Bordeaux Estates From Haut Bailly to Cos Cut ’13 Prices

More Bordeaux estates cut prices for their 2013 vintage this week as they sought to balance lower yields from the rain-hit crop with pressure from merchants for wines cheaper than those of 2012.

Chateau Haut Bailly, a grower in the Pessac-Leognan region south of the city, priced its 2013 wine at 39.60 euros ($54.70) a bottle from Bordeaux wholesale merchants, down 6 percent from 2012, according to data compiled by the Liv-ex wine market. Chateau Cos d’Estournel, a Saint-Estephe producer, priced its 2013 wine at 81.50 euros a bottle, down 8 percent from 2012.

Yields fell more than 30 percent in many vineyards after cold, wet weather during flowering, according to winemakers. Investors are focusing on so-called en primeur sales of 2013 wines, which are maturing for future delivery, after prices for other vintages declined since peaking in 2011. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 has fallen about 3 percent this year after a similar drop in 2013 and a 10 percent decline in 2012.

“People tended perhaps in the past to buy en primeur because they felt it was a speculative move and they would make some profit from it,” Peter Lunzer, founder of Lunzer Wine Investments in London, said in an interview last week. “I don’t think anyone’s under an illusion that 2013 is an investment prospect.”

Marketing Campaign

Among other producers releasing this week, Chateau Canon, a Saint-Emilion grower, priced its 2013 vintage at 33 euros a bottle, down 10 percent from 2012, while Chateau Doisy Daene, a maker of sweet white dessert wines from Barsac, held its price unchanged at 26.40 euros a bottle, according to Liv-ex data.

The sales campaign has gathered momentum since Bordeaux estates hosted annual tastings for the wine trade at the start of this month. Chateau Pontet-Canet, a Pauillac grower neighboring Chateau Mouton Rothschild, released its 2013 wine at 60 euros a bottle in March, unchanged from its 2012 vintage, before most merchants had arrived in the city.

Chateau Gazin in Pomerol this month cut the price of its 2013 wine to 38 euros a bottle, down 3 percent from 2012, while Chateau Pichon-Longueville, a Pauillac second growth, priced its 2013 wine at 54 euros a bottle, down 17 percent.

Early Releases

Chateau Gloria in Saint-Julien cut its price 6 percent to 19.80 euros, while neighboring Chateau Beychevelle reduced its price by the same amount to 38.40 euros, according to Liv-ex. Chateau Montrose in Saint-Estephe was unchanged at 57.60 euros.

Other growers releasing wines included Pauillac estate Chateau Lynch-Bages, which priced at 50 euros a bottle, a cut of 17 percent from 2012, and Chateau Rauzan-Segla, a Margaux vineyard, which set its wine at 33 euros, down 9.5 percent.

Lunzer said that while wines from recent years have suffered in the market, older vintages from the mid-1990s and early 2000s have attracted more demand.

“The real crash is in the young vintages,” Lunzer said. “When you have a run of poor vintages, people who like collecting wine will perhaps divert some of their annual cash reserves into something that they think is genuinely worth having.”

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