Latour 2010, Gusbourne's Fifty One Degrees North & other September wine releases.
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The Place de Bordeaux, Bordeaux’s historical merchant network of buying local wines and selling them throughout the world, is evolving. In a nutshell, it’s gone global. While spring is still the big Bordeaux en primeur sales period, September has become the month for La Place de Bordeaux to feature bottled wines from beyond Bordeaux, with select négociants offering new releases from their growing lists of international suppliers. This year sees releases of wines from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, China, France, Hungary, Italy, Spain, South Africa, and the USA.
The most talked-about releases are:
🔵 Opus One 2019 (Liv-ex) 🔵 Inglenook Rubicon 2019 (Liv-ex) 🔵 Masseto 2019 (Liv-ex) 🔵 Joseph Phelps Insigna 2019 (Liv-ex) 🔵 Solaia 2019 (Liv-ex) 🔵 ”Ex-cellar stock of Château d’Yquem 2016 released” (Liv-ex)
Other Wine Releases
🔵”New Château Latour 2010 stocks released onto market” (Liv-ex)
Château Latour left the en primeur system in 2012 (Decanter) and 2011 was their last vintage released en primeur. However, the Pauillac-based First Growth Château had been reducing the amount of wine sold en primeur since early 2000s, building up supplies in anticipation of this strategy.
This news was not well received by most négociants, who had bought vintages of Latour in good faith en primeur, not knowing that they will then have to compete against releases from the château itself.
And last week, they have launched more cases of their lauded 2010 vintage from the estate's cellars with a release price of €1,050 (£920) per bottle ex-Bordeaux, now on BBX at £1,083 or on LiveTrade at £1,050.
As per Liv-ex chart below, this new “ex-cellar tranche is around 3.2% more expensive than previously released stock currently available on the market, which buyers might consider this a small price to pay for provenance and perfection.”
Both 2009 and 2010 received glowing reviews from wine critics, including 100-points from The Wine Advocate. And perhaps because of their high release price, the market doesn’t seem to be convinced there is much more price potential.
Château Latour, 2010 vintage
Reserves of the 2010 vintage are particularly low. The chart below accounts for merchant’s stock. However, because of their release policy, it’s unclear whether there is much more in store at the château’s.
Back in 2012, Latour motivation for leaving the en primeur system was partly a response to the increasing desire of consumers for ready-to-drink wines that have been stored in optimal conditions, and partly to be able to offer vintages to the market over a longer period of time.
Looking at the chart of the 2000 vintage (but the same trend can be observed for all the vintages up to 2008), there is a marked price jump at the time of bottling, 2 years after en primeur. By delaying its release, and bearing the cash flow risk, Latour is able to pocket that profit.
Château Latour, 2000 vintage
🔵“Can a bottle of English sparkling wine be worth £195?” (In the mood for wine)
This article sparked a little debate on Reddit.
The main point raised was: do you think that Fifty One Degrees North is better than Krug or Dom Pérignon? Why didn’t you delve into the quality of this wine more?
The reason why I metioned its quality only in passing (and yes, I did find it impressive!) is because I think that’s only secondary to its 'worth'.
From an investment point of view, I believe that the supply / demand dynamics mentioned in the article are enough to support such pricing and appreciation in the near future. Supply is constrained. It’s so constrained that demand already exceeds supply — without even accounting for quality.
I’d love to hear your opinion! Please let me know in the poll or share your thoughts in the comments.
Until next Monday,
In the mood for wine (a.k.a. Sara Danese)