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Tesco offloads Lafite, Mouton 2009 in cut-price sale

Tesco is seeking to clear space in its warehouse by discounting hundreds of fine wines, including cases of Bordeaux first growths from the critically acclaimed 2009 vintage.

Tesco has cut prices by 15% on more than 200 fine wine labels being sold via its ‘Wine by the Case’ website as part of a ‘spring clean’. However, there is a minimum purchase requirement of two six-bottle cases.

Wines discounted include the 2009 vintages of four Bordeaux first-growths – Lafite-Rothschild, Margaux, Mouton-Rothschild and Haut-Brion – as well as the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Class A chateaux of Pavie, Cheval Blanc and Angelus on Bordeaux’s right bank.

The promotion, which lasts until midnight on 20 May, comes amid muted consumer demand for recent vintages of top Bordeaux, and particularly those on the left bank – suggesting that Tesco has tired of holding on to the stock, despite the 2009 vintage’s lauded quality. A banner on the Wines by the Case website this week read, ‘2009 Bordeaux: the greatest ever vintage?’

The sale also follows a relatively weak Bordeaux en primeur campaign for the 2013 vintage, the smallest since 1991 in Bordeaux due to poor weather at crucial points in the growing season.

‘With lots of new wines soon to be added to the range, we are in the midst of spring cleaning the fine wine warehouse in order to make space,’ said Nick Juby, commercial manager for Wines by the Case.

From Bordeaux’s right bank, Tesco is selling six-bottle cases of Pavie for £1,275 and Angelus for £1,326.

Also as part of the retailer’s ‘spring clean’, six bottles of Lafite 2009 cost £4,080, down £720 from the previous price. On the Liv-ex fine wine exchange, a 12-bottle case of Lafite 2009 was last month priced at £6,580, down 41% from its initial release price. To provide another example, Berry Bros & Rudd was this week selling Lafite 2009 at close to £9,000 per 12 bottles at retail.

Mouton Rothschild 2009 was priced at £3,187.5 by Tesco. The same wine was priced at around £5,000 per 12-bottle case by Liv-ex, down by just over a third since its release.

It is a similar story for Haut-Brion and Margaux, both down significantly on their release price and priced at £3,391.5 and £4,080 per six bottles by Tesco – albeit with a minimum purchase of 12 bottles.

Other wines part of the Tesco sale include Penfolds Grange 2005 and 2006 vintages, which are both available for £1,530-a-case.

From Burgundy, a case of Jean-Claude Boisset Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru Les Perrieres 2009 was on sale for £288.1, again on a minimum purchase of two cases.

‘There are limited quantities of some lines and so when they’re gone, they’re gone,’ Tesco said.

Written by Chris Mercer

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