Bordeaux 2015 Wine Prices Pick Up Pace With 25% Jump From 2014s

  • Pace of Bordeaux ‘en primeur’ wine sales from barrel quickens
  • Chateau Canon, Smith Haut Lafitte among growers pricing wines

The pace of Bordeaux wine-price increases announced for the 2015 vintage has quickened over the past week, with top producers now having marked bottles up by about 25 percent on average from 2014, according to data from the London-based online Liv-ex wine market on its website.

Increases in 2015 prices from Bordeaux merchants in the past week alone relative to 2014 were running at about 32 percent, up from a more leisurely 19 percent in late May, the data show. Top estates were pushing harder, with seven leading growers each selling above 50 euros ($56.84) a bottle announcing price increases of 35 percent on average.

Saint Emilion in Bordeaux’s wine-making district.

Photo: Guy Collins/Bloomberg.

Many major estates have still not set prices for their new “en primeur” wines sold while still in barrel, two months after presenting them in early April tastings. The annual sales campaign may last from a few weeks to three months or more, affecting the broader wine market as merchants and investors weigh new wines against those already available on the market.

“The pace of the 2015 en primeur campaign has picked up significantly,” Liv-ex wrote in its market blog. “This has seen buyers looking for value across the back vintages.”

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 sunshine through the harvest allowed grapes to be picked at their ripest.

Producers interviewed in Bordeaux and London have said that 2015 is shaping up to be the highest-quality Bordeaux vintage for at least five years. Wine Advocate critic Neal Martin wrote in April that “the heady peaks of 2015 stand shoulder to shoulder with 2009 and 2010,” while pointing to a lack of consistency across the region.

Perfect Score

Chateau Canon in Saint Emilion priced its 2015 wine at 60 euros a bottle, up 55.8 percent from the previous year, having received a perfect 100-point score from critic James Suckling and 98-100 from Martin.

Two other estates pricing their 2015 wines at 60 euros a bottle were Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Pessac-Leognan and Clinet in Pomerol, up 31.6 percent and 36.4 percent respectively from their 2014 prices.

Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere in Saint Emilion boosted prices 36.6 percent to 56.4 euros a bottle, while Chateau Leoville Poyferre in Saint Julien increased its price by 24.3 percent to 55.2 euros a bottle.

The 2015 vintage is coming to market as demand is recovering for older Bordeaux. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index, weighted toward the region but also including wines from elsewhere, has risen for the past six months, its longest streak of monthly gains since March 2011.

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