Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases have continued this afternoon (23 June) with a host of high-scoring wines from the Right Bank, plus Rauzan-Ségla from the Margaux appellation in the Médoc.
- Château Rauzan-Ségla 2019, rated 96 points by Jane Anson, at €54 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 25% on the 2018 release price, according to Liv-ex.
- Château Canon 2019, rated 98 points by Anson, at €69.6, down 17% on 2018.
- Vieux Château Certan 2019, rated 97 by Anson, at €168, down 20% on 2018.
- Château Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse 2019, rated 98 by Anson, at €78, down 13% on 2018.
- Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 2019, rated 96 points, at €37.80, down 15% on 2018, according to Wine Lister.
While pricing strategies vary between estates, some analysts highlighted the potential value on offer among several releases today, including Rauzan-Ségla and Canon.
Both estate are owned by the Wertheimer family, which has a controlling interest in Chanel.
Analyst group Wine Lister said of Canon 2019, ‘At £73 per bottle [in bond], the 2019 enters the market 23% below the current prices of the 2018 and 2016.’
Liv-ex said that Canon was being offered for £876 per 12-bottle case in bond and that it was also significantly cheaper than the highly praised 2015 vintage at the St-Emilion estate. Canon 2015 also received 98 points from Anson, when she tasted it in the bottle in 2017.
Back on the Left Bank, Lister also said Rauzan-Ségla demand would probably outstrip the en primeur stocks released.
‘A price of £57 [per bottle in bond] brings the 2019 34% under the market price of the 2018 vintage – one of the greatest discounts on 2018 market prices seen in the campaign so far,’ it said.
Anson said that Rauzan-Ségla 2019 was more reminiscent of the 2016 vintage than the upfront ‘voluptuous impact of 2018’.
Liv-ex data showed that the 2019 vintage was also cheaper than the 2016 wine, albeit the price gap was narrower than with 2018.
Among other releases, Vieux Château Certan (VCC) in Pomerol was being priced at £2,124 per 12-bottle case in bond, putting it below the particularly well-regarded vintages of 2015, 2016 and 2018, according to Liv-ex.
While Anson was full of praise for the estate’s latest wine, she gave 99 points to the 2018 vintage.
Still, Wine Lister said the 2019 wine was 20% cheaper than the 2018 vintage and 30% cheaper than the 2016 vintage. It added, ‘Voted one of the top wines for likely future prestige by the trade, VCC is still enjoying a major moment.’
Copy updated at 17:45 UK time on 23 June, to include afternoon releases.
Carmes Haut-Brion an ‘obvious buy’
Analysts believe that the 96-point Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2019 may offer value to buyers, despite not carrying a significant discount to last year’s release, as La Fleur-Pétrus and Le Dôme fly the flag for Right Bank releases this morning (23 June).
Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2019 was released at €64.8 per bottle ex-Bordeaux this morning (23 June), down by around 6% on the debut price of the 2018 vintage.
Merchants in the UK were selling the Pessac-Léognan estate’s 2019 vintage for £816 per 12 bottles in bond.
Decanter’s Jane Anson has previously tipped the Pessac-Léognan estate as one to watch, and she gave the 2019 wine 96 points after tasting a barrel sample.
‘A wine to surprise those who think Bordeaux can’t deliver understatement,’ she said.
While price cuts of anywhere between 10% and 30% versus 2018 have been a central theme of the Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases, some analysts said that Carmes Haut-Brion was still a value proposition.
‘This is one of the most obvious buys of the campaign,’ said analyst group Wine Lister, noting that the 2019 was on average 35% cheaper than the 2016 and 2018 vintages.
The estate’s wines have a track record of price increases following release, in a market that has been sluggish for young Bordeaux as a whole.
Wine Lister said the 2018 price has risen by 28% in the past year. Anson rated the vintage at 98 points.
Liv-ex also noted that, based on Anson’s score, Carmes Haut-Brion 2019 looked relatively good value. But, it noted that the 2012 vintage was available at a 12% discount and offers several years of bottle ageing.
La Fleur-Pétrus and Le Dôme
Other releases included La Fleur-Pétrus 2019, rated at €160 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by nearly 17% on the Pomerol estate’s 2018 opening price, according to Liv-ex, which said the wine was being sold for the equivalent of £1,660 per 12 bottles in bond.
Anson gave the wine 97 points and described it as ‘seriously enjoyable’ and ‘one to note down in the vintage’.
In St-Emilion, Le Dôme 2019, rated 96 points by Anson, was also released. UK merchant Fine & Rare was selling six bottles in bond for £595, which it said was 20% below last year’s release price.
‘This is excellent, expertly judged and carefully extracted,’ said Anson.
Liv-ex said that buyers interested in La Fleur-Pétrus might wish to consider the 2012 and 2015 vintages, ‘available at 13.3% and 8.4% discount respectively’.
UK merchants have reported a mixed campaign so far in terms of sales.
Several châteaux dropped prices by more than 20% versus 2018 release prices, while some offered discounts of around 30%, including Mouton Rothschild, Haut-Brion, Figeac, Pontet-Canet and Cheval Blanc.
