Bordeaux Estates Pricing 2015 Wines 19% Above Previous Vintage

  • Sterling prices 30% higher for U.K. buyers after pound drop
  • Merchants still waiting for most major estates to set levels

A bottle of 2008 vintage Margaux red wine from Chateau Giscours sits next to wines from Chateau du Tertre, a neighboring vineyard, in Labarde. Wines from recent vintages of Giscours, ranked as a third-growth estate in the 1855 classification putting it among the Medoc’s top 33 vineyards, sell for $400 to $700 a case and reach more than $1,000. Photographer: Guy Collins/Bloomberg

Bordeaux wine estates are marketing their 2015 vintage on average 19 percent higher than the previous year, according to a table of 20 producers from the London-based Liv-ex wine exchange.

Most major estates have still not set prices for their new wines almost two months after presenting them in early April tastings. The annual Bordeaux sales campaign may last from a few weeks to three months or more depending on market conditions and perceived demand for the new vintage.

After three difficult vintages in Bordeaux from 2011 to 2013 and a return to a more classic style in 2014, last year’s wines have the potential to be the best since the highly rated 2009 and 2010 harvests. An unusually hot June and July was followed by rain in August that helped the vines, and then sunny weather throughout the harvest gave flexibility to pick grapes at their ripest.

A bottle of 2008 Chateau Giscours from Margaux next to wines from Chateau du Tertre, a neighboring vineyard.

Photographer: Guy Collins/Bloomberg

“Anecdotal evidence suggest that interest in the campaign has been mixed,” Liv-ex said May 26. “Wines such as Giscours and Pontet Canet are reported to have found buyers. In the secondary market, Pape Clement 2015 is the only new release to have seen any activity so far. Instead, buyers have been seeking value in the back vintages.”

Producers interviewed over the past two months and critics in notes have said that the 2015 is shaping up to be the highest-quality Bordeaux vintage for at least five years. Wines from Margaux, Pessac Leognan, Saint Emilion and Pomerol benefited especially from the weather.

Chateau Pape Clement, an estate on the southern side of the city owned by Bernard Magrez, boosted its 2015 price from Bordeaux merchants by 18.1 percent to 58.80 euros a bottle, according to Liv-ex, positioning the vintage as the chateau’s most expensive in the market since 2010.

The 2015 vintage from Chateau Pontet Canet, an estate in Pauillac neighboring first-growth Chateau Mouton Rothschild, is being priced by Bordeaux merchants at 75 euros a bottle, up 13.6 percent from the 2014s, while Chateau Giscours, from Margaux, posted a 30.4 percent increase to 36 euros.

According to Liv-ex data, average prices in sterling for U.K. buyers of the 2015 vintage are up about 30 percent compared with the 2014s, following a 9 percent drop in the pound relative to the euro in the year to the start of April.

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