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Reaction as Mouton and Margaux 2021 released en primeur

Château Margaux and Château Mouton Rothschild 2021 have both been released en primeur this week, continuing the theme of big-name debuts in recent days.

Both Mouton and Margaux 2021 were released en primeur at €420 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 2.8% on the 2020-vintage debut last year, according to Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the trade.

While the market dynamics vary between these two First Growths, their 2021 grands vins were being sold en primeur as the cheapest of the last four vintages below current prices on 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Merchants were offering Mouton 2021 and Margaux 2021 at £5,100 (12x75cl in bond).

Initial signs suggested there was buyer interest in both, even if the Bordeaux 2021 en primeur campaign as a whole has been mixed so far.

Decanter’s Georgie Hindle rated Margaux 2021 97 points, putting it among her highest-scoring reds of a tricky vintage. ’Definitely one of the most thrilling and captivating wines of the vintage,’ she wrote.

Analyst group Wine Lister said Château Margaux’s strong appeal and the relative discount versus the previous two vintages might be enough to tempt buyers.

‘Both the 2020 and 2019 vintages have seen their price rise significantly post-release (15% and 57% respectively),’ Lister said.

Its analysis was similar for Mouton 2021, which was released a day earlier on Monday (13 June). It said the price was ‘sensible’, coming in more than 10% below current prices on 2020 and 2019, as well as down on 2018, 2016 and 2015.

Hindle gave Mouton Rothschild 2021 96 points. ‘This has such a sense of quiet confidence it’s not shouting so much but gently showing off its many layers of fruit, acidity, minerality and freshness,’ she wrote.

Matthew O’Connell, CEO of the LiveTrade platform at UK-based merchant Bordeaux Index, told Decanter that Mouton 2021 was ‘more marginally-priced than Lafite [released last week], for example, but has attracted some demand as being cheaper than recent stronger vintages’.

Farr Vintners was reporting low stocks of Mouton 2021 left on its en primeur offers page.

O’Connell said Margaux 2021 had received ‘some, though not outsized, demand from collectors’, and noted the estate’s ‘particularly strong run quality-wise in recent years, which is helpful’.

Château Cos d’Estournel 2021, meanwhile, ‘was highly priced compared to comparable back vintages and has seen quite a muted response from buyers’, O’Connell said.

Cos d’Estournel was released en primeur at €144 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 4% on last year’s opening price, Liv-ex data showed. It was offered at £1,716 (12x75cl in bond).

Wine Lister noted the price for the St-Estèphe estate was slightly below the 2020 vintage but around 8% higher than remaining stocks of the in-bottle 2019. 

Hindle rated Cos d’Estournel 2021 at 95 points, praising its elegance and refinement. ‘Charming and lively, this is sophisticated with a minty, fresh, high-toned fruit profile that is poised and focussed, delivering each element in a straight line right now.’ 

There has been a rush of releases in recent days, as noted in our article last week following the launch of Ausone, Canon and Pichon Comtesse.

Château Haut-Bailly 2021, also rated 95 points by Hindle, was another top name out this morning (14 June). It was released €96 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, level with last year, and offered by merchants at £1,152 (12x75cl in bond).

Liv-ex said volumes released were down 60% versus last year, due to the adverse weather in the 2021 growing season.

Haut-Bailly 2021 is the first vintage from the estate’s new cellars and Decanter’s Hindle praised the wine’s elegance. ‘[It’s] Very much in the style of the vintage with no harshness or overt opulence but instead gives a pure sense of classicism, restraint and refinement,’ she wrote. 

For anyone looking at back-vintages, Liv-ex suggested Haut-Bailly 2019 and 2014 could be worth considering, both cheaper than the 2021, according to its data. 

Bordeaux 2021 en primeur: See our full verdict on the vintage

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