This reflects the economic uncertainty related to the coronavirus crisis. Read Jane Anson’s full verdict on Bordeaux 2019 to learn more about the quality of the vintage.
Updated below published on 22 June. Written by Ellie Douglas.
Pauillac estate Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande leads more releases this morning, as the 2019 campaign continues into another week.
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2019 has been released at €104.50 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 20.8% on the 2018 release.
The wine received 98 points from Jane Anson and was one of her top Pauillac wines of the vintage.
‘A serious, muscled Pichon Comtesse that grabs you from the first nose.’
As 100 point scores are not given en primeur, for Anson this wine is ‘outstanding, and [has] the potential to go to 100 when re-tasted in bottle.’
Wine Lister said that the combination of lower volumes released, already high popularity and high scores means that ‘this could sell at almost any price – the 20% discount to last year’s release price and strong critic comments will surely see it soar.’
On Friday 19th June, Château l’Eglise Client 2019 – Jane Anson’s ‘wine of the vintage’ and the last vintage from the late Denis Durantou – released at €204 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 2.9% on the 2018 release price.
Anson gave it 99 points, calling it ‘a great Pomerol in a vintage where the plateau wines of this appellation have really stood out.’
‘Based on the critical appraisal and as the last Denis Durantou vintage, the wine is selling out fast,’ according to Liv-Ex, which also recommends the 2016 as a possibility for buyers.
Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2019 also released this morning (22nd June) at €64.80 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 20.5% from the 2018 release.
Anson gave the wine 97 points, calling it ‘seriously impressive’ and ‘refined in style with cassis and blueberry – good focus and concentration.’
Wine-Lister says that although this wine has high scores, as the 2019 price is only 4% below the 2016 current price, ‘the physically available and high-quality 2016 and 2015 vintages look attractive in comparison.’
The Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2019 also released today, at €75.60 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 8.7% from the 2018 release, which has been scored 96 points by Anson.
She said it is full of the ‘rosemary-filled grown up glamour that Smith Haut Lafitte’s white does so well.’
St Emilion’s Château Troplong Mondot 2019 also released this morning at €60 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 19.4% on the 2018’s opening price.
Anson gave it 96 points and was one of her top St Emilion wines of 2019.
According to Wine Lister ‘the high scores, and the price positioned below the last four available vintages on the market will no doubt see this work.’
Liv ex also noted that with this ABV of 15% – as Anson puts it ‘High alcohol despite earlier picking dates, because the terroir is the boss here!’ – the wine is also exempt from the 25% US tariffs.
Updated below published on June 18th. Written by Chris Mercer.
Six-bottle cases of Château Margaux 2019 were being offered by UK merchants for £2,100 in bond this morning (18 June), with 12 bottles priced at £4,200.
Farr Vintners and BI Fine Wine & Spirits listed the wine as ‘sold out’ by mid-morning.
‘Margaux sold out to pre-orders,’ said Thomas Parker MW, buyer at Farr Vintners. ‘Our allocations were the same as last year and it was impossible to get more,’ he said.
Decanter’s Jane Anson gave 98 points to Château Margaux 2019. ‘This is close in character to the 2009 or 2015, two exceptional vintages at Margaux and classic to the graceful yet concentrated signature of the property,’ she said.
Liv-ex said the wine was released at €330 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, which represents a 19% discount on the on the 2018 vintage release price.
This continues a general theme of price cuts for Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases, albeit discounts versus recent, quality vintages vary from château to château.
Price cuts appeared to reflect the uncertain economic environment more than the quality of the vintage, which Anson said was broadly excellent – if not quite hitting the heights and consistency of the very top years.
Analyst group Wine Lister said of the Margaux 2019 opening price, ‘This is a lower discount on the 2018 than some members of the trade may have hoped for, but will likely be accepted given recent trade feedback that Margaux continues to be one of their most consistent sellers.’
The 2019 is also available at a considerable discount to the highly regarded Margaux 2015, which saw its price soar after release and includes a special bottle to commemorate the estate’s late MD, Paul Pontallier.
Merchants have reported mixed sales of primeur wines in general so far, despite some top sellers.
‘There is a real divide between wines that sell and others that do not this year,’ said Parker at Farr Vintners. This week, ‘Clinet, Léoville Barton, Pichon Baron, Figeac and others all sold out very quickly,’ he said. ‘However, châteaux who did not adhere to the right level of price reduction have not sold well.’
First growths at Bordeaux 2019 en primeur:
A brief comparison of the 1855 first growth releases*:
Rating: 97 points
Ex-Bordeaux price: €282 per bottle
UK merchant price: £3,540 per 12 bottles in bond
Rating: 98 points
Ex-Bordeaux price: €396
UK merchant price: £5,112
Rating: 98 points
Ex-Bordeaux price: €330
UK merchant price: £4,200
Rating: 98 points
Ex-Bordeaux price: €282
UK merchant price: £3,588
Latour left the en primeur system in 2012. Ex-Bordeaux prices based on Liv-ex data.
