It is business as usual in Bordeaux today as the French don’t take tomorrow off – and the primeur releases have continued in the same vein; today there is again very little to get too excited about sadly and further evidence of the ‘disconnect’ between the Chateaux and the consumer when it comes to pricing. There have been some big names like Mouton-Rothschild, Angelus and Chateau Palmer out today and some of our old favourites like Chateau Talbot or Clerc Milon, but it is hard to get overly excited.
Mouton is priced at a relatively interesting level and it sits well in the market, well below any other available vintage. It has to be said that we tasted it quite badly as you will see from our note – others reviewed it better, so it is important to see their notes here Mouton-Rothschild.
Chateau Talbot is usually a banker for us, we enjoy recommending it as a sensible buy en primeur, but sadly we did not taste it brilliantly and cannot shout too loudly this year.
Chateau Palmer out today for £1650 is really pretty good this year and is in a tiny quantity but they told us when we tasted that having made only 3,500 cases of it they were not about to drop their price – and if no one wanted to buy it now, so be it – they would keep it. “We view it more as an Alter Ego campaign”. Alter Ego was very pretty, but at £395 they may need to campaign quite hard.
Angelus and Pavie - with their new status have had another rush of blood to the head, both out at £1790. This is £181.50 per bottle incl. VAT a bottle, a price which would make me think twice were they 15 years old and in one of our shops. Actually it would make me think something like ‘golly, are there really that many very rich people in the world who are also prepared to pay this much for these now? I think I’ll have a Burgundy, or something Italian’.
You can find the full list of available wines so far here – Recent Releases.
We still feel that only a few have got it right this year and we continue to recommend Calon-Segur, Capbern-Gasqueton, Lynch Bages and even Lafite in the reds – which we feel stand up better than the rest in terms of value.
And let’s not forget the really very good wines from Sauternes & Barsac, we particularly liked the Barsac wines this year and Climens stands out as a grand wine at a sensible price, while the two Doisys offer remarkable value - but these are all well worth considering if you’re a fan of stickies.
It seems clear that this is not going to be the year to put ‘en primeur’ Bordeaux back on track as an exciting opportunity for buyers, but who knows what will happen the other side of Easter.
We all wish you a very happy, long weekend!