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Latour releases 07 Forts

Latour has released its 2007 Forts de Latour without the significant premium that marked its previous (and first) ex-cellar release.

The Bordeaux first growth released its second wine at around £1,400 per case, which is more or less exactly the market price according to Liv-ex.

In contrast to the Pauillac château’s first ex-cellar release since leaving the en primeur scene this spring, the estate has opted to forgo any serious increase in price.

Back in March, before the en primeur campaign began, Latour brought out its 1995 and 2005 Forts with premiums of between 10% and 20%, which many merchants immediately branded as “too high”.

Liv-ex director, Anthony Maxwell, told the drinks business at the time how a case stored in Latour’s cellars and one stored in Octavian were any different.

It would appear that this release is more a case of testing the waters.

Will Hargrove, associate director at Corney & Barrow, told db that the price was “not the wrong one” but it was still debatable whether or not it would sell.

“It’s not a wine people feel the need to buy,” he thought, “but they’re not charging a premium for it. They’ve also done it in some different formats which is nice.

“It makes it more tempting as it’s more the kind of wine someone will want to open with friends and not be a super special wine, so having magnums and double magnums is more attractive.”

He also said it was a bit of a surprise not to see a vintage like 2001 or 2004 appear but suggested instead that perhaps September was a more natural time to release some Bordeaux when there was little in the market and it might generate more interest.

“Is it a test of the landscape?” he asked.

As for the wider Bordeaux market, he said it was still quite “divided”, with the left bank “consolidating” and the right “holding up better” – something that recent Liv-ex data would support.

He concluded though that, despite some difficulties, “the Bordeaux market is not stuck or stale, it’s a consolidation phase.”

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