A clutch of Sauternes estates, including Chateau Doisy-Daene and Doisy-Vedrines, are among those that have kicked off the Bordeaux 2014 campaign, with Chateau Gazin and Chateau Prieure Lichine joining them as the first big name red wines.
Several Cru Bourgeois (or equivalent) Medoc estates, including Senejac, Cambon la Pelouse and d’Arsac have also released this week, following their policy begun in 2012 of releasing early and at stable prices as part of the 13 Rendezvous Medoc estates.
So far, prices have remained close to, or just above, that of last year – with Gazin at 36 euros ex-Bordeaux, a rise of 4.2% on 2013 and Prieure Lichine at 22 euros, up from 20.4 euros last year. It was 18 euros ex-Bordeaux in 2008.
The only price decrease by late afternoon of 14 April had come from La Tour Blanche in Sauternes with a drop of just under 15% to 26.40 euros.
Of the other estates to release, Doisy-Daene in Barsac remained level with 2013 on 26.4 euros ex-Bordeaux and fellow Barsac property Doisy-Vedrines rose by 11% to 22 euros. Suduiraut was flat against 2013 at 42 euros.
Early reactions to prices have so far been muted. Paul Marus, at Corney & Barrow, told Decanter.com, ‘We are still waiting for a release that is really going to click with consumers, we need a “name” at a price that consumers feel they really can’t say no to.’
There is heightened pressure for the trade to give consumers a reason to buy Bordeaux 2014 wines, following low-key en primeur campaigns for the past three vintages.
During en primeur tasting week, several chateaux showed little inclination to reduce their prices, but a weak euro may aid buyers outside of the eurozone.
(Additional reporting by Chris Mercer)
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux