Chateau Petrus has smashed en primeur records as cases of the not-yet-bottled 2005 vintage change hands for £20,000 – that's £1600 a bottle or about £50 a sip.
The Pomerol chateau is no stranger to price tags that would make a billionaire blush – but never before has a Bordeaux wine sold for such a sum en primeur.
As an investment, one merchant warns, it is less than gilt-edged, mainly because Robert Parker has not yet given his final score on the wine. Parker gives en primeur wines – tasted in barrel – a range of scores, which he finalises when they are bottled two years later.
Petrus 2005 is rated 96-100, which means that there is a possibility, albeit remote, it may not get 100 points in April 2008.
‘I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole as an investment. If it doesn’t get 100 points there is a good chance the price will drop,’ Gary Boom of Bordeaux Index said. He has sold six cases at £20,000 each.
Boom pointed out that for the same money or less there are other vintages of Petrus with a proven track record and a guaranteed 100 points. The 1990 is now the same price as the 05, the 98 – considered by Petrus owner Christian Moueix to be the best ever – is £17,000, the 2000 is £19,000, and the 89 is a snip at only £16,500 a case.
Petrus may be the most expensive Bordeaux release ever, but Stephen Browett at Farr Vintners said Burgundy’s Domaine de la Romanee Conti’s Romanee Conti has surpassed it.
‘We sold the 2003 vintage on release at £26000 per case,’ he told decanter.com.
In the UK the average price per case is £824, a 153% increase from the 2004 vintage at £325.
The biggest price increase recorded by wine-searcher is jointly held by Troplong Mondot and Larcis Ducasse, both showing increases of 349% on last year’s releases.
First growth chateaux Latour, Lafite-Rothschild, Margaux, Mouton-Rothschild and Haut Brion are all placed in the top 10 of biggest increases, with increases of 254%, 293%, 344%, 291% and 301% respectively. St Emilion’s Chateau Ausone sees an increase of 342% on last year’s release price.
Written by Adam Lechmere