Bordeaux 2016: the Saint Emilion double act

The on-going en primeur double act that is Angélus and Pavie went on this morning with the tandem release of both wines, in lockstep on price as usual too.

Both wines were released at €294 per bottle ex-négociant, a 16.7% increase on the €252 the 2015s from both estates were priced at.

Since their elevation to Saint Emilion grand cru classé ‘A’ status from the 2012 vintage, both estates have also cultivated something of a reputation for ‘ambitious’ pricing en primeur.

These of course were the properties that celebrated that promotion by raising the prices of their 2012s by 30% (Angélus) and 58% (Pavie) over the 2011s in a campaign where the industry was calling for further cuts.

Both wines have received excellent scores over recent years of course (such as for the 2012s admittedly) and 2016 has proved no exception.

Being offered at £3,576 a case in the UK, Angélus received a 99-100 from James Suckling while The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin was more reserved on 96-98, although he added it was likely to end up on the top of that scale once it was delivered in bottle.

Part of the problem with the higher prices Angélus has been asking for is that the performance of back vintages in the secondary market haven’t always lived up to expectation.

As can be seen from this chart on Liv-ex, the 2016 is now the most expensive vintage on the market out of the last 10 bar the 2005. One problem is that the 2009 and 2010 vintages which have a 99+ score and which Robert Parker called “candidates for perfection”, are cheaper.

Suckling also gave the 2015 99-100 points and it currently sits at a 20% discount to the 2016 too.

As for Pavie, it too garnered a 99-100 rating from Suckling and a 98-100 from Martin so just has the edge in score terms.

Much like Angélus however it does not stack up altogether well when compared to the last 10 vintages with the 2016 being more expensive than all of them.

The 2005, 2009 and 2010 all have 100-points and the 2016 clearly has a chance to join them in that exalted upper layer – but it’s not there yet and those three ‘perfect’ wines are available, now, at a discount of several hundred pounds.

Unfortunately there’s nothing particularly dynamic about this duo.

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