Bordeaux 2018 – the campaign so far

With the En Primeur campaign on hold for Vinexpo, today’s blog takes a look at the pricing of Bordeaux 2018 so far and how it compares to the last two vintages.

The table above shows the percentage change of thirty newly released wines on their 2016 and 2017 opening prices (euro per bottle).

So far, this year’s releases have been priced below the 2016 (-0.9%) but up on the 2017 (11%) on average. This broadly follows the results of our annual En Primeur survey, according to which merchants expected (not wanted) the ex-negociant prices to be 15.6% higher than last year, but 4.8% lower than 2016.

There are exceptions to this trend. Four of the wines listed above have recently been released at the equivalent of the 2016, including Duhart Milon, Palmer and Pape Clement. Others such as Carmes Haut Brion and Clerc Milon have been released at 22% and 19% premium on their 2016 vintage.

Annual price increases, however, can be justified if a wine is deemed ‘Fair Value’ based on its critical reception. Lafleur and Calon Segur, for instance, reportedly sold out quickly despite such price rises. They were helped by rising critic scores in recent years; Liv-ex members also ranked them as the fifth and eight best Bordeaux 2018 wines respectively.

As the best Bordeaux label in terms of price performance in the 2018 Liv-ex Power 100, Carmes Haut Brion was another highly sought-after release, attracting collectors’ and investors’ attention. It has already traded on the secondary market – 28% above its release price.

Overall, however, merchants have reported a narrow campaign with sales figures currently running at or just above 2017 levels but well below 2016. As the quality of the 2018 vintage was rated below that of 2009, 2010 and 2016 (Liv-ex survey), releases that come at or just below the current prices of these vintages hold limited allure unless they are brands on the move.

With only 30% of the major wines having been released, it is still early to predict whether the 2018 En Primeur campaign will be considered a success. The top sellers – Carmes Haut Brion, Calon Segur and Beychevelle – albeit releasing at record levels, have all been offered at a significant discount to the current price of their 2016 vintage. This has laid out a clear path to success.

Looking for more? Our Bordeaux 2018 pages contain everything you need to know about this year’s En Primeur campaign, including:


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