Bordeaux 2015: enter Pontet-Canet

Just as the en primeur week was seeming a little lacklustre, flying fifth Pontet Canet has emerged with a price that will cause debate if nothing else.

Pontet-Canet owner Alfred Tesseron with one of the estate's horses

Pontet-Canet owner Alfred Tesseron with one of the estate’s horses

The Pauillac property released today at €75 a bottle ex-négociant, a 13.6% increase on the opening price of its 2014 (€66 p/b).

At £795 a case, Farr Vintners points out it’s “approximately” half the price of the 2009 and 2010 vintages – although they’re also 100-point wines (as per The Wine Advocate).

That said, 2015 Pontet-Canet scored 94-96 from Neal Martin (the same as Lafite which is bound to be considerably more expensive), 17 from Jancis Robinson MW and 97-98 by James Suckling so critical opinion is strong.

Corney & Barrow’s Will Hargrove said he thought the price was “fine” and the merchant’s offer declares: “We happily recommend it for Pontet-Canet fans.”

But, added Hargrove, it seemed not much had been released and the merchant was therefore capping orders (for this first tranche at least if that’s what it proves to be) at six bottles of three magnums per customer.

Rocketing in esteem thanks to its efforts in 2009 and 2010, subsequent vintages – namely 2011-2013 – despite good scores, have seen the estate come under criticism for what have widely been perceived to be over-priced releases.

Indeed, while the estate’s 2005-2010 vintages have all shown impressive returns, even in the recently depressed claret market, its wines from 2011 onwards have all shown negative returns. The 2014, for example, has declined 17% since release and it has only a marginally inferior score (93-95) from Martin.

On the other hand, while the ’06, ’07 and ’08 vintages have held their value well and even appreciated, they are still cheaper than the current 2015 release price.

The 98-point 2008 for example is being sold for £565 a case – a 28% discount.

Talking of the Lafon Rochet release this morning, Corney & Barrow added to the general scepticism surrounding its opening price.

The offer noted: “We liked the wine but we did not email about it as the 2009 and 2010 vintages are available at around the same price and therefore it is hard to argue that it is necessary to buy it now.”

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