The Daily Telegraph exposes how Bordeaux prices are fixed

by Charles Lea

Victoria Moore was keen to see the Bordeaux en primeur circus from a merchant’s point of view, and travelled with me during this year’s week of tastings. She was especially keen to try to understand how the wines are priced. Her article in today’s Telegraph gives some of the many answers. When we tasted Denis Durantou’s little line-up (which includes some of the regions great bargains, such a la Petite Eglise, La Chenade and Montlandrie as well as the flagship Pomerol Château l’Eglise Clinet), a mischievous Denis

was keen to help and even demonstrate with the help of my negociant friend Renaud Lecoq. As Victoria put it “Under the midday sun, on a lane in Pomerol, two men are locked in a frenetic waltz that might also be a fight. “This is the tango of the en primeur,” explains Denis Durantou, maker of the sublimely voluptuous Chateau L’Eglise Clinet.” (Victoria Moore in The Daily Telegraph 29th April 2011)

“A winemaker with his negociant [the man who sells it]” returns dark-haired Renaud Lecocq. “On danse ensemble. He pushes, I pull, he pulls…” — the pair almost wrestle each other to the ground — “but I keep the balance. Now you’ve understood how en primeur works.”

Well this is certainly one answer! – see the rest of Victoria’s article for some more inside info about how the system works.

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