London merchants are reporting renewed interest in what has been a lacklustre en primeur campaign with the release of Chateau Pontet Canet, 34% down on last year's price.
The 2011 from the Pauillac fifth-growth, which is certified biodymic, has been highly praised by critics and merchants alike. Steven Spurrier for Decanter gave it 18 points, describing it as ‘both exuberant and classic… a wonderfully elegant Pauillac with superb vineyard expression.’
Merchants are delighted to see what one called ‘one of the shooting stars’ of recent vintages coming out at a reasonable price: €66 ex-negociant, which translates to around £725 a case. This compares with a release price of €100 ex-negociant on the 2010.
‘I’m happy to report that the sales room is buzzing since the release of Pontet Canet. First Growth quality at sub £800 a dozen is a no-brainer and it’s nice to see staff and customers so enthusiastic,’ Simon Davies at Fine & Rare in London said.
At Lea & Sandeman, Charles Lea noted, ‘It is true you can still buy the really fantastic 2004 for less… but more recent vintages are all trading well above this price… so this comes recommended.’
The 2004 is now trading at around £550, the 2009 at around £1800 and the 2010 at around £1100 a case.
Pontet Canet’s owner Alfred Tesseron told Decanter.com during en primeur week in April he ‘would not go against the market’ when he set his price – and he would keep the UK at the front of his mind. ‘I never forget the UK. Every Englishman is a merchant.’
He added that Pontet Canet ‘is a world brand’, and that he considered the 2011 vintage an opportunity for ‘gettting back into the US market.’
Over 90% of the crop went into the first wine this year at Pontet Canet – a high percentage compared with many properties.
Written by Decanter.com staff