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Bordeaux 2012: Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Cos d’Estournel release below 2011 price

Chateau Ausone is ‘an unqualified success’ with a price drop of 28%, wine merchants say.

‘There must be a plan somewhere’…Cheval Blanc

The blue-chip St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A has come down to €355 ex-Bordeaux, bringing it just below its 2008 price of €360.

Fellow Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A, Chateau Cheval Blanc, also released this morning with a price of €340 ex-Bordeaux, down 23% from 2011 but up 13% from its €300 2008 price.

Pomerol’s Chateau La Conseillante has also been seen as a success, posting a 20% drop to €57.60 (down from its 2010 price of €150, but still up from its 2008 position of €41.50).

Some of the other big hitters have made less of an impact. Chateau Lascombes is down 11.1% to €38.40 (up from €30 in 2008), Ducru Beaucaillou is €69.60 ex-Bordeaux, a drop of 7% on 2011 (and 11% higher than 2008), Lagrange is €24 ex-Bordeaux, down 10% on 2011 but up from its €21.60 price in 2008.

Cos d’Estournel has also posted a drop, this time of 18% to €89 ex-Bordeaux, but again a big rise of 37% on its 2008 price.

Most observers say Ausone has been an unqualified success. ‘There is no doubt that it would have sold at a higher price,’ commented one negociant, ‘but they were still prepared to listen to the market. Plenty of other chateaux could and should have done the same thing.’

Will Hargrove, associate director at Corney & Barrow told Decanter.com, ‘Both Cheval Blanc and Cos are wines that we admire but we can’t recommend them at those prices.

‘Cheval is part of a business [LVMH] that deals with luxury products, so there must be a plan somewhere, but its pricing policy is very frustrating.

‘Overall, the campaign has not been as difficult at last year – at least it’s been quicker, and some wines have worked. Pomerol generally has been a success, as its wines were seen as quality picks in the vintage, and the appellation also has some loyal customers. It seems to be stepping out of Bordeaux in a way, establishing its own separate following.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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