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Bordeaux 2006: Mouton, Lafite down, Haut-Brion up, Ausone £7.5k

As the 2006 Bordeaux primeur campaign draws to a close, the five first growths appear to have more closely aligned their prices.

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Chateau Mouton-Rothschild both came out within the last 48 hours at €270 per bottle ex-chateau, joining Margaux and Latour. Chateau Haut Brion came out at €275.

Mouton and Lafite are being offered by UK merchants at £3,200 per case. Haut Brion will be £2,950.

This represented a 60% increase on 2005 for Haut Brion, which was widely seen to have under-priced last year. The other first growths saw an average decrease of 10%.

Chateau Ausone stuck to its high end pricing strategy with a per bottle price, ex-chateau, of €450, 10% down on 2005. It is £7,500 per case on the shelves.

‘The reduced prices [of the first growths] have taken some of the arrogance out of the campaign,’ Jeffery Davies, a Bordeaux based American negoiciant told decanter.com.

Ed Cottrell, director of fine wine sales at Bibendum said that the campaign had been going better than expected. ‘Even though the prices are still very high compared to 2004, it doesn’t seem to have put people off at the top end’.

Jean Baptiste Buorotte, director of negociant Audy said, ‘The 2005 prices marked the beginning of a new era. Because demand is increasing, prices are now repositioned permanently. The demand is different, with a lot of rich people asking for a few top wines. Bordeaux is now the reference for those who want to spend money on wine.’

Chateau Yquem, Chateau Cheval Blanc and Petrus are expected to be released on Monday.

Written by Sophie Kevany in Bordeaux

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