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Berry warns Bordeaux over 2014 prices

Top Bordeaux producers have only “one more vintage to get it right” in terms of pricing and reviving demand, according to Simon Berry of merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd.

Berry Bros. & Rudd dates back to the 17th century (Photo: Wiki)

Speaking to Bloomberg, Berry suggested that 2014 wines should be released at prices below the trading levels of older vintages. If not, “then what is going to be the incentive for people to get excited?” he said.

“It all depends on price,” said Berry. “If people at the investment end of the market are going to get back into Bordeaux,” then “prices have to be sensible.” Producers should go online to “see what their wines are selling for and ask themselves why anybody would pay more.”

The warning comes as the market for fine wine is slowly showing signs of stabilisation. In November, wine market tracker Liv-ex recorded that Bordeaux was the second-best performing fine wine sub-index, rising 0.3% that month.

However, “The great risk is that people have swung away from Bordeaux and won’t come back,” according to Berry. “I think that Bordeaux has one more vintage to get it right.”

The Bordeaux producers’ “job is to make it taste fantastic. Our job is to get people excited about it again, and we can’t do it if the prices are too high,” he said.

“The great news on the horizon is that there’s a very good vintage en route”.

Berry’s comments mirror similar opinions expressed by industry figures. Last week, Liv-ex director Justin Gibbs told the drinks business that there needs to be “a clearing vintage” with 2014, when it’s released next year.

“If the pricing is right the distribution system, particularly the négociants, can make some money which will probably help cover the losses they’re sitting on,” Gibbs said.

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