The UGC tastings in Bordeaux are fast approaching their conclusion. Those who had hoped for a clear picture of the new vintage may feel frustrated – reports on 2012’s quality are varied and there is little consensus as to which are the stand-out wines.
The key question on everyone’s lips this year is not so much about the quality of the wines as the price at which they will be released. Many numbers have been bandied about over the last few days. A current popular rumour is that the First Growths will release at 250 EUR/bottle ex-chateau, which translates to around 300 EUR/bottle ex-negociant. This equates to a London release price of approximately £3,400/12x75.
At this price several First Growths may have difficulties in finding a market. As shown in the chart below, Haut Brion, Margaux and Mouton all have cheaper back vintages available. Latour is now irrelevant. Lafite is a law unto itself, and £3,400 per case would be a solid reduction on its 07, 08 and 11. But as the worst performing First Growth of the last two years, perhaps even it too will struggle.
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