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Bordeaux En Primeur 2022 – Where is the magic?  

The 2022 vintage is one of superlatives: highest temperatures and lowest amount of rain recorded during the summer, highest scores received, and of course, the highest average release price in recent history.  

As the quality of the vintage had been widely lauded by critics despite the challenging weather conditions experienced last year, price hikes were expected going into the campaign. Liv-ex members predicted a 7% year-on-year increase; the reality was much starker, as the ex-London price of wines covered by Liv-ex was up 20.8% on average from 2021.  

The 2021 campaign planted the seed of scepticism in the market. The wines were largely released at the same price as the 2020s, despite being scored two points lower by Neal Martin on average. As a result, a vintage with the potential to reinvigorate the system ended with some disillusionment and with merchants and collectors alike asking what the point of this time-consuming event was.  

This year, clearly, the question begs to be asked again: who is En Primeur for? The system has veered away from its origins as a means of providing working capital to the châteaux, some of which don’t need the support anymore.  

We have said it before and we will say it again: the 2022 En Primeur campaign is another missed opportunity. The international trade was ready to promote and sell this great vintage, but they could not do so regardless of price. This has led to a difficult and costly campaign and sadly, despite the quality of the wine on offer, is unlikely to have encouraged a new generation of buyers.   

Some key findings in the report:

  • Looking at the average Benchmark Critic scores, the 2022 vintage ranks higher than any other dating back to 2005.
  • The average release price increase during the En Primeur campaign was 20.8% compared to 2021 – markedly higher than the 7% anticipated by Liv-ex members.
  • Among merchants, 2022 was a polarising campaign – for some it was ‘the worst campaign ever’ while others deemed 2022 ‘very successful indeed’.
  • Even before the end of the campaign, offers were appearing on the market up to 15% lower than their opening price.
  • The buyer’s perception of value plays a vital role in maintaining the system, and this year’s pricing left many confused.

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