En primeur debate at LWF

05 June, 2014

Wine investors would have lost £35,000 last Friday if they sold one case of each Bordeaux’s first growth chateaux for the five years from 2009, The Wall Street Journal's Will Lyons said at a debate on the future of Bordeaux en primeur, at the London Wine Fair last Monday (June 2).

The panel debate hosted by master of wine Tim Atkin focused on the difficulties faced by the chateau, the merchants and consumers who director of Farr Vintners Tom Hudson said: “Have walked away from en primeur.

“Why would they [buy] when they can get it cheaper later? En premier is not terminal, we can go back, but we need to have some reality,” Hudson added.

AXA Millesimes' managing director Christian Seely warned generalisations of vintages should be avoided and that Bordeaux 2013 was extremely varied from property to property.

“It was obviously never going to be an easy campaign,” Seely said.

Sophie Schyler Thierry of Château Kirwan criticised negative comments and speculation from the media prior to vintage tastings. She said: “The more you keep to invest, the more you risk and stand to lose. Be patient.”

Current head of Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Olivier Bernard defended the system and said the high prices are driven by the high demands for earlier vintages in France and Europe, rather than the chateau. Bernard insisted: “Bordeaux has changed and has never been working as well as it has been today.”

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