Chateau Pontet-Canet has sought to get a head-start on rivals by releasing its 2013 wine ahead of this year's en primeur campaign and at the same price as 2012.
Pontet-Canet said this morning (26 March) that it has released its 2013 vintage at €60-a-bottle ex-Bordeaux.
Much of the wine trade will arrive in Bordeaux next week for the 2013 en primeur tastings, making this a surprising move from one of the region’s leading chateaux.
Poor weather early in the growing season and during harvest last year means that estates have had to be highly selective in the vineyard, and Pontet-Canet said it has produced 50% less wine for its 2013 vintage, with yields of 15 hectolitres per hectare.
‘It’s certainly unexpected,’ Caspar Bowes, of Bowes Wine merchant, told Decanter.com following the early release.
‘The only reason can be that feel they have nothing to gain by waiting. The Tesserons take enormous pride in what they do, have invested lots of money in their estate, and are obviously very serious, which sits strangely with what they are doing here.
‘It seems to indicate that they are not particularly interested in this campaign – not a great message the week before merchants are spending their own money coming out to taste what is already a complicated year to sell.’
Several observers have said prices will likely have to fall for the 2013 vintage to be attractive to en primeur buyers.
One Bordeaux négociant commented, ‘If other chateaux follow this same pricing model, we might as well go home now.’
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux