Talking Trade – Sweet September releases

Several wines were released from Bordeaux this week, including Chateau Palmer 2010, which was offered for the final time from the cellars of the estate. For several years Palmer has only released 50% of their Grand Vin En Primeur with the following 50% released the third Thursday of September, 10 years on. The newest release was offered by the international trade at £3,516 per 12×75, up 46.5% on the first release price (£2,400) and 35.2% above market (£2,600).

Eyes were on White Bordeaux this week with two big name Sauternes released. Chateau d’Yquem 2018 was first, at £2,880 per 12×75, an 18.4% discount on the 2017 opening price (£3,528). The estate’s then marketing director Jean-Philippe Lemoine reported a 40% drop in production for the 2018 vintage when compared to average.

Chateau Rieussec 2018 released at €30 per bottle ex-negotiant, down 28.6% on the previous five vintages, all which released at €42 per bottle. The wine came with a recommended retail price of £396 per 12×75 – previous releases have ranged between £400 to £496 per 12×75.

While Bordeaux dominated the headlines, trade for the region fell. Red Bordeaux (29.5%) dropped below 30% for the first time ever, however, the region did not quite touch a record low as White Bordeaux (3.2%) helped pick up the slack.

Italy (17.7%) saw a large jump in share from the previous week, while the Rhone (4.8%) and USA (9.4%) both drifted slightly but remain above their 2019 averages – 3% and 2.3% respectively.

Burgundy (16.9%) and Champagne (9.2%) both remained near their 2020 monthly averages. The Others category (9.3%) was led by Spain (4.5%), Australia (2.2%) and Germany (1.1%).

Opus One 2017 was the most traded wine by value this week. The Napa Valley 2017 vintage is one marked by the wildfires that ravaged through the region. However, as the fires didn’t hit their peak until October, Opus had 91% of their fruit in before smoke taint could become a problem, nonetheless volumes released were said to be down 27% on the previous year.

Spanish wine, Dominio de Pingus, Ribera Del Duero Pingus 2018 topped the charts this week. The wine is one of the region’s most traded by value in 2020 and is currently joined by its 2016 vintage, both in the top 5.

Even with the increased breadth of wines from Italy, Super Tuscans remain the top traded by value, taking up five out the top six spots (LWIN7). Ornellaia 2017 and Sassicaia 2015 added to those totals as both saw multiple trades week.

Special Report – The changing nature of fine wine buying

Our latest special report explores the habits and opinions of fine wine buyers worldwide, and some of the challenges they face.

Areas covered by the report:

  • The benefits and barriers of buying direct from producers
  • Price and provenance
  • Views on En Primeur
  • The challenge of logistics and settling trades
  • Direct-to-consumer
  • The impact of technology

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