Lynch Bages raised a glimmer of optimism among the trade when it released with a 17% price cut yesterday and Rauzan-Ségla has dropped below its 2008 release price this morning.
Matching the cut made by fellow Pauillac property, Pichon Baron, which released its price at the start of the week, fifth-growth Lynch Bages dropped to €50 a bottle ex-négociant yesterday, down from €60 p/b in 2012.
Then, this morning, Margaux second growth Rauzan-Ségla released with a 10% price cut on the €36.50 p/b it asked for in 2012 down to €33 p/b, which was also 8% below its 2008 release price, a rare statistic so far as prices have often been 20% above 2008 prices.
Liv-ex director Justin Gibbs told the drinks business it was a “step in the right direction”, although there hadn’t been much activity on the marketplace so far.
Meanwhile, Max Lalondrelle, fine wine director at Berry Bros & Rudd, recently told db that Rauzan-Ségla was one of the few wines to offer value to buyers last year and sold well – perhaps it will again.
After Montrose decided to stick to its 2012 price yesterday morning, the trade was showing signs of despair at the course of pricing this campaign.
Lynch Bages’ release was greeted with relief therefore. As Liv-ex pointed out on its blog, of the “big” releases so far: Pontet-Canet, Pichon, Montrose and Lynch Bages, all have the same points from James Suckling (91-93) yet Lynch Bages is the cheapest of them all and the cheapest available of its own vintages (see below).
“Perhaps this is why there are early reports of some success,” noted Liv-ex.
“It’s a welcome decrease, a welcome gesture,” Fine & Rare’s director of fine wine, Joss Fowler, told db, adding: “does it make it a ‘no-brainer’ buy? No, but it does make it more attractive to fans of Lynch Bages.”
He said that owner Jean-Michel Cazes has “one of the hardest wines to price. He’s done the right thing in that he’s reduced his price.”
Fowler stressed that “doing the right thing” was not, “a moral thing, he can price it how he wants. If you don’t want to buy it then don’t buy it.”
Nonetheless, he continued, it was a good move even if the wine was no longer “the no-brainer” it used to be.
He also had some good words for Du Tertre which released at €18 p/b yesterday and made the point that despite all the calls for bigger cuts: “Once you’re in the €20 p/b region there’s a limit to how much you can come down as it costs money to make this stuff and you can only come down so far.”
He had no comment on Montrose.