A Ray of Sunshine: Bordeaux En Primeur 201917/06/2020
While most investors count the cost of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, the fine wine world is quietly getting on with this year’s delayed Bordeaux En Primeur campaign
Normally spring is a flurry of activity as merchants and collectors flock to Bordeaux to snap up the region’s finest wines before they’ve even been bottled. Although this year has been unlike any other in recent memory, the resumption of the campaign in early summer has presented very attractive opportunities to snap up top wines at prices which haven’t been seen for quite some time.
Master of Wine and OenoFuture’s Chief Wine Analyst Justin Knock visited Bordeaux in October 2019 and believes this year’s postponed campaign is a gift to investors looking to add a ray of sunshine in their portfolio during these stormy times:
“The view on the ground was that 2019 was the 5th solar vintage in succession, and the Bordelaise are now fully adjusted to routinely experiencing hotter and drier years.
“Despite this the wines are fresher than years like 2018 and 2015, riper than 2017 and similar if not as consistent to 2016. In terms of quality I rate 2019 just behind 2016 and alongside 2010 as the best vintages of the decade.”
Reflecting the wider market uncertainty, this year’s pricing offers investors a significant reduction on recent vintages. Chateau Pontet Canet was the first to launch their 2019, offering at a 30% discount on the 2018 vintage. Cheval Blanc was quick to match this with a 30% discount on their 2018, while the up-and-coming Chateau Beychevelle is down a more modest 8.7% on last year’s release price.
Comparisons have already been drawn with the 2008 En Primeur campaign which came in the thick of another global crisis. Most chateaux cut their prices by 40% compared with the 2007 vintage. Interestingly, investors who did buy into that campaign were able to secure excellent prices on wines that went on to perform very well.
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