Leoville-Las Cases Reduces Price of 2013 Vintage by 7%

Chateau Leoville-Las Cases, a wine estate in the Saint-Julien district of Bordeaux, cut the price of its 2013 wines by 7 percent from the previous year amid pressure on growers after cold, wet weather hit the crop.

Leoville-Las Cases is offering the wine at 79 euros ($109) a bottle from Bordeaux wholesale merchants, according to data compiled by the London-based Liv-ex wine market. That left it unchanged from the price charged for the 2008 vintage, cited by critics as comparable in quality across the region.

Collectors have been looking to so-called en primeur sales of 2013 wines, before they are bottled and delivered, to give impetus to Bordeaux prices, which have been retreating for the past three years. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index is heading for its eighth straight monthly drop and has declined more than 4 percent since the start of this year.

“With a handful of wines still to come, this campaign even compares poorly to last year’s poor campaign,” Liv-ex said in a market blog comment. “The 2013 vintage has accounted for 3.4 percent of all Bordeaux trade in April. This time last year, the 2012 accounted for 15.7 percent.”

Leoville-Las Cases lies north of the city of Bordeaux and is part of a larger estate that was divided in the 19th century. It was designated a second-growth vineyard in the classification drawn up for Napoleon III’s 1855 Paris Exhibition, which remains in force.

Pape Clement

Chateau Pape Clement, a grower from the Pessac-Leognan district, set its 2013 price at 49.80 euros, down 0.4 percent from the 50 euros at which its 2012 wine was sold, according to Liv-ex data.

Earlier this week, Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Ausone, two leading Saint-Emilion producers, both priced their wine at 300 euros a bottle, according to Liv-ex. For Cheval Blanc that was a 12 percent cut from the previous vintage, while for Ausone it was a 15 percent reduction.

“These releases are unlikely to rouse an already uninspired market,” Liv-ex said.

Chateau La Conseillante, a neighboring grower in Pomerol, priced its wine at 57 euros a bottle, down 1 percent from 2012, while Chateau Leoville-Barton, a grower in Saint-Julien, cut its price by 3 percent to 42.50 euros.

Leading left-bank estate Chateau Lafite Rothschild cut its price by 14 percent earlier this month, while three other first-growth producers Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Margaux announced reductions of 10 percent. A fifth estate, Chateau Latour, no longer participates in en primeur sales, preferring to release its wines once they have attained greater maturity.

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