Bordeaux 2011: Out with a whimper

After months of uneven releases and general lack of enthusiasm, the Bordeaux 2011 campaign has finally reached what might be described as a denouement of sorts.

With only the likes of Pétrus and Le Pin still to release, all that is left is to count the cost of what has, on the whole, been a torpid campaign.

Of the last releases, Ausone at €500 p/b was 55% down on its 2010 release, Vieux Château Certan (VCC) 47% down at €96, Léoville Las Cases 48% down at €100 p/b, Ducru Beaucaillou dropped 50% to €75, Duhart Milon was down 13% at €57 and Carruades de Lafite a non-mover at €108 p/b.

Carruades, although not dropping in price on 2010’s release, like the estate’s first wine is the cheapest on the market at around £1,300 a case.

Over £600 cheaper than the current trading price of 2010 on Liv-ex and half the price of all other Carruades since 2001, it is testament to how far upwards Carruades (and other second wines) has been propelled by the scramble for Bordeaux in recent years.

With 2001 and 2005 Carruades over £3,000 a case, the 2011 apparently found a steady market but buying fervour did not extend to back vintages according to Liv-ex.

The only other late release to generate any real interest was VCC. Regularly picked out as one of the best wines of the vintage, like Pontet Canet the fact that it is more expensive than other vintages such as 2004 and 2006 does not appear to have deterred buyers.

In fact the 2011 has one of the estate’s best scores of recent vintages and Liv-ex reported that it was trading at £970 a case last week.

Will Hargrove, private sales manager at Corney & Barrow, said that the last releases had suffered from the length of the campaign and might have done better if they had released before Vinexpo Asia Pacific last month.

“In general terms the price is right but a lot of people have left the party,” he said. He continued that 2011 was further hamstrung by lack of a compelling reason to buy it.

A great many châteaux have found their market eroded by uninterested buyers with full cellars who have no need of what they see as an over-pricedif under-hyped – vintage.

“If you’re a serious Bordeaux collector and started in, perhaps, 2000 or even 2001, then you’ll have vintages such as 2005, 2009 and 2010 three five-star vintages in your cellar already,” said Hargrove.

“It’s hard to make a case for buying 2011 even if there are some very nice wines.”


One Response to “Bordeaux 2011: Out with a whimper”

  1. Burgpoodle says:

    This “readjustment” could be seen a mile off. Too much crazy speculation, happily fuelled by the Bordelais themselves, saw the last few vintages climb to vastly over-inflated and artificial levels, and as was bound to happen the bubble has now burst. Like many wine drinkers (rather than label suckers) I cannot feel much sympathy for the bordelais and their possy of merchants and speculators who fed off the hype-fuelled boom in prices and are now looking rather glum faced as they see prices plummeting. There are going to be some very decent 2011s around and this return to relative “normality” in prices is welcomed. I may even go as far as to scraping together enough to buy and enjoy the odd bottle of Bordeaux 2011 and sip it with glib satisfaction, whilst wondering if my flash neighbour with his rolex and lamborgini is enjoying his over-priced 10s and 09s as much.

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