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Bordeaux en primeur: Batailley, Carruades de Lafite join releases

More châteaux have been releasing 2022-vintage wines in the Bordeaux en primeur campaign this week, as we highlight scores and price analysis on a few of the big names to emerge so far.

Several top names have been released in the Bordeaux 2022 en primeur campaign so far this week, including Château Batailley this morning (17 May), after Cheval Blanc and Angélus effectively kick-started proceedings eight days ago.

Excitement has been building around the Bordeaux 2022 vintage, and early en primeur releases have suggested a trend for price increases versus the 2021-vintage campaign last year, although the extent of this varies significantly.

Batailley

Batailley 2022 was released at €29.50 per bottle ex-[Bordeaux] négociant, up 11% on the 2021 vintage release, according to Liv-ex, which said UK merchants offered the wine at £372 per case (12x75cl in bond).

Château Batailley 2022 is one to watch, rated 97 points by Decanter’s Georgie Hindle. ‘A gorgeous 2022, well executed and will be a clear success,’ she wrote in her tasting note for the still-in-barrel wine.


Coming soon: Our full Bordeaux 2022 verdict with en primeur scores and tasting notes

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UK merchant Lay & Wheeler said in a note to customers that Batailley is ‘always one of the most popular’ en primeur releases and the 2022-vintage debut at £31 per bottle in bond is ‘continuing the estate’s sensible pricing policy’.

Prices vary by market and currency, but Liv-ex data showed several Batailley back-vintages were more expensive than the new release, including 2019, 2016 and 2015. However, the 2019 vintage was available around a 7.5% premium to the 2022 wine, and the 2020 vintage was cheaper, it added.

Beychevelle ‘sold out’

Beychevelle 2022 was released at €67.5 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up 17% on the 2021 release, said Liv-ex, quoting a UK merchant price of £836 per case (12x75cl in bond).

Beychevelle was listed as ‘sold out’ at both Farr Vintners and Bordeaux Index on Wednesday morning (17 May), following the wine’s release at the beginning of the week.

Decanter’s Hindle rated Beychevelle 2022 at 95 points, describing it as ‘supple, rich and velvety’. She added, ‘It’s missing a touch of acidity, but this has plenty of polish, seduction and potential to age.’

Liv-ex said Beychevelle wines tend to ‘rise in value with age, making younger vintages a good buying opportunity’.

Bordeaux prices in general don’t always rise in the years immediately following en primeur release, but analyst group Wine Lister highlighted Beychevelle’s ‘remarkable’ track record in this regard.

The 2022 vintage enters the market ‘significantly below all comparably-scoring vintages’, it said, adding the 2020 vintage has risen in price by around 41% on the secondary market. 

Carruades de Lafite 2022

Carruades de Lafite 2022, the second wine of Lafite Rothschild, emerged at €180 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up 12.5% on the 2021 release, said Liv-ex, citing a UK merchant price of £2,256 per case (12x75cl in bond).

‘Carruades de Lafite maintains its place as one of the best price performers post-release,’ said Wine Lister. It pinpointed Carruades de Lafite 2020, which it said has risen in price by 43% over the past two years.

It’s a reputation that can inevitably add extra impetus to en primeur as a buying opportunity.

‘Despite the year-on-year price increases, the new release is the best value [Carruades] wine on the market,’ said Liv-ex.

Carruades de Lafite 2022 was scored at 93 points by Decanter’s Hindle. ‘This is zinging with energy, bite and power,’ she wrote. ‘Cleverly constructed with lots to like, will age well and has lovely Pauillac touches.’

Duhart-Milon 2022

Also from the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) stable, Duhart-Milon 2022 was released at €60 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up 9% on the 2021 release, said Liv-ex, citing a UK merchant price of £756 per case (12x75cl in bond).

Decanter’s Hindle gave Duhart-Milon 2022 94 points, after enjoying the balance of its ‘well textured’ tannins and high acidity, with an ‘intense but juicy’ character. ‘Ageing will incorporate 40% of new oak plus up to 15% of amphora based on current trials,’ she added.

UK merchant Bordeaux Index was particularly enthusiastic about the wine.

‘This is a must for your cellar,’ it said. ‘The run from 2018-2022 suggests that recent investments at Duhart-Milon are paying dividends and this fourth growth Pauillac is properly hitting its stride now.’

Both Liv-ex and Wine Lister said several recent vintages were available at a discount to the new release. Liv-ex said the 2019 vintage was nearly 17% cheaper.

On the Right Bank, Bordeaux Index also highlighted St-Emilion’s Château Berliquet, produced by the same team as at neighbouring Château Canon, and available at £548 per case (12x75cl in bond). Hindle rated Berliquet 2022 at 94 points.

There have been several other en primeur releases in recent days, including Châteaux du Tertre, Léoville Barton and Monbousquet.

In Sauternes and Barsac, releases have included Climens, Coutet, Doisy-Védrines and Suduiraut, among others.


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