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‘Highly successful’ Pontet-Canet 2020 released as more big names emerge

Several top Pauillac estates have entered the Bordeaux en primeur campaign in the last two days, including Pontet-Canet, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch-Bages, amid a growing trend for price rises versus last year's releases.

Château Pontet-Canet 2020 became the latest big-name Pauillac to join the Bordeaux en primeur campaign this morning (17 June). 

Fine & Rare was offering six bottles for £445 in bond, with Bordeaux Index selling 12-bottle cases for £890. 

Jane Anson rated the wine at 97 points, her highest Pontet-Canet score since 2016. She said in her note on the 2020 vintage, ‘One of the few Pauillacs that, for me, overperforms on its 2019.’

On an ex-Bordeaux basis, the 2020 was released at €74.4 per bottle, up 28% on the equivalent release price in 2019 but still below the 2018 release price, according to Liv-ex figures. 

The biodynamically-farmed estate was one of the several châteaux that significantly reduced its price for the 2019 release during a delayed en primeur campaign last summer. 

This year, there has been a growing trend for price rises in the 2020 campaign so far, albeit to varying degrees. 

Several market observers point out, too, that it’s important to consider back-vintage availability and current market pricing on similarly-rated years when assessing a release. Some 2019 wines have risen in price since release, for instance.

Analyst group Wine Lister said Pontet-Canet’s 2020 release price is, for example, cheaper than the market prices of the 2019 and 2018 vintages, ‘depending on where you buy’. Given the 2020’s high score, ‘this will likely work’ on the market, Lister said. 

Pauillac in general has dominated the last 24 hours of this year’s en primeur campaign. 

Pichon Baron 2020, rated 96 points by Anson, was also released today, at around £1,327 per 12-bottle case in bond. On an ex-Bordeaux basis, the wine was €110.4 per bottle, up by 16.5% on the 2019 release price but still slightly under the 2018 price, according to Liv-ex figures.

UK prices by the case varied on the 97-point Pichon Baron 2019, making it either slightly cheaper or more expensive than the 2020 depending on the merchant.

Those two releases follow the launch of Lynch-Bages 2020 (96 points) and Pichon Comtesse de Lalande 2020 (96 points) yesterday (16 June).  

Matthew O’Connell, head of investment at Bordeaux Index, told Decanter that both of those wines sold well. 

‘We saw the pricing on these as somewhat marginal based on the 2015 and 2019 levels, two particularly relevant benchmarks we are looking at. However, the strong trajectory of Pichon Lalande and the very loyal following of Lynch-Bages has meant that the wines have sold well to collectors.’

Anson heaped praise on both wines, describing the Pichon Lalande 2020 as ‘one of the best of the appellation’ and Lynch-Bages, too, as ‘easily one of the best Pauillacs that I have tasted in the vintage, totally gorgeous’.

According to Liv-ex, Lynch-Bages 2020 was being offered for £1,040 (12x75cl in bond). On an ex-Bordeaux basis, the wine was released at €90 per bottle, up by 36% on the equivalent 2019 release price.

Pichon Lalande 2020 was being sold for £1,614 (12x75cl in bond). Liv-ex said the ex-Bordeaux price was €132 per bottle, up by 26% on the equivalent 2019 release price.

Wine Lister said that, in pound sterling terms, the 2019 has risen significantly in price since its release, with scarce availability. 

Other releases have included Château Pape Clément 2020 red and also white, both rated 94 points. Anson gave 95 points to the 2019 red wine, but she also described 2020 as ‘impressive, a really enjoyable, classically wrought but still full of concentration Pape Clément’.

According to Liv-ex the 2020 red was being sold for £752 per 12-bottle case in bond. 

Château Clinet 2020 in Pomerol was also released, rated 95 points by Anson, who described it as powerful and a ‘big, seductive wine’. Clinet was being sold for around £798 per 12-bottle case in bond, according to Liv-ex, which puts it below the current market price of the 95-point 2019 vintage.


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