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Bordelais recognise they ‘have to save en primeur’ with sensible pricing, producer says

Producers in Bordeaux are aware of the need for “sensible pricing” in the upcoming en primeur campaign after last year’s hikes, in order to “save en primeur”, db has learnt. 

Speaking to the drinks business recently, Laure Canu, general manager of Chateau Cantemerle said that while the consumer didn’t have a great influence on the decisions on pricing, “of course we have to follow the mood and keep our faithful customers, to be present on the market.”

Last year, Cantemerle for example raised its prices by  15.3% on the previous year’s opening price of €18 per bottle, to €20.75 per bottle ex-négociant, but this was largely due to very low yields and the “exceptional” quality of the wines, Canu said – and while the 2023 was also expected to be a very good vintage, the yields will also be better

She said that while she had “no precise idea” of the price the estate would ask at this stage “we will have to go down, of course, to keep en primeur alive” – although this would really amount to only a few euros at Cantemerle (unlike some of the premier cru estates).

En primeur as a system was “very important for Bordeaux” and a great chance to attract eyes on Bordeaux, she added. “So we have to be very careful and think about it and keep the consumer lively”, she said.

“There’s a big reflection among the Bordelais and everyone realizes en primeur is very important for everyone at every stage of the classification, both courtiers, negociants and wine producers are thinking about how to offer this en primeur, and it’s very important to everyone,” she said.

“We are all very conscious about the market.”

Adding to the debate over pricing, the Wine Society’s Steve Final told the drinks business at a recent tasting that he was expecting prices to “soften” for the upcoming campaign.

Last year’s price rises were a “function of smaller vintages”, he added, with en primeur prices proving “significantly higher than mature wines”.

“It doesn’t resonate with the consumer,” he said, but added that there was a growing awareness of this among the Bordelais too.

Read more:

Château Cantemerle: ‘the 2023 is a good indication of where the estate is going’

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