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‘Outstanding’ Haut-Bailly and Smith Haut Lafitte among today’s en primeur releases

Following last week’s bumper week of releases, an “outstanding” Château Haut-Bailly, and a “simply stunning” Smith Haut Lafitte 2023 have hit the market this week.

Château Haut-Bailly 2023 was released this morning at €90 per bottle ex-négociant, down 25.0% on the 2022 opening price. It is also available to the international trade at £1,080 per case of 12, around 25% less than the 2022 opening price of £1,440 last year.

Described by db’s Bordeaux correspondent Colin Hay as “powerful but exquisite” and on his list of truly great wines from Pessac-Léognan this vintage, the wine was popular with the critics. Hay awarded it a score of 95-97 points, while Neal Martin of Vinous gave it 96-98 points, calling it “one of the standout wines in Pessac-Léognan, perhaps in Bordeaux itself”.

However, as Liv-ex points out, there is better value to be found among the back vintages, notably the 2014 – which has a market £550, it is available at a 49.1% discount to today’s release and the 97-point scoring 2019 vintage. Wine-lister also noted that the recommended UK onward selling price of £90 is only 6% down on the 2021, despite the generous reduction from last year.

Also out this morning was Saint-Émilion estate Château Troplong Mondot, down 11.8% on the 2022 opening price, at €90 per bottle ex-négociant for the 2023 vintage. Despite being one of the highest-scoring vintages of the past decade – Antoni Galloni called it “simply stunning” and gave it 95-98 points – it is also one of the most expensive, available to the international trade for £1,068 per case of 12. As analysis from Wine Lister showed, the 2023 vintage comes at a 41% premium on the 2019 market price, or a 48% premium on the 2017.

Meanwhile “one of the most structured Smith Haut Lafitte’s in recent years” was released on Monday morning, at €91.20 per bottle ex-négociant. This represented a fall or around 20% on the opening price of the 2022 vintage last year – but as Liv-ex noted, it is still one of the most expensive vintages in the market, with the 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 vintages all offering better value.

However, a trio of wines released at the end of last week – a Château Clinet that offered good value, a “magnificent” Château Beau-Séjour Bécot that “may even surpass the brilliant 2022’, and Château Lascombes – hit the market offering customers some good optoin.

Château Clinet’s 2023 release price of €57.6 per bottle ex-négociant came at a welcome 29.4% on the 2022’s opening price, in the words of Antoni Galloni, a “modern, stylish and Pomerol [that] is so expressive”. Wine Lister notes that the 2023 vintage offered a 14% discount on the market price of the 2019 vintage, although it came at a 28% premium on the 2017.

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 2023 has been released at €43.2 per bottle ex-négociant, down 24.2% on the 2022 opening price, while Margaux’s Château Lascombes 2023 came out at €49.2 per bottle ex-négociant, which, while down 21.2% on the 2022’s opening price, still remains one of the more expensive vintages currently available on the market.

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