2012 First Growths: how low will they go?

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

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.


For comprehensive coverage of news, scores
and release prices, visit the Liv-ex En Primeur pages. You can also
keep up with all of the latest news from Bordeaux by following Liv-ex on
Twitter (@Livex)
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