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Bordeaux lags behind market as calls grow for ‘major surgery’ for en primeur campaign

Bordeaux continues to lag behind other regions, a new report from Wine Lister has said, with average prices down 8% in the last 12 months, as the fine wine trade calls for a 30% reduction on last year’s prices to ‘save’ en primeur.

The report, which is provocatively titled ‘Bordeaux – Part I ‘Scalpel, please’, is based on a survey of 58 leading global fine wine companies. It argues that it may be time for Bordeaux “to go under the knife, to save itself before the worst happens”, with respondents calling for the 2023 vintage to be priced at an average -30% discount on the 2022 in order to stimulate demand.

“They believe that only a significant pricing reset can renew consumer confidence and interest in buying en primeur,” the report noted. “This sentiment does not appear to be born only from short-term concerns for the upcoming campaign; rather it resonates as a genuine plea to save a system historically revered by the international fine wine trade.”

Prices, it noted are stagnating in the secondary market post-release, but two thirds of those surveyed argued that any price reduction this year compared to 2022 prices would not have an impact on existing stocks of recent back vintages.

The one bright spot it noted, however was that region has gained in popularity over the last year (behind Piedmont), with some of the wines are making promising returns. For example, a sub-sample of 113 Bordeaux wines showed a post-release price performance of +11% over the past five vintages, led by Chateaux Lafleur, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, and Carruades de Lafite.

However, the trade’s confidence in Bordeaux is down this year, with more than 90% of wines seeing their confidence ratings decrease since 2023.

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