Today we can offer probably the most anticipated release of the campaign: Château Lafite. At £1400 IB per case of 6 bottles, this is the least expensive quality vintage on the market by some margin. Physical vintages of comparable quality are offered from £1600 per case of 6 bottles (2012) to £2600 per case of 6 bottles (2008).
Chateau Margaux has released its Grand and Second Vin today. As expected, they have released the Grand Vin at the same price as Mouton and Haut Brion, making it yet another very compelling First Growth to buy now at £2320 per case.
Domaine Clarence Dillon have released today two of the star wines from 2014: Chateaux Haut Brion (£2320/case) & Mission Haut Brion (£1420/case). These were the last two wines we tried during our time in Bordeaux and what a send-off it was. The Haut Brion is supremely elegant with an incredibly long finish and the Mission Haut Brion showed its inimitable dark, spicy fruit on the nose but it is also made in a very elegant and focused style this year.
Château Lynch Bages has just released its 2014 vintage at £575 per case. They have made an extremely good wine this year which combines the ripe, dense and complex fruit of the estate with the lovely balance of the vintage.
We are pleased to offer today the wines from the Mouton Rothschild stable, including the Grand Vin itself. All the wines are made by the same team and quality is very high across the board.
We thought the Armailhac shows lovely fruit and balance and at £230 per case, represents good value. The Clerc Milon is also very good but considering the price of £320 per case, we think Armailhac is the better buy.
We had the pleasure of making our annual trip to Bordeaux to try the 2014s last week and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of many of the red wines. In our view, it is a very good vintage, certainly the best since 2010, and if priced correctly could be a vintage to buy now for future drinking.
An odd start to the 2013 En Primeur releases from Bordeaux, with one of their stars releasing well ahead of the rest.
A quick campaign!?
In a complete reversal on the late and sporadic releases of last year, it looks as though the Chateaux of Bordeaux won’t even allow the trade back to their desks before releasing their prices in this year’s campaign. Early reports claim that the campaign should all be over by Vinexpo, which runs 16th to 20th June, much earlier than last year’s finish in July.
One word to describe the Bordeaux 2011 En Primeur campaign: shambolic.
Some more words: gross mismanagement. Short sighted. No vision or direction. No timing. No respect whatsoever for the merchants and more importantly, the consumer. An absolute shambles.
Who’s to blame? The Chateaux for not listening? The courtiers (the guys who are the go between Chateaux and French Negociants) for not being able to make a market, which is what they are supposed to do and are handsomely paid for?
Every year, merchants and buyers alike get excited about the prospect of En Primeur, even in lesser vintages – for merchants, an opportunity to go and try the new wines that the Chateaux have spent the past year working hard on producing, chatting to the owners about the vintage; its difficulties and challenges, and then trying to gain an understanding of it all.