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UK merchants: Bordeaux must slash prices

The Bordeaux trade must slash its prices by 50%, say leading UK merchants, or the 2008 en primeur campaign could be a 'disaster'.

As the euro continues to strengthen against the pound, UK-based buyers claim a minimum 20% price reduction is needed to offset currency fluctuations.

They have called for an additional 20-30% reduction in prices, as expectations for the 2008 vintage are already low.

‘The en primeur campaign will be a disaster unless prices come down by 50%,’ Gary Boom, managing director of wholesale fine wine merchant Bordeaux Index told decanter.com.

‘Bordeaux needs to understand it needs to drop prices or the UK trade will simply walk away from the 2008 campaign.’

Justerini & Brooks, the fine wine arm of drinks giant Diageo, hopes to see similar price reductions.

‘With the market for young wine and the way prices are dropping, we will want to see a reduction especially if the euro stays the same way against the pound,’ said J&B chairman Hew Blair.

‘The only way they will listen is if they have stock sitting in their cellars. I suspect they have 2007s sitting around so the pressure might start to mount.’

The Bordelais already have defended the ‘classic’ 2008 harvest.

Pierre Eric Sabatier, export director for Bordeaux negociant Cordier claimed the 2008s have ‘better potential’ than the 2007s.

‘There is much less quantity and better quality so there should not be a big reduction in prices,’ he said. ‘But there is a worldwide economic crisis so this indicates prices should go down.’

Written by decanter.com staff

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