a general movement towards price cuts on 2017 primeur releases so far, although few have ventured as far as the widely praised Château Palmer, one of the earliest out of the blocks and down by 20% on last year’s release.
A number of UK merchants have also been frustrated at the relatively slow start to this year’s campaign.
Liv-ex cited Beychevelle 2017 as being offered by UK merchants at £650 per 12-bottle case, making it the St-Julien estate’s cheapest grand vin on the market, in sterling currency terms.
This ‘could make today’s offer attractive, especially for buyers in Asia where the wine is widely followed,’ said Liv-ex analysts.
Wine Lister said Beychevelle’s release was ‘characteristically well-judged’.
Its analysis showed that the estate was one of the top performers in terms of price appreciation post-en primeur release between 2009 and 2016.
Decanter’s Jane Anson said that Beychevelle 2017 was ‘certainly a wine to recommend’ from an uneven vintage, even if it lacked the full expression of the exceptional 2016. She gave the wine 92 points.
Talbot’s 2017 release price pitched the wine as slightly cheaper than the current market price for the 2016 in sterling terms, according to Liv-ex.
The estate is known as a popular seller and came sixth when Wine Lister asked its founding members to name which wines sell most consistently year-on-year.
But, Liv-ex analysts questioned whether the 2017 release price would prove tempting enough.
Jane Anson praised the ‘great balance’ of the 2017, rating it 89 points, but she rated the 2016 wine at 94 points in a recent vertical tasting.
Other releases this week have included Marquis de Terme at 30 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 4% on the 2016 release price and following an emerging trend among several estates to price the 2017 vintage between their 2014 and 2015 wines.
Gazin was one of the estates that kick-started this week’s leg of the campaign, releasing on Monday 14 May at 57.6 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux, also a 4% drop on the 2016 release price. In sterling terms, Gazin 2017 was more expensive than the most recent market price for every vintage since 2010, according to Liv-ex.
Rieussec and Suduiraut in Sauternes have also released their 2017 wines this week, at 42 euros and 45.6 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux respectively – both equal to the 2016 release price.
Update 11 May
Lafleur has seen demand outstrip supply following its 2017 en primeur release. Decanter’s Jane Anson said the wine was one of the triumphs of the Right Bank after it managed to avoid frost damage that hampered several estates in the area.
Coming soon: A vertical tasting of Lafleur wines, to be published exclusively for Premium members.
Update published on 4 May
Châteaux injected some pace into the Bordeaux 2017 en primeur campaign on Thursday (3 May) with several releases hitting the market.
Many estates have increased prices over the previous three vintages and, this week, there continued to be signs that some properties were rolling some of this back for a frost-hit 2017 described as great in parts but considerably uneven.
It’s early days, but it still appears as if Palmer set the initial tone for the campaign last week by pricing its 2017 wine somewhere between the 2014 and 2015 release.
‘Palmer made the right move,’ said Gavin Smith, head of fine wine at Fine & Rare merchant, on Wednesday (2 May). ‘The price reduction judged the mood of the consumer well following two big campaigns in 2016 and 2015.’
He said that he was confident that the most highly regarded 2017 wines would sell, and that it could be an exciting campaign if others follow Palmer’s lead. But he added that several big names may have ‘missed an opportunity’ by not releasing early in a relatively quiet period.
Thursday 3 May releases
Malartic-Lagravière 2017 red was down by 21% ex-Bordeaux, to 32.4 euros ex-Bordeaux.
For consumers, Malartic-Lagravière 2017 red was just under the current 2014 price at Millesima USA. It was offering 12 bottles of Malartic-Lagravière 2017 red – rated 93 points by Decanter’s Jane Anson – for $570 in bond with the 2014 at $576 and the 2015 at $696.
In the UK, Fine & Rare was offering the Malartic 2017 red at £395 per 12-bottle case in bond. The 2014 vintage was available for £343 per case in bond on Fine & Rare Marketplace, with the 2012 available direct from the merchant at £359 per case. The 2016 was sold out and the 2015 was available on Marketplace for £418 per case.
Exclusive to Premium members
Langoa Barton in St-Julien released its 2017 with an ex-Bordeaux price cut of 15% versus last year, at 31 euros per bottle. Its 2015 wine was released en primeur at 32 euros ex-Bordeaux and its 2014 vintage at 29 euros.
Liv-ex said that it was being offered by UK merchants at around £390 per 12 bottles, down 7% in sterling terms versus the 2016 release.
Château Pape Clément also released its 2017 wine on Thursday (3 May), at a 7% discount to the 2016 release and at 61.2 euros per bottle ex-Bordeaux.
Liv-ex reported that Pape Clément had released around 50% less wine than last year, mainly due to frost damage.
BI Wines & Spirits was offering Pape Clément 2017 at £760 in bond for a 12-bottle case. For comparison, the 2014 and 2015 vintages on BI’s LiveTrade platform were priced at £670 and £840 in bond respectively for 12-bottle cases.
This week has also seen a primeur campaign debut for Trotte Vieille, which saw its 2017 wine available at 60 euros ex-Bordeaux. Jane Anson rated the wine at 94 points, praising its balance, power and good ageing potential.
Berry Bros & Rudd was offering six bottles of Trotte Vieille at £369 in bond, with the 2015 vintage also available on the merchant’s BBX trading platform, in bond, for £1 more per case.
La Lagune’s 2017 release, down 14% ex-Bordeaux versus 2016 to 30.6 euros per bottle, saw it join a number of estates that have opted to price within a range roughly between the 2014 and 2015 vintages so far.
Other releases so far this week have included Marquis d’Alesme, Dauzac, Vray Croix de Gay and Cos Labory, as well as Pape Clément and Malartic-Lagravière white wines.