Other releases today
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2019 in St-Julien was released today at €114 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by around 18% on the 2018 release price. It was being sold for £1,440 per 12 bottles in bond, according to Liv-ex.
Jane Anson was full of praise for the wine, giving it 98 points. ‘A big accomplishment, making this an unmissable Ducru,’ she said.
La Mondotte, the St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B estate, cut its 2019 release price by 36% versus 2018, emerging at €108 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, according to Wine Lister, which said the wine offered ‘sizeable discounts’ versus the well-regarded 2015 and 2016 vintages.
Anson gave 94 points to La Mondotte 2019, commenting that ‘it sits comfortable at the top of the classified range’.
Margaux’s second wine, Pavillon Rouge 2019, at €120 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by nearly 17% on last year’s release and being sold for £1,500 per 12 bottles in bond, according to Liv-ex.
It was rated 94 points by Jane Anson, who described it as ‘one of the best Pavillon Rouge wines for years’.
Wine Lister said it was the cheapest recent vintage of Pavillon Rouge on the market. But, it added, ‘The 2015 vintage may also look appealing, with good availability on the market, and the third-lowest price of recent vintages.’
Pomerol’s Château Clinet 2019 was released at €52 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by nearly 19% on the 2018 release price, according to Liv-ex. ‘A great quality Clinet,’ said Anson, who gave the wine 95 points.
It was being offered by merchants for the equivalent of £650 per 12 bottles in bond.
Château Canon-la-Gaffelière 2019, rated 95 points by Anson, was released at around €49 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, giving it an initial price of £617 per 12 bottles in bond, according to Liv-ex.
That made the wine 17 to 20% cheaper than current prices for the 2016 and 2018 vintages, said Wine Lister. However, it added that the 2019 was only 9% below the 2015 price, ‘which also looks good with four years’ extra bottle age and wide availability’.
Update below written on 17th June by Ellie Douglas.
Château Ausone 2019 has led a rush of en primeur releases this morning (17 June), with a price cut of 25% on the 2018 vintage.
Ausone 2019 has been released at €420 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 25.7% on the 2018 release.
The combination of the price cut and general low volumes released from the estate means this wine ‘is set to sell out very quickly’, according to UK merchant Fine + Rare.
Look out for Jane Anson’s score and tasting note on Ausone 2019 coming soon.
Pichon Baron 2019 released today, at €94.80 ex-Bordeaux per bottle, which is 16.8% down on the 2018 release price.
It was one of Jane Anson’s top scoring Pauillac wines, with 97 points, and ‘a serious Pichon Baron, carefully extracted black fruits that barely put a foot wrong.’
The 2019 enters the market an average 12% cheaper than the 2018 and 2016 vintages but still around 10% above 2015, according to Wine Lister.
In an email this morning Fine + Rare called it ‘one of the most impressive vintages ever produced at the estate and is a must for all Pauillac fans out there.’
Léoville Barton 2019 has been released at €51.6o per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 16.5% on the 2018 release price. Volumes released are down 15-20% from last year, according to Liv-Ex.
Jane Anson gave the 2019 wine 96 points, calling it ‘another hit from an estate that is making seriously great wine right now’. It was one of Anson’s top scoring St Julien wines, an appellation which overall had some ‘truly great wines’ this year.
Wine Lister said ‘while the discount could arguably have been more generous, this will no doubt find appeal with loyal buyers.’
Both Wine Lister and Liv-Ex also highlight the 2015 vintage for buyers, at a slight discount on the 2019 and highly rated, already with some years of bottle age.
Langoa Barton also released today, at €28.20 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 21.7% on the 2018 vintage.
Anson gave it 94 points calling it ‘a brilliant Langoa’ and finding it ‘more successful than the 2018 because it delivers an absolute punch of fruits but gently so, with elegance and control that is very St Julien.’
Liv-Ex said this wine could be ‘an interesting opportunity for buyers’.
La Lagune 2019 has been released at €24 per bottle ex-Bordeaux. The estate did not release a 2018 vintage due to severe hail damage but this price is down 21% on the 2017 vintage, according to Liv-Ex.
Anson gave it 94 points and called it ‘seriously good quality, [with] tight cassis and fine tannins.’
Wine Lister said ‘As the cheapest, yet best-quality La Lagune available on the market, this is an absolute steal.’
Update below written on 16th June by Chris Mercer.
Château Montrose 2019 was released en primeur at €96 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by around 24% on the 2018 release, according to Liv-ex.
‘Oh this is good,’ said Jane Anson, who gave the wine 98 points after tasting a barrel sample. ‘It steals up on you with real depth of flavour, stately and concentrated in a way that reminds me of a 1996 or a 2016.’
UK merchants Fine & Rare and Millesima were selling Montrose 2019 for £602 per six-bottle case in bond.
Liv-ex data showed that the still-in-barrel Montrose 2019 was cheaper than the highly rated 2018 and 2016 vintages, but more expensive than the well-regarded 2014.
Price cuts have been a theme of this year’s campaign, which has taken place against amid forecasts of a global recession. The vintage itself is of very high quality, according to Anson’s newly published Bordeaux 2019 verdict.
