Merchant declares Bordeaux 2012 overpriced and skips vintage

Enotria subsidiary Great Western Wine won’t be offering Bordeaux 2012 this year because it believes the wines are overpriced.

Great Western Wine won’t be offering Bordeaux en primeur for the first time in 12 years

Speaking to the drinks business yesterday about the decision, Tom King, fine wine manager at the merchant said that he hoped this year’s releases would offer value for money, but that the majority were priced too high for his customers.

Although he admitted that certain châteaux had priced their 2012 releases at a suitable level, such as Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Pontet-Canet, he said that it wasn’t worth the extra work running an en primeur campaign for just a handful of wines.

“It’s the same amount of effort whether we offer 4-5 wines or 40-50,” he told db.

He also said that the high release prices for the majority of estates had created a sense among his customers that it was an overpriced vintage across the board.

“For the few châteaux who have made serious cuts the consumer perception of the vintage is already tainted by the releases that are too expensive.”

He also pointed out that the margins for merchants who sell en primeur have become too low to make the process profitable.

“There comes a point when what you get back from it is too small. To mitigate the fact the prices are too high merchants are selling at low margins – there is just 2-3% between the price they buy at and sell at.”

While he acknowledged that the majority of châteaux have reduced their prices compared to 2010, 2009 and 2011, he said the drop was not enough.

“The asking prices are still too high for where the demand would be.”

To some extent excusing the expensive releases this year, he said that the low-yielding 2012 vintage had cost producers more to make.

“It was a low-yielding vintage that required expensive, laborious techniques to make good wine, so the châteaux are more resistant to putting prices down,” he said.

But for Great Western Wine’s customers, he said they have bought a lot of 2009 and 2010 Bordeaux en primeur, and don’t feel the need to buy wine every vintage, “unless it’s a real bargain”.

As a consequence, he explained that the merchant “didn’t want to be seen to be flogging a dead horse”.

In place of Bordeaux 2012, King said he would be recommending wines from the Rhône Valley to his customers.

Speaking about wines from both north and south of the region in the 2011 vintage, he said they were “delicious, in the UK already, and won’t break the bank.”

As for next year, King said he would offer Bordeaux 2013 if it was an outstanding vintage or if he thought “it would work”.

Last year he said en primeur sales represented between 8-10% of Great Western Wine’s business.

“Bordeaux en primeur is nice to have when it works, but our business doesn’t depend on it,” he said.

 

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 Manager

James Eadie Ltd
London, UK

Wine Ambassador Role

Ramón Bilbao UK
London, UK

Fine Wine Logistics Coordinator

IG Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager

Top Selection
London, UK

Assistant Retail Manager

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

Marketing Manager

Ellis Wines
Hanworth, Middx, GB

Commercial Analyst

ATOM Group
Tunbridge Wells, UK

Customer Service Executive

Marussia Beverages
Marylebone, London, UK

HR Administrator

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

Trade Marketing Manager

Australian Vintage Limited
Croydon, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 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