Bordeaux 2008 harvest: Better year at lower prices

Tue Apr 7, 2009 9:29am EDT
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By Claude Cannellas

BORDEAUX (Reuters Life!) - The 2008 harvest for Bordeaux wines makes for a better quality year than the past two but prices will be lower thanks to the financial crisis, according to experts at the Bordeaux primeur tastings.

"This 2008 (harvest) is promising. I prefer it over 2006 and 2007," said Annie Geoffroy, of wine traders Winag.

"There is a wide diversity of aromas in the same appellation. This harvest takes the small houses to the level of the big one," she added during a tasting.

She was at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, a grand cru at Pessac-Léognan where tens of people, armed with a glass and a notebook, were tasting the young wines for sale that will be delivered next year at the earliest.

During the week some 5,000 professionals, journalists and other visitors from 30 countries went through dozens of tastings.

"We're looking for good deals," said a New York wine importer who made the tour of the caves hoping producers could show some "realism" on prices this year.

After three harvests during which the prices for top wines sky-rocketed, wine professionals expect a reduction of up to 50 percent compared to recent years.

Unsold stocks at some traders have reached such a level that special campaigns have been organized to reduce them.   Continued...

<p>People taste wine in Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Martillac, southwestern France, March 30, 2009. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau</p>