Several merchants have reported a mixed demand from buyers (see previous updates below).
Matthew O’Connell, head of investment at BI Fine Wine & Spirits, told Decanter.com late last week, ‘This en primeur campaign has – as expected – been one where buyers are very price sensitive.
‘The right price has seen particularly outsized demand, whereas prices which fail to deliver very meaningful discounts to [the] 2018 en primeur [campaign] and high scoring recent vintages, as well as being close to or through the “cheapest to deliver” vintage, have seen limited interest.’
Among a rush of releases this morning, Châteaux Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Gloria earned particular praise from analysts for pricing their 2019 wines beneath recent, in-bottle vintages.
Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2019 was released at around €43 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, more than 20% down on the ex-Bordeaux release price for the Pauillac estate’s 2018 vintage.
‘This is a brilliant wine, easily equal to the 2018 and approaching the 2016,’ said Decanter’s Jane Anson, who gave it 96 points after tasting a barrel sample.
It was initially being sold for the equivalent of £540 per 12 bottles in bond, which means the wine is ‘priced well under a number of [the estate’s] physical vintages’, according to Liv-ex.
Analyst group Wine Lister said that the price, high quality and perennial popularity of this ‘cult claret’ should appeal to buyers, but it added that the 2014 vintage looks attractively priced.
Château Gloria 2019, rated 94 points by Jane Anson, was released this morning at €24 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by around 17% on the 2018 release.
Anson gave 94 points to Gloria 2019 and said it was ‘right up there with the best vintages of this property’.
Liv-ex said Gloria 2019 was being sold for equivalent to £301 per 12-bottle case, making the wine cheaper than the 2018, 2016 and 2015 vintages but more expensive than 2017 and 2014.
Wine Lister said, ‘Gloria has long been a great pick for value in St-Julien, and this latest release is no exception.’
Other releases today included Château Gruaud Larose 2019 at €51.6 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by just 6.5% on the 2018 release.
UK merchants were selling it for £649 per 12 bottles in bond, making the wine more expensive than many recent vintages, according to Liv-ex data.
It said that Gruaud Larose 2016, rated 95 points by Jane Anson, was available for around £560 per 12-bottle case, with some ageing in the bottle.
Château Beauregard 2019 was released at €38.40, down 16% on the 2018 release price, according to Wine Lister.
Jane Anson recently highlighted this Pomerol estate as one to watch, and she rated the 2019 wine 94 points after tasting two barrel samples, several weeks apart.
However, 2015 was also a particularly successful vintage on the Right Bank and Wine Lister said that Beauregard 2015 was available ‘at only 1% above the price of the current release’. Beauregard 2015 was also rated 94 points by Anson.
Several merchants have reported a mixed Bordeaux 2019 en primeur campaign so far, and top names offering the biggest discounts were among the best sellers last week.
Update below written on 15 June by Ellie Douglas
Château Figeac has released its 2019 wine, scored 97 points by Jane Anson, at €120 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, a 31% drop compared to last year.
Anson called it ‘an extremely impressive and signature Figeac’, in year with significantly more Cabernet Franc in the blend.
Liv-Ex said ‘Today’s release comes to the market at a similar release price to 2017 but it receives much higher critical praise.’
Wine Lister called it a ‘healthy’ discount and that the 2019 is ‘an absolute buy.’
Château La Conseillante 2019 has been released at €120 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 25.9% on the 2018.
It scored 97 points from Anson, calling it ‘a lovely tactile wine and an austere finish, signs that this will age for decades.’ Wine Lister says it ‘still provides value relative to other Pomerols of similar quality.’
Pape Clément 2019 was released at €57.60 ex-Bordeaux, just 12% down on the 2018 release price.
‘Continuing the strong performance of Pape Clément over recent vintages,’ said Anson, who gave it 95 points.
Liv-Ex said ‘Buyers looking for already physical vintages might wish to consider the 2015, available at 10.3% discount to the 2019, or the 2012– at the same price point.’
The Pape Clément Blanc also released today, at €88.80 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 9.6%. Anson gave it 94 points and called it ‘beautifully complex and well-put together.’
Talbot 2019 has been released at €32.60 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 22.4% on the 2018 release price.
Anson gave it 93 points, and said ‘This continues the run of good vintages that Talbot has been producing since 2016. Well balanced, with plenty of St Julien character.’
Liv-Ex noted ‘Today’s release comes out as the second cheapest vintage available on the market and potentially one of the highest scored.’
Lafon-Rochet has been released at €27 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 13.5% on 2018. Anson gave it 93 points, saying ‘suggests fresh acidities and good backbone’ – although ‘Less immediately seductive than the 2018.’
Wine Lister states that the wine is ‘still a bargain relative to other similar-quality Left Bank wines.’
- Château Giscours 2019 rated 94 points by Anson, at €33.60 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by 24.3% on the 2018 release price.
- Château du Tetre 2019, rated 92 points by Anson, at €25.20 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by 14.3% on last year’s release price.
- Château Chasse-Spleen 2019, rated 92 points by Anson, at €19.2, down by 20% on the 2018 release price.
