Bordeaux unveils prices for 2011 vintage but Latour unveils more
Two stories made a rumble in the established Bordeaux pricing world last week. Firstly news that Chateau Lafite Rothschild were reducing their 2011 vintage price by 30% to sell at £350 per bottle - compared to £600 a bottle last year. Wine merchants were obviously happy with the news and were also pleased that the tie-in proviso whereby buyers of Lafite had also to buy their sister company's wine Sauternes Chateau Rieusse with their allocation was being abolished.
Secondly news arrived that Chateau Latour are to exit the decades old en primeur system whereby the chateau sells it's wine while it is still in the barrel. Chateau Latour will not be releasing their 2012 vintage en primeur. This news gladdened wine collectors as buying already bottled wine takes some uncertainty out of the wine buying process. However wine traders were upset as the action is seen to cut out the middle man who would usually take a cut of the profit when they sell the wine on. Others felt the move was to increase sales to China where the en primeur system is a relatively new concept to consumers.