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2009 prices coming thick and fast

This week has seen a rush of price releases from the more famous Bordeaux châteaux, and they are predictably high.

The first price tranches from the first growths alone often show significant increases on the 2005 vintage and are usually a gigantic step up on 2008, over 200% in some cases.

La Mission Haut-Brion has released at €540 a bottle a staggering rise of 391% on 2008 and still up 272% on 2005.

Latour, regularly hailed as possibly the greatest of them all during the en primeur tasting week, has released at €600 a bottle, a 46% rise on 2005 and a 279% rise on 2008.

Haut-Brion also released at €600 a bottle yesterday, a 300% rise on 2008.

Margaux, Lafite and Mouton Rothschild have announced prices of €550 per bottle ex-négociant, meaning respective rises of 323%, for Margaux and Lafite, and 358%, for Mouton (on 2008) and 34%, 53% and 53% rises on 2005.

Liv-ex has reported that on Tuesday afternoon following the release, Latour 2009 was trading at £10,200 a case, above the current trading prices of the 2000 and 2005 vintages at £8,712 and £8,530 respectively.

Lafite is already trading well at £13,000, and its older vintages have also received a boost, the 2000 vintage was priced at £18,000 a case on Tuesday this week.

Not all the releases have broken records, Beauséjour-Bécot’s price is 4% down on 2005, Tertre-Rôteboeuf is 23% up on 2005 but down 20% on 2000 while Labérgorce is 11% down on 2005 and 22% down on 2000.

However, these results are not the norm. Even the second wines are exhibiting sharp increases, especially Carruades de Lafite, Forts de Latour, Le Petit Mouton and Clarence Haut-Brion.

The most expensive is Clarence. At €90 a bottle it is 150% more costly than 2008 and surprisingly, 164% more than 2005 when it cost a mere €34.

Liv-ex also noted that while Carruades de Lafite was continuing to trade well, up to £2,520 on Tuesday from Monday’s £1,838, La Mission Haut-Brion dropped from £6,100 to £5,500.

Overall so far prices are a little over 100% up on 2008. It now remains to be seen how the wines are received and the effect that will have on the next wave of pricing.

Rupert Millar, 24.06.2010

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