Update below written on 11 June by Chris Mercer
Château Haut-Brion 2019, rated 97 points by Decanter’s Jane Anson, was released this morning (11 June) at €282 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, which marks a 31% drop on the 2018 vintage release price.
It also puts the still-in-barrel 2019 vintage below current market prices for the well-regarded vintages of 2018, 2016 and 2015, according to Liv-ex data.
UK merchants were selling Haut-Brion 2019 for the equivalent of £3,540 per 12 bottles in bond, while Liv-ex MD James Miles said on Twitter that, at 14.5% abv, the wine should avoid new US import tariffs.
La Mission Haut-Brion 2019, rated 96 points by Anson, was also released this morning, down by 29% on last year at €180 per bottle ex-Bordeaux.
Anson said that Haut-Brion 2019 was ‘powerful and confident’ with ‘clear ageing ability’.
The Pessac-Léognan-based First Growth was one of several releases today and it joins other a list of major château to enter the Bordeaux 2019 en primeur campaign with a significant discount versus the 2018 vintage release last year.
Price cuts have been widely deemed necessary for the success of this year’s delayed en primeur campaign, irrespective of vintage quality, due to the economic repercussions from the coronavirus public health crisis.
In Pauillac, Mouton Rothschild and Pontet-Canet also dropped their release prices by around 30% versus 2018.
Other estates have cut prices by more than a fifth versus the 2018 ex-Bordeaux release. Lynch-Bages entered the campaign yesterday with a 27% drop, with a 97-point rating from Jane Anson, for instance.
Some have opted for more modest price cuts; Pavie in St-Emilion was released this week at 15% below its 2018 ex-Bordeaux price.
Are the wines selling?
Initial reports from UK merchants suggested buyer demand was patchy, despite several top châteaux scoring above 95 points on their grands vins.
‘It has been a mixed campaign which has largely depended on price reductions,’ said Thomas Parker MW, buyer at Farr Vintners. ‘Lynch-Bages and Mouton Rothschild sold out largely or entirely to our pre-orders.
‘Léoville Poyferré and Pontet-Canet have sold well with sensible release prices, and Cheval Blanc has sold well with for the first time in a few vintages with its effort to be cheaper than the comparable 2015, 2016 and 2018 [wines]. Other châteaux who have not made the same efforts simply have not sold.’
He said there was evidence of some buyers coming back into the fold. ‘Most of our buyers have been those who have bought primeurs in the past, but not always in recent vintages.’
Liv-ex co-founder Justin Gibbs told Decanter.com that price cuts were encouraging, but the campaign had not been a universal success to date.
‘The market has welcomed the efforts of some of the big names who have released – Lafite, Mouton, Haut-Brion, Cheval Blanc, Palmer, Pontet-Canet and Lynch-Bages, for example – but there are many wines that have failed to grab the market’s attention, simply because the price has not been alluring enough in these challenging times.’
Will Hargrove, head of fine wine at UK merchant Corney & Barrow, also reported a mixed campaign and said a key aspect for prospective buyers was whether a château’s 2019 vintage was cheaper than other recent, quality vintages.
‘It’s difficult to say that there should be a set reduction [in price],’ he said this morning.
As a rough rule, particularly on the Left Bank, he said, ‘If it’s under the market price of the 2016, that’s a good thing, and if it’s near or under the 2014 then that’s a very good thing.’
However, he added that it was also important for buyers to consider the pricing history and back-vintage availability of individual estates.
He noted that Calon Ségur had released its 2019 with a smaller discount versus 2018 but that it had a reputation for price rises following the primeur campaign. The wine, also released today, was rated 97 points by Jane Anson.
Debate about amount of wine released
There have again been reports in trade about some châteaux releasing fewer wines for the en primeur campaign, choosing instead to hold a bigger proportion of the vintage back for in-bottle release in around 18 months to two years from now.
This has been a talked-about phenomenon for several recent vintages, and each estate has its own policy.
‘There is considerable frustration [in the trade] around volumes,’ said Gibbs at Liv-ex. ‘Where the price is right, it is near impossible to develop new clients because the châteaux have chosen to reduce the volumes released (despite the generous yields of the vintage).’
Several critics have not yet released their full vintage tasting reports for 2019, which may invigorate demand for some estates further into the campaign.
Coming soon: Jane Anson’s full vintage report on Bordeaux 2019.
Update below published on 9 June 2020. Written by Chris Mercer
Château Mouton Rothschild has entered the Bordeaux 2019 en primeur campaign with one of the steepest price cuts so far, despite a high rating for the wine.
Mouton Rothschild was released this morning (9 June) at €282 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, which represents a drop of around 31% on the equivalent price of the 2018 vintage.
Decanter’s Jane Anson said Mouton Rothschild 2019 was ‘another brilliant Pauillac first growth in 2019′, and she rated the wine 98 points after tasting a barrel sample in Bordeaux. ‘It has a feel of the 1996 about it,’ she said.
