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Lea & Sandeman expresses EP frustration

Fine Wine merchant Lea & Sandeman has expressed its frustration with the pricing of this year’s en primeur campaign.

Writing on its website, founder Charles Lea stated: “Although we have championed some of the lesser wines as value for the drinker who does not mind tying up some cash now, we are increasingly thinking that the best thing that can be said about this campaign is that it is nearly over.

“The Bordelais have not understood, and another opportunity to get the en primeur market working again has been stifled by too many releases at prices that are really the retail prices for mature wines.

“We will continue to point out wines where savings can be made against the price you would pay on delivery, but the old idea that you could buy two cases en primeur and sell one ten of fifteen years down the line to finance your purchase seems to be long gone.”

Speaking to the drinks business he added: “In 10 years time we may look back and say these prices are perfectly reasonable and were at the time.”

Nonetheless, the on-going complaint is that the value is comparison to back vintages is far too slim – if it exists at all.

“It’s difficult to say whole-heatedly that there’s a need to buy this now,” continued Lea referring even to the better priced releases.

“It’s been a frustrating campaign because it’s not really worth doing it unless the volume is there,” he added. “And the volume just isn’t there and, somewhere along the line, that’s to do with price.

“We do slightly wonder how long it’s going to go on for.”

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