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Bordeaux 2010: Gruaud Larose release to open floodgates?

Chateau Gruaud Larose has just released its price for the 2010 vintage – prompting Bordeaux insiders to predict the floodgates will open.

Image: Bordeaux Undiscovered

Gruaud Larose, a second-growth and the highest-profile property to declare its price in the slowest en primeur campaign for at least ten years, will be €45 ex-Bordeaux, up 14.2% on last year.

Other important releases include Chateau d’Armailhac (at €32.40 ex-Bordeaux, +17.4% on 2009), Chateau Haut Bages Liberal (€27.50 ex-Bordeaux, +12.2% on 2009) and Chateau de Fieuzal (€25.20 for the red, +10.5%).

‘There will be an incredible number of releases over the next few days,’ Mathieu Chadronnier, managing director of negociant CVBG Grands Crus told Decanter.com.

‘Hopefully the first growths will release their first tranche before Vinexpo [the Bordeaux trade fair which starts on 19 June]’.

For most merchants, who are reporting that their clients are losing interest, it is just in time – while chateau owners who have already released are amazed that their peers are holding back.

Basile Tesseron of Chateau Lafon Rochet in Saint Estephe, who released on 25 May at the same price as last year, told Decanter.com, ‘Most chateaux seem to look at each other, rather than their own brands and the needs of their markets, and I worry about the long-term effects. Everyone wants to raise their prices and so holds off to see what their neighbours do.’

Chadronnier said most chateaux were waiting because ‘they had no indication where the market is, in terms of region and price.

‘There are high hopes that this will be the year that mainland China becomes a significant player, so it is more difficult to decide the price.’

They want to chase the Chinese market, he said, and at the same time they do not want to price so high as to alienate their traditional markets.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux, and Adam Lechmere

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