Bordeaux discounting ahead of summer doldrums
Prices of Bordeaux 2010 have dipped as merchants prepare for the summer break.
Liv-ex saw prices of Lafite drop from Â£12,500 a case to Â£10,500, Latour from Â£12,500 to Â£11,000 and Margaux from Â£8,000 to Â£7,450.
Despite the decrease in trading price, Latour is still trading at a premium to Lafite, as picked up by the drinks businessÂ last week.
Other popular wines such as Lynch-Bages and Pontet-Canet also dropped a little â€“ Lynch-Bages from Â£1,300 to Â£1,150 and Pontet-Canet from Â£1,350 to Â£1,120.
The length and high pricing of this yearâ€™s campaign, coupled with what has been described as â€œbuyer fatigueâ€ are all possible reasons why merchants may have some excess stock they wish to be rid of at what appears to be a comparatively early stage.
However, that is not to say that the campaign has not been successful. Armitâ€™s Hong Kong managing director Richard Sutton and Goedhuisâ€™ managing director Tom Stopford Sackville were both very positive about results when they talked to db.
Sutton said: â€œ2009 was by a distance our best ever campaign but weâ€™ve been delighted with this year too.â€
He continued by admitting that some chÃ¢teaux are â€œover-pricedâ€ but countered by saying: â€œWe havenâ€™t recommended those. We believe in the quality of the vintage but have been selective with our choices.
â€œThe great wines are the likes of Pontet-Canet, Vieux ChÃ¢teau Certan and Lynch-Bages which all produced fabulous wines at prices that people think are worth it.
â€œCheval Blanc, by contrast, has produced a lovely wine but at a price people have baulked at. It has not been a big seller unsurprisingly.â€
Sackville saw the price drops as a clear case of â€œthe wholesale market doing a balancing of its own books.
â€œA few wholesale dealers may or may not drop a few cases on Liv-ex to cash in a bit,â€ he said.
â€œThereâ€™s always a little bit of wholesale discounting on Liv-ex before the market goes dead over the summer.â€
Two other wines that have slipped of late are Lafite and Mouton-Rothschild 2008. After both courted the Chinese market with symbols and labels and benefiting as a result, wine critic Robert Parkerâ€™s downgrading of their scores has seen their fortunes change slightly.
After hitting a peak of Â£8,300 in May, Mouton has fallen to Â£6,500 and Lafite has gone from Â£14,000 in January to Â£11,250.
Sackville said he thought this was right, all things considered.
â€œMouton and Lafite did their number on 2008, which caused a feeding frenzy in China but they should justifiably be trading below their 2009s and 2010s. Lafite 2010 is easily the finest of the last three vintages,â€ he said.
Nonetheless, he maintained that 2008 was a very attractive vintage and this fall in price could actually make it quite attractive once again.
â€œI think thereâ€™s absolutely still a market for them,â€ he said, â€œpeople are just waiting to see where theyâ€™ll settle.â€