Tuesday, April 14, 2009

En Primeur 2008: Chateau Latour Follows Angelus’ Footsteps!

In a reversal of the usual en primeur pattern, which is sitting it out until the end of the campaign before announcing a big price, Chateau Latour released its 2008 primeur price now at a nearly 40 percent discount from the 2007 price. This follows and reinforces the impact of what Chateau Angelus did about a week ago (read my blog post on it).

I doubt if anyone can remember a time when a first growth announced its price during the first few weeks of the en primeur campaign. To the consumer, Latour’s announcement means a bottle of its 2008 bought at futures now will be just a little over $200 a bottle—at this price it is the cheapest Latour of any vintage selling these days!

I believe Latour’s move will stir up excitement in this en primeur campaign. Now all eyes will be not just on the other first growths but also on the rest of the top classed growths like Leoville-Las-Cases, Palmer, and Pichon-Baron and right bank luminaries like Petrus, Ausone, and Cheval Blanc.

Whether the excitement will be in the form of feverish buying by consumers of 2008 Bordeaux futures or just a lot of talk we’ll wait and see. And considering Bordeaux is the bellwether of wine prices all over the world, particularly of top wines, it will be intriguing to watch how this downward trend in 2008 en primeur prices, if it gathers more strength in the coming weeks as I expect it, would impact prices of top wines. So far, everything seems to be pointing to an unprecedented buyers’ market

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