Bordeaux 2012: last of the first growths2nd May, 2013 by Rupert Millar
After a mid-week pause the Bordeaux en primeur campaign has taken off again with the release of Pontet-Canet, Haut Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion.
First growth Haut Brion has decided to match its fellow firsts, Margaux and Mouton-Rothschild, and dropped 33% on its 2011 price from €360 per bottle to €240 p/b ex-négociant.
Its sister property La Mission did likewise with a 30% drop from €216 p/b to €150 p/b.
Pauillac property Pontet Canet meanwhile has not dropped so far, only shaving 9% off its 2011 release, from €66 p/b to €60.
Co-owner, Alfred Tesseron, told the drinks business at the Grands Crus Classés tasting in London earlier this week that he would find “the right price” for the market.
It was the same answer he gave to db nearly a year ago during the struggling 2011 campaign.
However, unlike many of his fellow châteaux owners, Tesseron said that for Pontet-Canet (widely seen as one of the wines of the vintage) it was a positive campaign.
“I was not disappointed with 2011,” he said. “It sold through completely. You won’t find any Pontet-Canet 2011 waiting to be sold still.”
Also out was Haut Brion’s second wine Clarence, which dropped 16% from €72 p/b to €60 p/b.
Fellow Pessac-Léognan estate, Haut Bailly, mirrored the cut exactly, releasing at €60 p/b, down from €72 p/b.
Saint-Emilion estate La Mondotte appeared a little later with a 5.4% drop from €106 to €100.30 p/b.
The flurry of releases and some robust price cuts (particularly from Haut Brion) is a welcome shot in the arm for a campaign that has been showing signs of flagging this week, as long as the Bordelais do not repeat the same mistake of last year and follow periods of idleness with bouts of uncoordinated releases.