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Margaux, Latour, Palmer release UPDATE

Chateau Margaux has released its initial tranche at €240, a drop of 27% on last year’s price. Chateau Latour has released today (11 June) at the same price.

Margaux director Paul Pontallier told decanter.com the price had been very well received, with buyers immediately calling for bigger allocations.

‘Our reasons for dropping are the same as those for raising the price in other years – we are taking into account the state of the market, and ensuring that our merchants can make money while keeping our end customers happy.’

The drop comes despite the fact that there is less quantity of the wine this year, due to the careful selection that marked the 2007 harvest in the top estates. The extremely wet summer demanded rigorous selection – for those who could afford it.

Jean Baptiste Bourotte, managing director of Bordeaux negociant firm Audy, said, ‘Generally speaking, first growths are on a different stage in term of prices but it is interesting to note that Margaux is quite aware of the market and is showing it by making a decent decrease.’

Another key Margaux estate, Chateau Palmer, released at €114, down from 9% from its 2006 price, with director Thomas Duroux saying, ‘We lowered our price because that is our interpretation of what the market is able to pay.’

The English trade has cautiously welcomed the prices. Adam Brett-Smith, managing director of Corney and Barrow, said, ‘Margaux has at least made an effort and seems to have galvanised the market a little.

‘But with very few exceptions – Leoville Barton and Moueix in particular – there have been few examples of enlightened pricing and the market has responded with apathy.

‘For us, 2007 has been marked as a missed opportunity for Bordeaux to have won customers.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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