Latour quits en primeur system

16th April, 2012 by Rupert Millar

Château Latour has announced that 2011 will be the last year in which it takes part in the futures market.

In a letter to its négociants and merchants the château said that from next year the first and second wines would be sold when the wines were considered “ready to drink”.

The wines at this stage will still be sold through négociants but the move is widely seen to be catering to markets such as Asia where there is a greater desire for wines that are ready to drink.

Latour’s gradually decreasing allocations over the past 10 years or so are also thought to have allowed it to build up supplies in its cellar to support this strategy.

While the benefits for the Asian market are clear, those merchants in the US, UK and Europe will now find themselves selling vintages of Latour against bottles of the same vintage released directly from the house’s cellars.

Having bought and supported Latour for many years, they will now find themselves being outsold by the château, which will be able to rely on the added value of perfect provenance – a feature that has grown in importance over the past few years.

Simon Staples, wine director at Berry Bros & Rudd, wondered whether the move could in fact hinder Latour’s sales in the long term.

Despite the controversies surrounding en primeur, Staples stated that when correctly handled the campaign gave participating châteaux huge momentum which could sustain and guarantee sales when the wines became physical.

He said: “It’s about momentum. Being out of the game is dangerous. If we can’t taste it, the customer will say ‘What about Latour?’ and we can’t tell them.

“As and when it is released, of course if it’s terrific BBR can shout it from the roof tops of every business we have around the world at that time and customers will probably buy, but it’s in isolation to its peers and won’t be as potent.”

On the other hand, if the decision to withdraw from Bordeaux’s famous annual campaign proves a success, it sets a precedent that others might follow.

Staples concluded: “If Latour is successful, and it might be, others will do the same and that then may well be the death knoll on en primeur”.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Assistant

Litmus Wine Agencies
Dorking, Surrey

Private Client Sales

Genesis Wines
London, UK

Head of Sales

Bimber Distillery
London

Compliance Manager

Atom Supplies Limited
Tunbridge Well

Customer Services Team Leader

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London

ViVAS Wine - Category Development Manager

ViVAS
Harlow and Stowmarket or Salisbury, UK

Fine Wine Logistics Coordinator

IG Wines
London, GB

Brand Ambassador East Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
New York - field-based, USA

Brand Ambassador West Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
San Francisco / Los Angeles - field-based, USA

Global Travel Retail Manager

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Almaviva 2015 Vintage and Vertical Tasting

London,United Kingdom
28th Sep 2017

TFWA World Exhibition & Conference

Cannes,France
1st Oct 2017

Franciacorta London Festival

London,United Kingdom
2nd Oct 2017
Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more