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Bordeaux ’14 expected within two weeks

The release of prices for Bordeaux 2014 should begin in earnest within the next two weeks, according to Château Haut-Brion’s Jean-Philippe Delmas.

Jean-Philippe Delmas of Châteaux Haut-Brion
Jean-Philippe Delmas of Châteaux Haut-Brion

Delmas, who is deputy managing director at Domaine Clarence Dillon, which owns Château Haut-Brion, Quintus and La Mission Haut-Brion, told the drinks business that he thought that the release of prices for the 2014s should come by the middle of this month.

“It won’t be a late campaign because we do feel that there is an interest in the vintage, but it’s not a 2009 or 2010, and there is a Vinexpo [Bordeaux in June] so it should be an early campaign,” he said, adding that he “hoped” that the campaign would run from “mid-April to late May”.

Similarly, managing director and winemaker at Château Margaux, Paul Pontallier, told db that he believe that this year’s en primeur releases would be over by the end of May, noting that properties will want to finish the campaign two weeks before Vinexpo, which starts on 14 June.

Meanwhile, Delmas also said that a lack of demand for 2014 Bordeaux could sound the death knell for en primeur.

“If this year doesn’t work then I think it will be one of the last en primeur campaigns,” said Delmas during a tasting of the 2014 vintage with db last week.

Despite his concerns about this year’s campaign, and the poor response to en primeur vintage releases since the critically-acclaimed 2010 harvest, he said that “we still believe in the en primeur system”.

Continuing he said, “It’s a wonderful system… and it means that Bordeaux is the focus of the world for a few days; that is unique, and we are quite fortunate.”

Furthermore, president of Domaine Clarence Dillon Prince Robert of Luxembourg defended the practice of purchasing Bordeaux before it is bottled.

“A lot of people, like myself, like to have the wines from the get-go, and they are not looking at the price, because they are buying the wine to drink, although of course they are happy if in 15 years time when they drink it the wine is more valuable,” he said.

Continuing, and referring to recent great vintages, he also said one could bank on price rises in the long term, even for expensive releases.

“I believe that the 2009s and 10s will be significantly higher in price when people come to drink them, than when they bought them… they will have the provenance, the quality and the rarity.”

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