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Your email address will not be published.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 *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

European Brands Sales Manager, Field Sales Managers and Executives

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, Brighton, E Sussex/Kent, Cornwall & Devon, GB

Commercial/Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Bremhill/Home office, GB

Wine Buyer

Adnams
Southwold, UK

Sales Manager - Scotland

Eurowines Ltd
Scotland

Sales Manager - North-West England

Eurowines Ltd
North-West England, UK

Sales Manager - London

Eurowines Ltd
London, UK

Key Account Manager - Grocery

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Business Development Manager

Regency Wines Ltd
North Devon & Somerset, UK

Sales Manager - North East England

Eurowines Ltd
Within 15-20 mile radius of York, UK

National Account Manager

Ehrmanns Wines
London, UK

London Account Manager

The Drinks Club
London, UK

London Sales Executive

Gourvid Limited
London and Greater London, GB

Logistics Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
Park Royal, London, UK

Head of Sales - Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
Kent/ London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 3rd May 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more