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Top 10 best value wines of Bordeaux 2013

Fine wine marketplace Liv-ex recently released the details of its Bordeaux 2013 survey where it canvassed merchants for their opinion of the vintage.

The responses made fairly grim reading, with the year largely voted the weakest since 2007 when it came to quality and 78% expected demand to be 20% less than last year.

Reaction to the wines has been mixed and, more than most years, 2013 is divisive with Margaux for example being voted as being one of the best wines by some merchants and one of the worst by others.

Pricing is key to this campaign and releases so far have failed to set the world alight.

Some have struck a more positive note however, Lynch Bages and Rauzan-Ségla being the two main ones in this regard.

On previous form, the wines on this list are both well made and expected to be released at less than £500 a case.

10. Du Tertre

The Margaux fifth growth released last week alongside Beychevelle and Montrose.

Dropping 3% to €18.60 per bottle ex-négociant it is on the market for well under £500 a case – in fact more like £205 as it is on Liv-ex.

9. Talbot

Saint-Julien fourth growth Talbot is likely to be sub-€30 p/b this year. Its 2012 was €26.40 but that was the same price as the 2011.

With the 2013 having proved so expensive to produce, might it also choose to stick at that level?

It would of course still be under £500 a case and it needs to be considered that it does take quite a lot of money to produce wine these days – particularly in such a tricky vintage.

8. Figeac

The first Right Bank property (and not one of many), the Saint-Emilion-based Figeac is expected to be a good buy this year.

Priced at €48 p/b last year (a 32% drop on 2011), it was £525 p/cs but technical director Frédéric Faye recently told the drinks business that the team was “listening to the market” and it was Figeac’s policy to “put the customer first”.

One can but hope then that it is lining up another drop though Faye added it would not release this week.

7. Léoville Poyferré

Another Saint-Julien estate, Léoville Poyferré released at €43.20 p/b last year so another cut would take it well below the £500 p/cs mark.

Fine and Rare director, Joss Fowler, picked Léoville Poyferré as one of the appellation’s stand-outs.

5=. Léoville Barton

Sharing fifth place was Léoville Poyferré’s neighbour/sister/cousin property Léoville Barton.

A consistently reliable and well-priced wine it is no surprise to see it on such a list.

Last year it dropped just 2% to €44 p/b. Will it heed the trade’s call for greater cuts in 2013 however?

It shared fifth place with…

5=. La Chenade

This small Lalande-de-Pomerol property which tends to hover around the £100 p/cs mark and is one of those little gems of an estate it’s worth knowing about and snatching up at the first opportunity.

The pet project of Denis Durantou who makes the wine at the much grander Eglise Clinet, the wine is well made, picks up decent scores and is an absolute steal at the price.

The 2011 was released at €8.40 p/b and is available for £90 p/cs on Liv-ex. A wine for Bordeaux drinkers.

4. Batailley

Back to the Left Bank and Pauillac now to a property that is an apparent favourite with London merchant Berry Bros & Rudd.

Like Du Tertre, Batailley has already released and is currently trading on Liv-ex for £240 p/cs – perfectly justifying its inclusion in the best value list, even if it is not drastically cheaper than its 2012 or 2011 relations.

Just don’t confuse it with its neighbour Haut Batailley or even Haut Bailly (which is in Pessac-Léognan).

3. Domaine de Chevalier

Speaking of Pessac-Léognan, this domaine rose above what was a tricky vintage for the appellation and is expected to be good value.

Released at €30 p/b last year and now trading for just over £300 p/cs (as is the 2011), this hope is likely to be fulfilled.

2. Calon Ségur

A “wine of the vintage” according to Fowler, Calon Ségur has received a lot of praise from a lot of quarters.

The new owners at the property appear to have embraced the Calon Ségur style whole heartedly and although it ranked as one of the most disappointing wines in last year’s survey it appears to have completely redeemed itself this time round.

With a release price of €38.50 p/b in 2012 or £440 p/cs the odds are good it will prove a solid buy this year.

1. Grand Puy Lacoste

For the fourth year in a row the Pauillac fifth growth has taken the top spot for best value wine.

It dropped 32% last year to €32.40 p/b and is available for £320 p/cs and the 2011 £387 p/cs.

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