While merchants have reported strong collector interest in some Bordeaux 2022 en primeur wines, high release prices may not help the region’s near-term market momentum.
Matthew O’Connell, CEO of LiveTrade at Bordeaux Index, said of the campaign: ‘I don’t recall any wines that I would describe as [released at] investible prices.’ Prices may rise in future, ‘but for something to be investible at the present time it has to be better value than other vintages’, he said.
Each estate has its own context, but he said the well-regarded 2020 and 2019 vintages were options to consider, as well as Bordeaux’s benchmark 2016 vintage.
Analyst group Wine Lister said Château Canon 2022 has ‘potentially strong investment potential’, given the lower-scoring 2020 vintage was up by 85% since release.
Château Figeac 2022 (98-100pts, Decanter), was released at £3,036 (12x75cl in bond), above other recent vintages. The estate has been on a strong quality run, but the price may partially reflect its promotion to St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A status last year.
The Bordeaux Index view
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Bordeaux’s en primeur campaign for the 2022 vintage ended with a busy last fortnight of releases, but with no real change in trend vs the remainder of the campaign: in most cases pricing of this excellent vintage proved to be acceptable to ongoing collectors but of less interest to those with more of a focus on relative value or outright investment merit.
The result – compounded by lower volumes as châteaux take a longer-term perspective on release strategy (gone is the Big Bang release approach of old) – was a campaign that was small and somewhat uneventful, despite wines which in the glass were fundamentally very interesting.
There are two market implications arising from this campaign. One is the attractiveness of back vintages of high quality – 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020, but even some much older vintages – particularly in the context that it seems likely that higher release prices are here to stay. The second is that it will be interesting to see how much interest the Bordeaux market commands in the second half of 2023. We tend to find that smaller EP campaigns lead to muted market activity in the months that follow – but we shall see this time around.