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Bordeaux 2009 allocations questioned by merchants

A leading fine wine merchant has questioned 'inadequate' allocations by Bordeaux negociants, and called for them to review their distribution in time for the 2010 campaign.

In a letter to merchants and chateaux seen by decanter.com, London-based company Fine+Rare has asked the Bordelais to enter talks to discuss ‘fairer distribution’ of stock.

It claims it has been overlooked while other companies have been unduly favoured.

Mark Bedini, CEO of Fine+Rare told decanter.com, ‘What really gets on my wick is that at the end of the day the distribution systems does not take into account the growth of businesses when making allocations.

‘The negociants are not interested in knowing anything about our business. They are supposed to be distributing the wines so they are properly spread throughout the market but they have let their consumers down,’ he said

Fellow merchant Gary Boom of Bordeaux Index reported their allocations had been ‘fair’ but criticised negociants for withholding the vintage’s most sought after wines.

‘Negociants tend to sit on stock particularly the first growths so very little is released. I’d like to see the firsts getting together to distribute their own wines.’

The Bordelais have defended their corner. Bill Blatch of Vintex, said: ‘We had to pare down allocations this year and some companies probably didn’t prepare for it. It’s very easy to cry about allocations but the place is a great system.’

While demand for the 2009 wines was higher and supply lower, negociants claim they have sold all of their available wines to clients that could ‘reliably distribute the wines’.

Laurent Ehrmann, managing director of Barrieres Freres, added: We have been particularly faithful to those who bought 2008s.’

Written by Rebecca Gibb

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