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Latour ‘07 release: ‘a damp squib’

Although it was released with no ex-cellar premium, Latour’s 2007 has largely failed to ignite UK consumers’ interest say merchants.

Chateau LatourWith Yquem’s 2014 seeing reasonable sales when it was released earlier this week, the ex-château tranche of 2007 from Latour generated rather less excitement.

Released at the market price of £4,000 per case, merchants told the drinks business they thought the price “fair” and entirely reasonable the take-up had been limited.

“It’s not necessarily a Latour problem,” said Corney & Barrow’s fine wine director Will Hargrove. “But lots of people are aware of what £4,000 buys you elsewhere including in Bordeaux.”

“It’s £4,000 for a 92-point wine,” agreed BI’s Giles Cooper. “That alone makes you scratch your head a bit.”

Goedhuis’ Georgina Crawley said that while it may not have been the “most exciting of releases” it did “have a niche for the drinker”.

Yet this in its turn immediately limited the scope of the offer. As she went on: “We tried to make sure we were offering it to people who it would really appeal to.”

Cooper added that positives such as the lack of premium and the fact the wine was entering its drinking window fell down when faced with clients not buying for immediate consumption. He said: “Early drinking vintages have their place. They’re brilliant for restaurants and markets where there’s demand for great brands to drink now.

“We have an experienced clientele who want wine to keep. In the long run it makes sense. In the UK we just don’t have a market for people who need to buy ‘07s ex-château. They might buy 2000s or 2005s because they know it’s brilliant and they want more.”

Both Cooper and Hargrove noted that there was demand in Asia for vintages like 2007 – Lafite’s 2007 has been one of the best-selling fine wines in Hong Kong and China for some time by virtue of it being the cheapest back vintage – but in the UK, “it’s been a bit of a damp squib to be honest,” said Hargrove.

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