Ex-Mouton and Yquem Manager opens Vin-X Bordeaux Office

Renaud RuerWe are delighted to announce the opening of our new office in Bordeaux and the appointment of Bordeaux-based Director, Renaud Ruer. Vin-X is the only wine investment company to have an office in this key region. With Renaud’s appointment we are now perfectly positioned to provide our clients with the most up-to-date information on the Bordeaux market and further access to the most sought after investment-grade wines.

Renaud has previously worked in senior commercial positions at First Growth Château Mouton-Rothschild, Sauternes super-star; Château d’Yquem and Château Pape-Clément, one of Parker’s Magical 20 wine producers. Renaud will be providing regular blog updates and reports from Bordeaux and at this important time of year his first focus will be on the highly-anticipated 2014 En Primeur campaign.  

As the world’s top critics and buyers arrive in Bordeaux to experience the first ‘in barrel’ tastings of the latest Bordeaux vintage, Renaud and a number of our Portfolio Managers will be on-hand to provide you with the latest critics’ views and market commentary.

The importance of the 2014 campaign to re-engage the trade in the whole process of acquiring Bordeaux futures has been much commented on recently with contributions from Parker and other influential critics and market protaganists. The vintage itself is thought to be a good one with comparisons being made to the quality of 2008. But most importantly of all, the pricing strategy adopted by the Bordeaux negociants and courtiers (the interface between the chateaux and global merchants) will be the making or breaking of the 2014 campaign and, many argue, the future of the en primeur process itself.

Read the first of Renaud’s reports on the pending 2014 campaign below :

EN PRIMEURS 2014 – the vintage without Parker

Here we go again! The first days of April will once again provide the opportunity for the world’s key buyers of fine wine to peer into the future with the first tastings of Bordeaux 2014. Whatever has been said until now, whatever has been written between the Bordeaux merchants and some of their huge customers, if you have the opportunity, as I did recently, to visit a London City Bond storage facility, you will understand the reality of the fine wine market! The one I visited right in the middle of England was like a revelation! Looking at the 500,000 cases around me, I noticed that 95% were from Bordeaux Grands Crus.

Of course, everyone can argue that the Bordeaux wines are sometimes too expensive, or that a certain vintage doesn’t deserve a specific price increase, but the fact is the Grands Crus run the market. And everybody is happy to earn money from them.

Each vintage has its characteristics. 2000 was the “Millennium”, 2003 the “dry” one, 2005 the exotic”, etc… What will 2014 be? A classic? For sure we’ll be lucky enough to have a more than decent quality in the bottle; that is the first good news. Then, this will be a year of Cabernet and this is the second good news. When the Left Bank sets the trend for the vintage, all Bordeaux benefits from it. The opposite is not true! The strong and famous brands lead the market, and they’re mainly located on the Left Bank.

Of course, the main characteristic of 2014 may be the ‘One without Robert Parker’. For all of us working in the fine wine business, this will be the first vintage without the ranking of M. Parker at the en primeur stage. For sure this will make a difference. Whatever the skills of Neal Martin, nobody will influence the market as Parker did, and still does!

What will this mean for Bordeaux? I believe that the châteaux will promote themselves, pushing what they really have, a history, a terroir, a know-how, their teams and specialist wine makers,… And the merchants will have, for once, to create demand, because, beside the leading brands, the image of all the other châteaux will not benefit from the Parker effect. If some could suffer from it, others should gain new recognition and customers.

Parker said recently in an interview that the French had lost their cultural aspect in regard to wine (and unfortunately he is right!), his non-participation in this Primeur Campaign could give it back to us. I see this as a third element of good news!

Bordeaux is definitely and more than ever a world of opportunities…

Renaud Ruer
Vin-X Bordeaux