Vine Talk: Bordeaux 2009 seen more than trebling 2008 prices

Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:06pm EDT
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Adam Lechmere is editor of,, the web arm of Decanter, the leading British wine magazine. The opinions expressed are his own.

By Adam Lechmere

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The Bordeaux 2009 en primeur campaign has caught fire after a sluggish start.

It now looks as if the prices of the top wines - the First Growths together with the right bank blue chips like Petrus, Angelus, Ausone and Le Pin - are going to be consistently 300-400 percent more expensive than the 2008 vintage, and considerably pricier than the great 2005.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Mouton Rothschild released their prices on Friday, June 18, to considerable gnashing of teeth among the bloggers, and some merchants. Others are more sanguine. Lafite, long the favorite first growth of the new millionaires of the Far East, priced its first wine at around 450 euro ($560) a bottle.

Negociants - the middle men to whom the chateaux sell the wine - announced they would sell it to wine merchants at 550 euro ($680). It should reach the market at around 7,500 euro ($9,300) a case. Mouton has come out at the same price.

This represents a leap of more than 300 percent on the price of the 2008, and more than 50 percent on the release price of the great 2005 vintage.

Wine merchants are flustered.

The chateaux traditionally release their en primeur wine in tranches. The first tranche is a toe in the water - they watch to see how the market behaves, and price subsequent tranches accordingly.   Continued...