UK merchants, including Millesima, Fine & Rare and Justerini & Brooks, launched Mouton 2019 offers at £1,794 per six bottles in bond, significantly below the current price of the 2018 vintage, rated 99 points last year.
Mouton is the second of the 1855 First Growths to enter a Bordeaux 2019 en primeur campaign that has seen a particularly quick run of releases in the past week. This year’s tastings were disrupted due to the coronavirus crisis.
While several top châteaux have cut release prices by more than 20% versus last year, Mouton earned particular praise from some analysts.
Wine Lister said that Mouton 2019 entered the market well below the 2018 and 2016 wines, and as the least expensive recent Mouton vintage on the market.
‘Perhaps this could even restore a little momentum to the campaign for releases in the coming days,’ it said.
Liv-ex said that Mouton 2019’s opening price ‘looks to present very good value indeed’. It added that the volume of wine offered to the market is down 20%.
Price cuts have been a theme of this year’s campaign so far, albeit to varying degrees, and this trend reflects the economic uncertainty related to coronavirus.
Several other wines were also released today by Mouton Rothschild owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild, including:
- Le Petit Mouton 2019, rated 94 points by Anson, at €138 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by 17% on the 2018 release price. In pounds sterling, it is ‘13%-30% under all recent back vintages available on the market’, said Wine Lister.
- Château Clerc Milon 2019, rated 95 points by Anson, at €48 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by 20% on last year’s release price. UK merchants were offering it at £624 per 12-bottle case, according to Liv-ex.
- Château d’Armailhac 2019, rated 93 points by Anson, at €28.8, down by 17% on the 2018 release price.
Elsewhere, this morning also saw the debut of Château Larrivet Haut-Brion 2019 at €22.8 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by around 10% on the 2018 release price.
Château Grand-Puy Ducasse 2019 was also released today at €22.2 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by 16% on the 2018 release price, according to Liv-ex. The Pauillac fifth growth was rated 92 points by Jane Anson, who tasted two samples.
Updated at 5:25pm UK time to include Grand-Puy Ducasse.
Update published on 8 June 2020. Written by Eleanor Douglas.
Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases on 8 June include:
- Château Cheval Blanc, rated 98 points by Jane Anson, released at €370 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down almost 30% on the 2018 price.
- Château Angélus 2019, rated 97 points by Anson, released at €230 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down just 8.7% on the 2018 price, and second wine at €60, down 23% on last year.
- Château Beychevelle 2019, rated 94 points by Anson, was released at €52.80 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 12% on the 2018 price.
- Château Branaire-Ducru, rated 93 points by Anson, released at €28.20 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 26% on the 2018 price.
- Château Léoville Poyferré rated 96 points by Anson, released at €49.20 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 25% on 2018.
- Château Gazin, rated 93 points by Anson, has been released at €50.40 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 19% on 2018.
The 2019 Bordeaux en primeur campaign continues to gain momentum as more châteaux release wines to the market, including Cheval Blanc, Angélus and Beychevelle.
Château Cheval Blanc has released its 2019 wine to the market, at 30% below the 2018 price, following similar price drops as Pontet-Canet, Palmer and Domaine du Chevalier, so far.
It is Cheval Blanc’s lowest priced release since 2014, according to an email from merchant Fine + Rare, and 30% less will be released in terms of volume.
Decanter’s Jane Anson gave the wine 98 points, saying it is ‘Extremely precise, floral and berry aromatics build out of the glass and this sense of construction continues through the palate.’
Anson also observes that ‘Biodiversity is blooming at Cheval right now – 40 brebis goats and sheep since October 2019, alongside pigs, 200 Bresse chicken, 40 egg-laying chickens and 16 beehives.’
It’s second wine Petit Cheval was released this morning, being offered at £1,500 per 12×75 according to Liv-Ex.
Angélus also released today, given 97 points by Anson, who called it ‘A supremely elegant Angélus full of power,’ but also that ‘the low pH means maybe a little less fleshy than usual with Angélus, certainly less so than the 2018.’
Releasing just 8.7% below the 2018 price, Liv-Ex said that ‘Today’s release is coming to the market above a number of physical vintages already available. Buyers looking for relative value have many options.’ It highlighted the 2010 vintage as one option, which Anson earlier this year gave 99 points in the Bordeaux 2010: Ten years on tasting.
Analyst group Wine Lister said the pricing was ‘ambitious within the current context, but should work for those who have real belief in the château’s step change in style and quality’, lead by the ‘ambition and inspiration of Stéphanie de Bouard coupled with her father, Hubert’s, execution’.
Angelus’s second wine, Carillon d’Angelus, also released at €60 per bottle, down 23% on 2018.
Beychevelle released at 12% down on last year’s price ex-Bordeaux, at €52.80 per bottle, with Liv-Ex commenting that ‘today’s release is the cheapest Beychevelle offered on the market. All other recent vintages are trading above £700.’
Anson gave Beychevelle 2019 94 points, calling it ‘A confident and well expressed Beychevelle.’
Wine Lister noted ‘The rationale for buying this now would be Beychevelle’s strong track record of increasing in price post-release, and indeed in general.’
