Parker says en primeur needs top vintage to work properly

Now that the world’s most influential wine critic has decided to pass the baton for tasting Bordeaux en primeur to his protegee (see blog of the 27th February) it seems he has more time to pontificate on the subject. In a recent interview he simply confirms what the rest of us have known for a while, namely that the Bordelais have been overcharging for less than brilliant vintages. The difference this time is that may be they might take some notice of this foreign wine critic as he states that they have destroyed the futures market by overpricing poor vintages and that they need to have a reckoning about their pricing soon. It used to be a benefit to collectors in buying the top labels before the wines were bottled. Now en primeur prices can even fall before the wines are bottled.

Parker failed to see the sense in retaining high prices for lesser vintages and suggests that as a result Bordeaux has now lost market share which is borne out by the broadening of the market in to other investment grade wines within France and abroad. He cited the fact that there was very little Bordeaux being bought by US consumers or on restaurant wine lists as a result of the high pricing which has also resulted in a backlog of unsold Bordeaux and a lack of speculation from investors, paricularly the Chinese. He felt that the Bordelais have ignored his 37 years of experience and have not only failed to recognise foreign markets but that interest in Bordeaux will only be rekindled if they drop prices between 20 – 30%. Watch this space. For full article please click on link below.