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No change in Bordeaux prices leaves campaign moribund

The Bordeaux 2007 en primeur campaign is looking increasingly moribund as prices are released with little or no change on 2006.

Recent releases include Chateau Gruaud Larose (€29), Chateau Talbot (€24) and Chateau Phelan Segur (€17.10), all a reduction of less than 5% on 2006.

Chateau Pontet Canet came out today at exactly the same price as last year.

With exchange rates, this means price rises across the board on a vintage that is widely regarded as best for ‘early drinking’.

At Berry Bros, wine director Simon Staples told decanter.com they had ‘walked away’ from their entire allocation of Chateau Talbot, and ‘halved our position on Gruaud Larose.’

‘Considering that nothing has sold on, I am really amazed that the big names are still coming out so high. 2007 needed to be a bargain, and it’s not a bargain by any stretch of the imagination.’

The major concern reported by UK merchants is that customers are not interested in new offerings because the prices have written off the vintage.

Many merchants are waiting until all the prices are released and will just send out one overall offer, rather than sending offers on an ongoing basis as in a normal year. There are even discussions over whether it is worth the risk of buying first growths.

Simon Quinn at Bordeaux Wine Investments said, ‘Prices are very disappointing, and customers are staying away. Either the Bordelais really do have other markets picking up the slack from the UK and the US, or they are sticking up two fingers at the lot of us. Even those who have dropped their prices are suffering the fall-out from the rest.’

And UK critic Neal Martin, writing on erobertparker.com, said, ‘Chateau X tells me that they sold their entire stock of 2007s within two hours. The following day I ask merchants how Chateau X is selling? The reply is often a paltry 1 or 2 cases whereas even in 2006 they sold 200 to 300 cases – what appears to be a complete snub from consumers. Oh, and Chateau Y and Z and [sic] exactly the same.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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