Château Cheval Blanc en primeur release is a ‘step-change’ in price
Château Cheval Blanc, the first château in this year’s en primeur campaign, has released the 2022 vintage at around 20.5% more than the opening price of the last vintage, which co-owners LVMH acknowledged to be a ‘step-change’ in price.
It is being offered at at €470 per bottle ex-négociant and by the international trade for £5,760 per case of 12, around 21.5% up the international release of £4,740 in 2021, according to Liv-ex.
Co-owners LVMH issued a statement prior to the release to explain its new commercial strategy on releases and pricing, saying that it offered “an exciting opportunity for buyers”.
“When looking at current market prices for 2015, 2016 or 2019, without reaching back to 2009 & 2010, one can expect a step change in price with the upcoming 2022 en primeur release, compared to the three previous ones,” it said. “In line with our guiding principles, we believe that Cheval Blanc 2022 will represent a compelling offer to our distribution partners and to their customers.”
The statement went on to say that in terms of availability, the chateau’s new commercial strategy would see two thirds of the total production release en primeur, with the remaining third not being made available until it entering “its drinking window, estimated at 15+ years old”, ie around 2037.
So far the wine has attracted some very good critic scores. db’s Colin Hay called it one of his best of the appellation stars, (along with other luminaries Ausone, Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse and Figeac), a “fabulously elegant” wine “of perfect balance and perfect harmony. Magical, yet with nothing out of place, nothing overstated” that he awarded 98-100 points.
Fellow critic James Suckling was also similarly impressed, asking if it was the “wine of the vintage?”, as he gave it a barrel range of 99-100 points, saying it soared “to new heights with its brightness and weightlessness”. William Kelley of Wine Advocate gave it a marginally lower score of 97-99+ points, but still agreed it was “one of the stars of the vintage”. As yet, Neal Martin has yet to publish his scores.
In July, the Saint-Émilion estate – which shocked the wine world by withdrawing from the Saint-Émilion classification system in August 2021, along with Chateau Ausone, snapped up its neighbouring estate, Château La Tour du Pin Figeac, as part of a move to increase its white wine production.