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Bordeaux 2009: ‘Slow start’ to en primeur campaign

As the first Bordeaux 2009 prices begin to appear, trade buyers are complaining of a 'slow start' to the campaign.

Mathieu Chardronnier, managing director of Bordeaux negociants CVBG, told decanter.com that despite a lack of prices, interest in the vintage was ‘definitely as high as hoped.’

‘It is a slow start, not because of a lack of interest, just because too few wines have been released to really get people excited.’

To date, Chateau Le Petit Bocq (€10.50 ex-negociant), Chateau Beaumont (€7.20) and Chateau Fourcas Dupre (€7.95) have released, all at prices higher than 2005.

Most merchants canvassed said, as expected, that the big difference between this campaign and 2005 is the demand from the Asian market.

But there are clear warnings that demand should not be taken for granted by chateaux.

‘There is unquestionably more demand from Asia than in 2005,’ said Jean-Baptiste Bourotte of Audy Negociants.

‘But this principally means China, as Korea and Japan are going through the same tough economic times as everyone else.’

‘This is clearly an excellent vintage, but I am not sure that China is really ready to step in to en primeur for anything more than select labels, and I don’t see others buyers being prepared to buy at any price, as they did in 2005.’

‘The number of wines released so far is too small to have any meaningful analysis on the price trend,’ added Chadronnier.

‘Any conclusions that we draw on prices higher up the scale at this stage is just gambling.’

Merchants in the UK, meanwhile, are continuing to hype up the vintage, with Gary Boom of Bordeaux Index declaring that ‘returns of 20% within one year are realistic for key wines of Bordeaux 2009 quality – as long as you buy when they first come out.’

‘But don’t forget that the vintages that have provided the best returns in recent years have been the ‘off’ years of 2002 and 2004 – because prices started out reasonable’.

Bordeaux 2009: All the coverage

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Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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