28th April, 2014 by Rupert Millar
Cheval Blanc has released its 2013 vintage at the same price as the 2008 but it would have to drop to at least the 2004 level if it were to be anywhere near the cheapest vintage on the market.
Saint-Emilion heavyweight, Cheval Blanc, cut its price 12% from €340 to €300 per bottle ex-négociant, the same price as its 2008 vintage, while Pomerol-based Clinet offered an 11% drop from €44 to €39 p/b.
They are the first two major Right Bank estates to offer cuts in double figures, the highest drops so far being the 8% from Angélus and Pavie.
Although Cheval Blanc was listed as one of the more disappointing wines of the vintage by merchants in Liv-ex’s survey, it’s is the cheapest vintage since 2009.
Sadly though it is more expensive than the 2008 which hit a peak of over £4,000 a case in 2011 and has since declined to around £2,800 a case (the release was £3,450 p/cs).
The 2007 and 2004 are also cheaper by some margin and the 2006 by a little. Liv-ex pointed out in June last year that Cheval Blanc is one of the worst performing estates at keeping its value since “repositioning” itself in terms of price from 2006 onwards.
Funnily enough, Yquem, another LVMH-owned property has been equally unsuccessful at making money for anyone since it upped its price from 2005 onwards as well.
Also out today were La Conseillante, which dropped a pathetic 1% to €57 p/b, while Left Bank property Léoville Barton dropped 3% to €42.50 p/b, still a whole 57% above its 2008 release price.
It may be guessed that Léoville Barton is not the cheapest on the market and it may also be guessed which back vintages are cheaper.
So another set of disappointing, badly judged releases with only Clinet offering much to consumers.
Not only is it sub €40 p/b, it has reasonable scores and its back vintages have held their value well and so – 2007 aside – it is one of the cheaper vintages available – not by much but perhaps just enough to be tempting.