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Bordeaux 2011 – Super Tuesday: Over 40 releases overwhelm negociants, merchants

Over 40 chateaux have released their prices today – including Haut Brion, Angelus, Calon Segur and Kirwan – causing negociants and merchant to protest many were getting lost.

Calon: 40% down

Haut Brion released at €360 ex-negociant, down 45% on last year. Its sister wine La Mission Haut Brion has dropped 64% on the 2010 price, at €216.

Chateau Calon Segur is €39.60 (down 40%), Clinet at €50 (down 41.8%), Angelus at €138 (down 38.7%), Ferriere at €19.60 (down 14.04%), Langoa Barton at €31.20 (down 29.90%), and Chateau Kirwan at €28.50.

‘This was a drop on our 2010, 2009 and 2005 price,’ Kirwan owner Yann Schyler told Decanter.com, ‘and lower than the closest price available on the Bordeaux marketplace, the 2008.’

Kirwan, however, highlighted the effect of the flood of prices. ‘Did it come out?’ asked one negociant. ‘It got lost among everything else.’

At Berry Bros in London, director Max Lalondrelle said he had emailed negociants and courtiers to ask them to remove him from their mailing lists. There were so many wines, he said, that ‘we could only pick one or two to sell.’

He said that the wines that were released yesterday – Margaux, Palmer, Lynch Bages and others – last year brought in £8m. ‘This year, we sold £1.2m. Even with the fact this is a cheaper vintage, that is a huge difference.’

Another negociant, Jean-Pierre Rousseau of Diva, complained that ‘flood’ did no one any good as buyers focussed on top names and ‘everyone else gets forgotten.’

‘Every year we have this coordination problem. The brokers need to step in and organise things, because this flood is not profitable for anyone.’

The problem, he said, is that chateaux wait to see what the leaders are going to do.

‘Lafite played that role right at the beginning of the campaign, and it is a great shame that not enough chateaux followed.’

One of the most surprising prices of the day was Chateau Quintus, formerly Tertre Daugay, now owned by Haut Brion owners Domaines Clarence Dillon. It came out at €96, an increase of 471% on last year’s price of €16.80.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux, and Adam Lechmere

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