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Busy week of releases sees Bordeaux campaign off to a mixed start

With another busy day of Bordeaux wine releases, the second week of the en primeur campaign has seen a significant proportion of high-profile wines on to the market, many at large drops from 2007.

Chateau Lynch Bages has come down 20% to €32 ex-chateau (equivalent to around £385 per case in the UK), while Chateau Pichon Comtesse de Lalande has come down 40% to €33 ex-chateau (around £465 per case).

Chateau Margaux yesterday became the fourth of the Premiere Grand Cru Classes to come out yesterday, at the same €110 as Lafite and Latour (around £1,590 per case).

‘It’s a total relief that for once they have just got on with things – and to a certain extent listened to the market,’ Simon Staples at Berry Bros told decanter.com.

‘Chateau Latour did a great job getting things moving, but there have been some games since in terms of releasing smaller quantities than usual.

‘And there are healthy signs that the campaign is attracting normal buyers – we have sold the same amount as d’Angludet on the internet as we have Lynch Bages, which suggests that people are buying to drink not speculate. And wines are going to private customers this year in the UK, not all immediately going abroad.’

Stephen Browett, at Farr Vintners, was also upbeat. The firm had declared before the en primeurs week that they would not be going to Bordeaux, nor recommending that their clients buy the wines unless prices came down significantly.

‘We’re feeling a lot more positive than we were a month ago,’ said Browett, ‘and there are definite buyers for the well-priced wines. I’m surprised that no one has waited for Parker scores, but it’s a good thing, as people are buying on the reputation of the chateaux themselves.’

‘The problem might be that the campaign will run out of steam once all the first growths are out,’ added Staples. ‘If I was a smaller property who hadn’t released yet, I would be worried.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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