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Mouton, Lafite, Haut Brion release

Chateaux Mouton Rothschild, Lafite and Haut Brion have released their 2007 primeur prices, all at 26% lower than the 2006 vintage.

The properties have released to negociants a €200, with no recommended retail price. Most negociants are selling first growths at €240 per bottle.

Of the premier cru classés wines, only Yquem has yet to make an announcement.

On the right bank prices are still to come for Ausone and Cheval Blanc but today, June 13th, Jean Luc Thunevin announced his Valandraud resale price as €115, about 17% down on 2006.

‘I told everyone else to lower their prices so I had to lower mine,’ Thunevin said.

Asked if the first growths were selling Thunevin described the demand as ‘there, but not huge. There is no speculation on them this year.

‘The only speculation is on Lafite’s second wine, Carruades de Lafite, which has doubled in price from €30 ex-chateau to resale at €60.’

Thunevin said the demand was all coming from China, where people are paying €180 for any bottle of Carruades.

As to the drop of 26% for all the first growths, so far, Thunevin described it as adapted to the market, but also said the prices were still very high.

‘You have to remember that for an en primeur first growth of the 2004 vintage the price was €80. We are now at €200,’ he said.

Another Bordeaux merchant, Jeffrey Davies, said an importer on the west coast of America had told him he had never before seen such resistance to first growths from buyers and that the prices were still too high.

Davies added he wished the first growths had come out at the beginning of the campaign and set an example for other Bordeaux producers. ‘But the best pricing example of this campaign, still remains for me, Ducru-Beaucaillou which was down 36%, and I wish the rest had followed.’

Written by Sophie Kevany in Bordeaux

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