Bordeaux 2013: has Ausone got it right?

29th April, 2014 by Rupert Millar

Ausone released the price for its 2013 vintage yesterday afternoon at the same level as Cheval Blanc, it should be the more attractive offer – but is it?

AusoneEtAt €300 per bottle ex-négociant and 17% below its 2008 release price, Ausone is the same price as fellow Saint Emilion grand cru classé A, Cheval Blanc, and should be the obvious choice between the two.

As was pointed out by the drinks business yesterday and later by Liv-ex on its blog, despite releasing at the same price as the 2008 vintage Cheval Blanc still has six cheaper back vintages including the 2008 which has declined dramatically in price as wines from the Right Bank property have been unable to maintain values since 2006.

So ignore Cheval Blanc and buy Ausone? It is more attractive and is just about the cheapest on the market with a case costing just over £3,000.

On the other hand, as Liv-ex pointed out, the 2013 has the property’s lowest score (91) since 1997.

Countering that again, that’s not Robert Parker’s score. Parker hasn’t scored the 2013s yet and won’t until August. Will his score raise the profile of the wine, even of the vintage?

It’s possible that some of the better wines pointed out by the international trade so far will get reasonable scores and as prices are unlikely to have gone upwards between now and August, 90 or 92 points from Parker might cause a minor tremor on the otherwise flat-lining interest chart.

It just all seems very unlikely.

Saint Julien super second, Léoville Las Cases, has presented buyers with one of the better deals of the campaign so far cutting 7% to €79 p/b, the same as its 2008 price.

Its back vintages are largely over £900 p/cs so at roughly £895 p/cs the 2013 is one of the cheaper Las Cases on the market and one of the most highly-rated wines of the vintage.

Just to rain on its parade, the 2012 with marginally better scores is £856 p/cs.

It’s tempting to snort with derision at Pape Clément’s 0.4% reduction, a whole subtraction of €0.20 cents from the 2012 price of €50.

Why even bother with such a measly “cut” if that’s the extent of it? Well it does make the 2013 23% cheaper than the 2008 was at release.

So Pape Clément has given buyers a super deal? Not especially, the 2012 has slumped from £550 p/cs to £498 and other back vintages are softening so the 2013 may be cheaper than some but it’s hardly enough to make one leap to the phones in a buying frenzy.

With the campaign speedily nearing an end the sonorous intonation of many a merchant keeps springing to mind with each new disappointing set of releases – “still no compelling reason to buy”.

All this campaign can hope for now is a quick death.

One Response to “Bordeaux 2013: has Ausone got it right?”

  1. Steve Webb says:

    I’m afraid both Ausone and Cheval Blanc were two of the most disappointing red wines I tasted in 2013 out of a pretty poor selection across the vintage. Ausone’s old Merlot vines, which normally provide its heart, completely failed and Cheval Blanc’s Cabernet Francs, again a crucial part of their blend, didn’t fare much better. I find it hard to bear that Cheval Blanc decided to release the vintage given the LVMH decision last year not to make an Yquem.

    Speaking of Sauternes – they represent the best quality by far in the vintage and the best value by a country mile.

Leave a Reply

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

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Regional Account Manager

New Generation Wines
London, UK

Experienced Sales Account Manager – On Trade

Cantina Goccia
London and the south, UK

National Sales Manager – Premium Drinks

Core Recruitment
London based with national travel

Wine Trainee

Stone, Vine & Sun
Twyford, near Winchester, Hampshire

Senior Technologist - Drinks

Conviviality Group
London, UK

Procurement Manager

JF Hillebrand Global Beverage Logistics
Essex, UK

Porter & Laker Manager

Porter & Laker
Essex, UK

Sales Manager & Brand Ambassador - Southwest

Salcombe Distilling Co.
Southwest of England - reporting to Salcombe HQ, GB

Head of Marketing

ATOM Supplies
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Private Client Sales Manager

Cult Wines
Hammersmith, London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 24th February 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more