Is 2014 Bordeaux a watershed year for en primeur ?

There is greater pressure than usual on the Bordeaux chateaux this year in what could be a pivotal moment for the en primeur system when the 2014 vintage is tasted. The past 3 campaigns have been less than successful and with a sizeable secondary market for back vintages the chateaux need to get their pricing right for the 2014 vintage. An open letter from UK wine merchants suggested a return to 2008 price levels as their customers are also facing significant losses on the 2009 and 2010 vintages. Also 3 top chateaux have decided that they will only show their wines at their own estates rather than at official tastings which has disappointed top officials.

A senior buyer reckons that to restore faith in the system 2014 must succeed and the terms of reference with regard to pricing need to be disengaged from previous years whilst the head of a major auction house thinks that high prices may well prompt buyers to invest in older classic vintages. The chateaux need to think like salesmen rather than producers and prioritise the sale of the vintage and not the price.   

On the other hand the chateaux owners recognise that the merchants are always trying to achieve the best possible price every year and are reluctant to be influenced too much by their rhetoric. One argued that 2008 was a very different time and that the price of the First Growths were very much lower than today. On the other hand one of the most well-known negociants agreed with the merchants’s argument but reminded them that whilst their letter was addressed to his profession it was actually the chateaux that set the pricing. Vin-X’s team in Bordeaux next week will keep you informed on a daily basis. For more information click on full article below.