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Momentum gathers on La Place September releases

The September campaign on La Place de Bordeaux has gathered momentum this week, with the release of some of its core global players, including Rioja ‘icon wine’, Yjar, Argentina’s Catena Zapata, Napa’s  Inglenook and several super Tuscans. 

Catena Zapata vineyards, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza.

Marking its third release via La Place this morning, was Telmo Rodriguez’s iconic Rioja Yjar 2019, a single vineyard cuvée from the foothills of the Sierra de Toloño in Rioja Alavesa which critic Jane Anson awarded a perfect 100 score, with db’s Colin Hay saying it had “a lot of potential”. It was released internationally for £1,224 per case of 12, or at €78 per bottle ex-négociant – a rise of 8.3% on the 2018’s release price, according to Liv-ex. The fine wine marketplace noted that this vintage is being offered at a premium to the 2018 and 2017 market prices, although the 2017 set a trading high on Liv-ex just before the 2018 vintage was released in September last year, and as Rodriguez told the drinks business, the first year sold out “within hours” while demand for the 2018  had outstripped supply.

Yesterday saw Argentina’s Nicolás Catena Zapata 2020 also launched onto the market at €53.30 per bottle ex-négociant, up 1.5% on the previous vintage’s release price of €52.50 per bottle. The 2020 saw critics scores varying from 95-97 (Jane Anson), while db’s Colin Hay called it  It is also being offered on the international market at £720 per case – a fall of 1.6% on the 2019’s opening price but is still the most expensive vintage on the market, with the 96-point scoring 2016, 2018 and 2019 offering better value, Liv-ex noted.

Meanwhile Italian estate Bibi Graetz released both the Bibi Graetz Colore 2021, at €129 per bottle ex-négociant, as well as the Bibi Graetz’ Testamatta 2021, at €49 per bottle ex-négociant  – the same price as the 2019 and 2020 releases, with its international trade release price of £708 per case lower than last year’s opening price of £816 per case of 12. However Liv-ex argued that there were back vintages that offer better value, notably the 2016, 2018 and 2019 vintages.

Two other fellow Tuscans were also released this week, Marchesi Antinori’s Solaia 2020, released on Monday at €230 per bottle ex-négociant and Masseto 2020 at €465 per bottle ex-négociant. These were up 9.5% and 9.4% on the 2019 releases respectively, Liv-ex noted.

Colin Hay called the Solaia “lithe and with great layering and complexity” and “the most stylish and refined of the super-Tuscan superstars”, with 97+ points, but the Masseto pipped it with 98 points, “a truly fabulous wine and something of a revelation”.

Last week saw the release of Château d’Yquem’s  dry white wine,  Y d’Yquem 2021 at €120 per bottle ex-négociant. Despite  this being an increase of 17.7% on last year’s release, this till marks it out as one of the cheapest vintages of this wine on the market

Staying in France, the Rhône’s Château de Beaucastel Hommage à Jacques Perrin 2021 was released at €230 per bottle ex-negociant, a decrease of 4.2% on the 2020’s release price, with its international trade price of £2,650 per case also down on last year’s opening price.

California’s Inglenook Rubicon 2020 was also released on La Place de Bordeaux  at £1,620 per case of 12, a price lower than last year’s release price (reflecting the challenges of the year’s vintage) – but still the most expensive vintage of the last seven vintages, according to Liv-ex. Critic’s scores varied, with The Wine Advocate’s 93 score contrasting with Jane Anson’s more generous 97 points.  The Napa estate also release its estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 at £708 per case of 12 to the international trade, a slight “discount” of 3.3% on the release price of the 2019 vintage, Liv-ex reported.

Finally, Chile’s Seña 2021, which received 98+ points from The Wine Advocate’s Luis Gutiérrez, was released at €90 per bottle ex-négociant, available to the international trade at £1,344 per case of 12. This marks a steep 30.6% increase on the opening price of the estate’s previous vintage’s, with Liv-ex noting that the 2021 vintages was “the most expensive of the last ten vintages of Seña”.

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