After months of waiting, this week saw the 2009 En Primeur campaign finally catch fire. Thursday was undoubtedly the most pivotal day of the campaign so far (not to mention the busiest EP day anyone can remember), with many of Bordeaux’s biggest names releasing just minutes apart. It culminated in the release of the first tranche of Lafite Rothschild at €550 p/b ex-negociant, although the volume was tiny (at half the level of last year's first tranche).
As you can see in the chart above (comparing Lafite's first tranche release prices since the 2000 vintage), the current release represents a significant uplift. Conversely, when you compare this against the current prices for the majority of strong vintages (all of which trade at over €1,000 per bottle), it looks remarkably cheap. With a further (more expensive) tranche expected soon, merchants will undoubtedly wait for more volume before deciding on their eventual offer price. The same can be said for Carruades de Lafite (€68 p/b ex-negociant, up 89% on 2005) and Forts de Latour (€89 p/b, up 85% on 2005).
Today the market appeared to be nursing a hangover after yesterday's excesses, although we still saw a few big names emerge. Leoville Barton at €62,50 p/b ex-negociant (up 26% on 2005) was probably the pick (see below for a full list of the week's releases).
If we look at the campaign so far, 2009 prices for the top 60 wines released are up, on average, 71% on 2008 and 23% on 2005. This is only half of the story, however. Wines released prior to this week were up 13% on 2005, whereas those released from Monday onwards saw a 29% increase. Despite the market grumbles, it clearly paid to wait. The most successful release of the week was Pontet Canet, which, despite a record release price, saw its value soar on the secondary market.
Please see below for a full update of this week's releases. When the London releases become clearer, we will run a full analysis comparing the 2009s with the current market prices of the 2000s and 2005s. Please check back next week.
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