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Wine Spectator: Merchants Underwhelmed By Bordeaux 2013 Futures Pricing

April 10, 2014

The Bordeaux 2013 futures campaign gathered momentum with a handful of releases this week.

As of yesterday morning, Châteaus Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pichon-Longueville Baron, Prieuré Lichine, Gloria, Suduiraut, Gazin, Chasse Spleen, La Fleur de Boüard and Lynch-Moussas had announced their release prices. But leading négociants and retailers say the wines have failed to create a buzz so far. Nor has there been an energizing early release by a first-growth, which can help set price benchmarks during a difficult year. “[This campaign] is like a plane stalling. It needs to pick up speed or crash,” said Yann Schÿler, CEO of Maison Schröder & Schÿler.

Most Bordeaux merchants are looking at how prices compare to the 2012 wine release prices—and to the 2008s, which came from a very good but not outstanding vintage and are on store shelves. “The futures market for 2011 and 2012 classifieds is dead, so I don’t see customers jumping at these either unless prices really drop,” said Barbara Hermann, head wine buyer for Midwest retailer Binny’s Beverage Depot.

In previous years, château owners could count on demand from other markets when U.S. interest was low. But a lack of Chinese interest was evident in the conspicuous absence of Chinese customers during the week of barrel tastings and gala dinners. “There were a few Chinese, a few Americans, but this is not a vintage for speculation or making money, this is a vintage for drinking,” said Olivier Bernard, Union des Grands Crus president and owner of Domaine de Chevalier.

For the full story in Wine Spectator, click here.

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