Bordeaux 2017: Count on the countess

Amid a mounting pile of largely uninspiring releases, Pauillac second growth Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande would seem to have raised some excitement with its release this morning.

As predicted, with Vinexpo Hong Kong now finished the week began with a number of releases, continuing this morning (5 June) with the likes of Durfort-Vivens, Gruaud Larose and Lafon Rochet released.

For the most part, the releases appear to have inspired little if any positive reaction, with prices sticking pretty close to those of 2016.

Whirling onto the dancefloor this morning however came Pichon Comtesse, a wine that has a decent track record in recent campaigns as a label that ‘works’ due not only to its price but consistent quality.

Its 2017 has garnered high praise from many quarters, receiving 93-95 from Neal Martin, 17 from Julia Harding MW and 94-96+ from Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW.

The wine was released at €90 per bottle ex-négociant which is a 25% cut on the 2016 price, which shows “admirable intent”, noted Wine Lister and is below the €102 per bottle price expected by Liv-ex’s global members.

The price puts the 2017 comfortably below the market price of the 2016 and also below the 2015.

The 2014 may stand out as an appealing buy being over £100 cheaper thought Liv-ex but with volumes down 15% on last year, the general weight of critical opinion behind it and its track record as a wine worth ageing and which holds its value pretty well it would seem likely it is going to be a label merchants will be happy to get behind.

Farr Vintners has already made it clear it thinks it’s a release to “get excited about…easily one of the wines of the vintage and a reasonable price.”

Second wine La Réserve de la Comtesse was also released this morning at €28.80 a bottle, a small 4% decrease on last year, while volumes dipped 30% due to frost damage.

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