Château Léoville Poyferré 2019 received 96 points from Anson, calling it a ‘A rich and highly charged Poyferré… Hugely impressive, with velvety tannins.’ It was released at €49.20 per bottle, 25% down on 2018.
Liv Ex said that ‘Buyers looking for other options may also want to consider the 2015 and 2014 vintages which are available at a slight discount.’
Branaire-Ducru released at €28.20, down 26% on 2018, with Anson calling it ‘an enjoyable Branaire Ducru that is easy to recommend’ and ‘a medium-term drinker within the St Julien context.’ Anson gave it 93 points.
Wine Lister said; ‘the 2019 will no doubt find buyers, based on the solid value Branaire-Ducru offers against other Saint Julien wines of similar quality, and based on the following of the brand.’
Liv Ex also observed that ‘Buyers looking for additional value may consider the more recent vintages of 2015, 2016, and 2018.’
Château Gazin has been released at €50.40 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 19% on 2018. Speaking of the release Wine Lister said; ‘This level of discount would be acceptable in a normal context, but it may not be enough in the current crisis.’
Coming soon: Jane Anson’s full scores and report on the Bordeaux 2019 vintage.
Published 05/06/2020. Written by Georgie Hindle
Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases today (5 June) include:
- Château Lafite Rothschild, rated 98 points by Jane Anson, at €396 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down 16% on the 2018 release price
- Carruades de Lafite, rated 93 points by Jane Anson, at €145 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down 19% on the 2018 release price
- Château Duhart-Milon, rated 94 points by Jane Anson, at €48 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down 12.7% on the 2018 release price
- Château L’Évangile, rated 99 (98-100) points by Jane Anson, at €135 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down 25% on the 2018 release price
Château Lafite Rothschild has become the first of the first growth estates to release the 2019 vintage with a recommended UK onward selling price of £426, a decrease of 15% on the 2018 entry price, making a 12 x 75cl bottle case £5,112.
As volumes are reported to be around 50% lower than last year, the estate is thought to be breaking usual procedure and releasing one single tranche only, revealed in a note this morning by analyst group Wine Lister.
Decanter’s Jane Anson said Lafite 2019 is a ‘brilliant wine, one that could be up-scored from this [98 points] when in bottle.’
The estate’s second wine Carruades de Lafite was also released, though prior to that of the Grand Vin, at a recommended UK onward selling price of £158, 16% lower than in 2018.
Anson said the 2019 ‘has the drinkability that Lafite prides itself on’ and is ‘a little more straight-laced than the 2018, but one that you would be more than happy to own and to share.’
Commenting on the release, Wine Lister said: ‘The first 2019 release from the Lafite stable this morning sets a hopeful tone as the campaign shifts up a gear, as the least expensive Carruades on the market. It feels representative of the increasing quality of a wine bearing the Lafite name, while also acknowledging the current economic climate.’
According to a Berry Bros. & Rudd sales email sent this morning these wines are ‘among the most anticipated of the entire en primeur campaign’ but due to low volumes the merchant ‘may not be in a position’ to offer purchasing ability today.
‘A tiny amount of stock may be visible in the market, but allocations to merchants are not yet being widely released’ the email said.
Lafite’s fifth growth Pauillac property, Château Duhart-Milon however has also been released today, at €48 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 12.7% on 2018 and offered by the trade at £624 per case of 12 x 75cl bottles.
Rating the 2019 wine 94 points, Anson said: ‘This one might sneak up on you, confirming the rise of this wine in recent years’ and commented that ‘overall this is an excellent Duhart’.
Another high-scoring wine, and potential for 100 points, to enter the market today was Pomerol’s Château L’Évangile which was being offered at €135 per bottle ex-Bordeaux. A case of 12 x 75cl bottles is being offered at £1,752, a decrease of 22,1% from 2018, according to Liv-ex.
Anson awarded the wine 99 points writing in the tasting note: ‘Have I tasted a better l’Évangile? Certainly not at this stage, and one of the very few wines in 2019 that I can say without question approaches a perfect score.’
‘I don’t give 100s at En Primeur but this is off the scale delicious, and I already can’t wait to taste it in bottle.’
Regarding L’Evangile 2019 Berry Bros. & Rudd said ‘Priced alongside the 2015 vintage but below the past three releases, the increasing status of this estate makes the release price an attractive one.’
Published 04/06/2020. Written by Chris Mercer.
Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases today (4 June) include:
- Domaine de Chevalier 2019 red, rated 95 points by Jane Anson, at €39.6 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down by 25% on the 2018 release price.
- Lafleur 2019, rated 99 points by Anson, was being offered at the equivalent of £5,800 per 12-bottle case in bond.
- Château Batailley 2019, rated 94 points by Anson, was on sale at Berry Bros & Rudd and Justerini & Brooks for £168 per six bottles in bond.
A series of Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases have punctuated this week, starting with Palmer and then Cos d’Estournel and followed-up with a flurry of launches, including Guiraud in Sauternes, Lafleur in Pomerol, Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan and Batailley in Pauillac.
