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Bordeaux first growths must send ‘shockwave’

First growths must 'send a shockwave' by releasing their prices straight after the en primeur tastings in order to save the 2008 campaign, a prominent negociant has said.

Philippe Tapie, managing director of negociant HMS Bordeaux, told local paper Sud Ouest that first growth chateaux must jump start the campaign by releasing prices immediately after the tasting week held for buyers and journalists in early April.

‘The top Bordeaux need to return to pricing for drinking rather than speculation,’ Tapie said.

Charles Chevalier of Chateau Lafite told decanter.com that he did not wish to take a stand on this.

‘In the current climate, everyone is deciding what is best to do, and it is too early to be certain – but the eventual pricing decision will be taken by Baron Eric [de Rothschild] and Christophe Salin.’

However, Tapie said because the first growths are the market drivers, their cooperation in this matter is critical.

‘This is the only solution to regain clients that we have alienated. They could shock the rest of the market into action by releasing their prices in early May, just after the en primeur tastings and before the critics publish their scores. This early timing is essential to get the market going this year. If the campaign fails, the situation will become far more difficult and long-lasting.’

Written by Jane Anson

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