Vega Sicilia, Unico 2005 is being offered pre-release at £549 for a case of three bottles, equivalent to £2,196 per 12×75.
The vintage has been held at the estate for two years longer than usual to allow for additional maturation. Winemaker Gonzalo Iturriaga explained to the drinks business that this has allowed the very powerful wine to mellow. He added, “It was a good idea. The wine has changed completely.”
The 2007 and 2008 have already been released. The 2006 has also been held back and is expected to be released next year.
The wine does not have a recent score from any leading critics, but back in 2012 Neal Martin awarded it 95 points. He noted: “The 2005 looks set to be a wonderful Unico when it is eventually released.”
The 2005 is priced at around the same level as the highly scored 2004, and a touch below other older vintages. Buyers will no doubt await further critic reviews with enthusiasm.
Rhone 2015 wines are beginning to be offered pre-release by the international trade.
Beaucastel 2015 is available at £450 per 12×75. For UK buyers, this is an increase of 19% on the merchant release price of the 2014 vintage last year (£378) – a difference that can be partly accounted for by the current weakness of Sterling.
At this price, the 2015 is more expensive than the majority of other recent vintages currently available in the market.
Vieux Telegraphe 2015 is being offered at £390 per 12×75. It has not yet received a critic score, but its price pitches it alongside the 95-point 2005 that already has several years in bottle.
Early feedback from Rhone 2015 tastings suggest a strong vintage that might be on par with 2007 or 2012. A report by The Wine Advocate’s Jeb Dunnuck on the region is due to be released at the end of the week.
The anticipated ex-Chateaux release of Latour 2007 was announced this morning. Latour 2007 was released ex-negociant at €355 per bottle. It is being offered by merchants for £4,100 per 12×75. This is the same level as the Market Price – the level at which it is currently available on the secondary market.
Latour released 3,000 cases of the 2007 vintage.
As the chart above shows, it is the lowest scoring Latour this century. It is available at a similar level as the 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 vintages. All carry a higher score from the Wine Advocate.
In August, Neal Martin awarded the 2007 vintage 92 points and said it is finally entering its “drinking plateau” as it approaches ten years of age. He described it as a “fine Latour from an underrated vintage.” Robert Parker scored the wine 92+ and said it was “undoubtedly one of the longest lived wines of the vintage.” James Suckling said the 2007 “lacks a little in the finish” and gave it 91 points.
Yquem 2014 was released at €250 per bottle ex-negociant this morning, the same price as the 2013 vintage. It is being offered in the UK market at £2,850 per 12×75, an 18.8% increase on the 2013 as a result of the fall in Sterling.
It is the highest scoring vintage since the perfect 100-point 2009. Neal Martin awarded it 96-98 points and said, “it’s not quite up there in the rarefied heights of say, the 2001 or 2009, but it is what we call in the trade, ‘the business’.” James Suckling said the wine had “brightness” and “fabulous depth of fruit”. He gave it 97-98 points.
Buyers looking for value may be tempted by some of the back vintages. The 97-point 2005 is available at a Market Price of £1,990 and the 98-point 2007 is available at £2,100.
Solaia 2013 has been released at €130 per bottle ex-negociant, the same release price as the 2012 vintage. It is being offered in the UK market at £1,450 per 12×75, higher than last year’s release as a result of Sterling weakness.
At this price it is at the same level as the 2008 and is above the 2010 which Antonio Galloni described as “one of the greatest – if not the single greatest – Solaia ever made.”
James Suckling is the only notable critic to have scored the 2013 vintage. He commented that it is a “classic as always”. He gave it 97 points and said it is “a stylish young red with currant, light herb, spice and bark aromas and flavours.” He added that the wine was balanced and attractive now but would be better in 2020.
Sena 2014 was released on the international market today at £415 per 6×75 – equivalent to £830 per 12×75.
As the chart above shows, it is being offered around the level of the 2005, 2006 and 2008, but has a higher score from James Suckling.
The 2013 (WA 96) is currently available at £660, a 20.5% discount to the new release. James Suckling was even more enthusiastic about the 2013 vintage and gave it 99 points. He said it showed “the structure of a first growth Bordeaux.”
Suckling is the only notable critic to have scored the 2014 vintage and commented that it is “already a beauty”. He gave it 97 points and added that the wine is of “a wonderful purity”.
Masseto 2013 has been released and is being offered from around £4,000 per 12×75 to those lucky enough to have secured an allocation.
As the chart above shows, it is available at a similar or slightly lower level to other recent vintages currently in the market. Vintages from 2008 and earlier command more of a price premium.
The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner commented that “the 2013 Masseto is shaping up to be a super star” and scored it 95-97 points. James Suckling was also impressed with the wine, calling it “so gorgeous and persistent. It goes on for minutes.” He awarded it 98 points.
Opus One 2013 was released today at £1,100 per 6×75 – equivalent to £2,200 per 12×75.
At this price, it is offered around the levels of the estate’s 2011 and 2012. It looks favourable in comparison to the older vintages. For example, it is available at a 15.6% discount to the similarly scored 2008.
The wine has already seen secondary market activity: it traded twice today at £2,150 per 12×75.
There has been considerable excitement surrounding the quality of the vintage in California overall. As Robert Parker commented: “2013 for many wineries in Napa and Sonoma has produced the finest wines I have tasted in 37 years”.
Antonio Galloni has praised the quality of Opus One 2013 specifically. In December 2014 he wrote: “Firm yet also voluptuous, the 2013 has it all. The combination of fruit and structure is superb… The flavor remains quite primary, one of the signatures of this great Napa Valley vintage.” He awarded the wine a range of 94-96+ points.
Cristal 2009 has recently been offered by merchants at £549 per 6×75 (£1,098 per 12×75). The wine is currently available pre-release. As such, there are no recent tasting notes available from leading critics. However back in 2010 Antonio Galloni awarded it 94-96, praising its “superb length and exceptional overall balance” and noting that it “literally shimmers on the palate”.
In November, Liv-ex posted analysis on releases from Champagne houses Taittinger and Dom Perignon. It showed that the most recently released three or four vintages from each house were available at similar levels. Older vintages – those from 2002 or earlier – commanded higher prices. They had appreciated in value as supplies began to diminish.
A similar trend is shown by Cristal vintages in the chart above. At £1,098 per 12×75, Cristal 2009 is pitched at a very similar level to the next most recent releases of the label, 2006 and 2007. Its older siblings have all gained value since release. The 1999 – a decade older than the house’s newest vintage – traded at £920 per 12×75 in May 2005. It last traded at £1,960 per 12×75, a 113% increase. As with Dom Perignon and Taittinger, therefore, those seeking Champagne for the years ahead may see value in buying early.
Solaia 2012 is the latest in a flurry of new releases after estates including Masseto and Opus One released last week. It is being offered by merchants at £1,272 per 12×75, placing it just below the average price of recent vintages. As the chart above shows, the 2010 – offered at the same price but with a higher critic score – appears to offer relative value.
Both Antonio Galloni and James Suckling have praised the quality of the 2012. Galloni commented that “the style is all about grace and finesse” (94 points) while Suckling commented: “The finesse and depth to this red is stunning.” (97 points). Both agree that the wine needs a couple of years before opening.