There has been an early trend for release prices to drop by between 20% and 30% versus the ex-Bordeaux release price of the 2018 vintage a year ago, in euros.
Rather than a statement on vintage quality, this appears to be recognition of the uncertain economic climate, from 25% US tariffs to the widespread impact of the coronavirus crisis.
However, every estate’s release strategy depends on several factors, including the availability of back-vintages on the market or relative success in a particular year.
Lafleur 2019 was released by UK merchants today at the equivalent of £5,800 per 12-bottle case, which is equal to the 2018 release price, according to Liv-ex.
Decanter’s Jane Anson said that Lafleur 2019 has the potential to get a perfect 100-point score.
She rated the en primeur sample at 99 points. ‘I don’t give 100 during en primeur, but this is as close as it gets, and is a reflection of just how impressively the Pomerol plateau has performed in the 2019 vintage,’ she said, adding that she also gave 93 points to ‘Les Pensées de Lafleur’ 2019, also released today along with the wider portfolio.
Only small quantities of Lafleur are produced from estate’s 4.58-hectare vineyard, and UK merchant Justerini & Brooks was selling three-bottle cases of the Lafleur 2019 on a ‘strict allocation only’ basis.
Lafleur has seen prices rise steeply following the release of some recent vintages, as noted in an article in Decanter magazine’s 2020 Bordeaux Guide.
While the 2019 price does not represent a discount on last year’s release, analysis group Wine Lister said today, ‘The 2019 comes onto the market well below current prices of the last four vintages.’
Domaine de Chevalier 2019 red was also released today, down by 25% on the 2018 ex-Bordeaux release price.
UK merchants were offering the 2019 wine at £495 per 12-bottle case in bond.
‘A lovely Chevalier,’ said Anson, who said it was ‘similar in style to warm, well-built years like 2000’, although it lacked the power of the 2016 vintage. She gave it 95 points.
Despite the price cut, and the popularity of recent Domaine de Chevalier vintages, some analysts expressed caution. ‘There are many vintages of Domaine Chevalier rouge below the price of the newest release,’ said Liv-ex.
The wine is cheaper than the 2018 or 2016 vintages, but was around level with 2015, which has also been highly praised, said analysis by Wine Lister.
Domaine de Chevalier’s 2019 white wine, rated 93 points by Anson, was released at €57.6 per bottle ex-Bordeaux. Liv-ex said it was down by nearly 18% on the 2018 release.
Château Batailley 2019 also made a debut this morning. Several UK merchants had not released offers at the time of writing, but Berry Bros & Rudd and Justerini & Brooks were selling six bottles for £168 in bond. Anson gave the wine 94 points.
Château de Fieuzal 2019 has also been released, at €21.6 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, which represents a 28% price drop versus 2018, according to Liv-ex.
Pontet-Canet 2019 released to begin en primeur campaign
Published 28/05/2020. Written by Georgie Hindle.
The Pauillac fifth growth has effectively fired the starting gun on this year’s Bordeaux en primeur campaign after releasing its 2019 wine today (28 May).
Château Pontet-Canet 2019 was released at £61 / €58 a bottle ex-Bordeaux this morning (28 May), a 31% drop versus the 2018 release.
Liv-ex data showed that it is one of the lowest priced vintages of Pontet-Canet on the market, and the lowest ex-Bordeaux release price since 2008. The 2019 barrel sample received a score of 96 points from Decanter’s Jane Anson.
A case of six bottles of Pontet-Canet 2019 is being sold by several UK merchants for £366 / €408 and a case of three magnums £370 / €413, although it has been offered via email for as low as £345 per six-bottle case.
Analyst group Wine Lister said in a note this morning, ‘This is in the region of what the trade has been calling for in the context of the current global crisis, and so should be well-received.’ However, it also pointed out that the 2015 vintage was available in-bottle for ‘just a fraction more’.
Pontet-Canet is known for offering its wine early in the campaign, but its move this week has effectively kick-started the season for Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases – which has faced disruption due to the coronavirus crisis.
In an email to Decanter.com, Pontet-Canet co-owner Justine Tesseron said, ‘Our 2019 is definitely one of our best vintages. We released this morning with a very good price to make people happy in this crazy world. It’s [been] a real success.’
The release comes ahead of the general publishing of critics’ scores; some critics have received samples in the post, but many have been unable to taste directly due to widespread travel restrictions.
Bordeaux-based Jane Anson visited the estate last week to taste the 2019 vintage.
Alongside her 96-point rating, she said the wine has a ‘clear Pauillac character in terms of its tannic structure, overlaid with the Pontet signature of recent vintages that translates into spirals of peony and iris alongside brambled hedgerow’.
She continued, ‘As it settles, coffee bean and tobacco adds a charred character alongside blackberry and cassis puree. It opens extremely slowly, with so many subtle nuances that gather in confidence.’
Anson also noted that the use of amphorae made the tannins feel ‘less silky than they do in many of the appellation’s biggest wines, but still with swagger’.
She added, ‘This score is two points under the 2016, because it doesn’t have the concentration of that exceptional vintage, but it’s an excellent Pontet, full of vigour.’