Tim Atkin is one of the UK’s most well-known wine critics so when he states that Bordeaux is in the “last chance saloon” with regards to its en primeur pricing it is time to sit up and take notice. He states that although en primeur will continue in its current form it is starting to look a little ridiculous. He contrasted it with the stance in Tuscany where they have just released their 2010 vintage ready to drink or Chateau Latour which famously withdrew from en primeur in 2012 but has just re-released its 2003 vintage which is also ready to drink (see blog of 6th March).
He states that the system is only working for a handful of chateaux and that it’s outmoded, outdated and out of touch with modern consumers and at the end of the day it is those consumers who will decide whether en primeur survives in its current form. En primeur has not made sense since 2008 when everyone benefitted and as we approach the 2014 tastings at the end of this month once again the question on everyone’s lips is whether the wine will sell. The answer is only if they are priced sensibly preferably back to 2008 levels. The Managing Director of a specialist Bordeaux merchant opines that the “Bordelais have to offer consumers a deal.” He reckons prices need to be 25% below the same wines from comparable mature vintages but if the Bordelais get it wrong Atkin can’t see en primeur continuing in its current guise. The saga continues. For full article click below.