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    Bordeaux 2023 EP


    2023 Bordeaux vintage – A well priced surprise?

    Having spent some time in Bordeaux tasting the new vintage, the conversations were more about price than the wines themselves, which whilst in itself is a shame, is a reflection of the wine market that these wines will be released into.

    Whilst there was never any doubt as to the quality of the '22s they were priced "optimistically" and didn't sell quite as well as hoped.  We are in no doubt that in time anyone who did purchase the '22's will be delighted in 20 years time that they did, as the quality was outstanding and they will likely be highly sought after in a stronger market when they hit their drinking windows.  The big question was how do you price the '23s that whilst still offering excellent quality and at some properties who are on the up and up are equal to the '22s.

    Wine brands in general have become very aggressive with their release pricing both last year and so far this and the market has reacted accordingly with muted responses to these price hikes which have had a negative impact on overall market sentiment.  Whilst the majority of our customers by wines to drink, it is hard to make a compelling argument to buy the new vintage when it is 20% or more expensive than physical vintages of similar quality.

    Fortunately the message that new vintage releases haven't been working has filtered its way to Bordeaux, whose merchants are holding large amounts of young stock which is becoming harder and harder to finance due to interest rate rises.  These big Bordeaux merchants still need to sell wine and their cost prices are too high in the current market to do so at a level they wish.   This has led us to a position to where the chateau have been put in no doubt that unless prices come down, and substantially, the Bordeaux merchants will not take their allocations, leaving the unsold wine with the chateau as opposed to the merchant.
    It feels like this message has been heeded, with early releases pointing to price decreases of 20-40% and even larger with the very top chateau.  The release of Lafite Rothschild on the 2nd of May will be the test the market needs, if they price it right and it sells well most other chateau will follow in behind, although speaking with some they feel they didn't raise prices as aggressively as their neighbours so feel they shouldn't have to drop as aggressively either- a dangerous strategy we believe given the consumer will expect price decreases across the board.
    Finally we can talk about the wines, which are classic and fresh but fairly unique, some have compared them as a hybrid of 2001 and 2019 whilst others say there isn't really any vintage they would compare them too.  What is true is in many places they are very good and in a normal market would be snapped up.  Many of the critics have got on the bandwagon when it comes to this super organised vintage release and have had their scores out before these early releases.  We pretty much know the campaign is going to be early and quick and for once have known for weeks in advance when which chateau are releasing.  Having the scores and the critics opinions before the releases is a great help and the general agreement seems to be the vintage is very good but not great.  Bordeaux doesn't really have "bad" vintages anymore, the investment in and advancement of wine making techniques has improved, along with the general weather due to global warming which means even the odd bad vintage can be saved somewhat.   This is not one of those however and whilst there were challenges in the vineyards as always the wines are excellent.
    We will be sending out offers as the campaign progresses and hope that these wines will finally offer the value for money that the buying public is craving and at the same time give the broader market the shot in the arm it could very well do with.
    Please let us know if there are any specific Chateaux you would like us to keep an eye out for so we can contact you upon their release where possible and ensure you don’t miss out on them.

    If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to contact us on 0207 462 1261 or support@crsfw.com