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En primeur credibility ‘damaged’: survey

The fine wine market is expected to grow 10% over the year, according to survey of wine professionals worldwide - but doubts remain as to the viability of en primeur.

Bordeaux En primeur: ‘doubtful value as purchasing method’

The Fine Wine Market Outlook 2012, a survey of 120 wine merchants, auction houses and investment fund managers, has reported a largely upbeat view of the investment market for 2012, with only 12% of respondents expecting further significant price drops.

The report blamed much of the recent price drops on the ‘trauma’ inflicted by the high prices of last year’s Bordeaux en primeur campaign, which in some cases were 40% higher than already-expensive wines of 2009.

Respondents unanimously demanded a price drop for the 2011 vintage. Europeans suggested a reduction of ‘at least’ 20%, while Asian respondents suggested 10%.

One wine merchant in Malaysia said, ‘If (the Bordeaux vintage) is overpriced again this year, I don’t think there will be any gains (in Asia).’

Overall, 70% of respondents expressed doubt over the value offered by en primeur as a purchasing method, and 50% felt the 2010 campaign damaged consumer sentiment towards Bordeaux.

Despite these doubts, Wine Yield publisher Jackson Taylor told Decanter.com, Bordeaux is still the first choice for investors and collectors.

‘For all the controversy – which many in the trade agree has damaged Bordeaux – it still turns up in question after question as the strongest pick for the collectible wine market.’

He added, ‘but sectors of support are wavering, and Bordeaux 2011 needs to be handled carefully.’

The Fine Wine Market Outlook 2012 is a joint report, issued in English and Chinese, by analysts Wealthmonitor and online magazine Wine Yields.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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