Today was a busy day in Bordeaux, as several big-name châteaus finally released their 2010 futures prices, including Châteaus Margaux (96-99 points in my 2010 Bordeaux Barrel Tasting), Cos-d'Estournel (96-99) and L'Evangile (94-97).
It came as no surprise that Margaux increased its price over its 2009, to 600 euros from négociant up from 550 last year, and according to one négociant, demand has been very robust for both the château's grand vin and second wine, Pavillon Rouge, despite the increase in price.
On the flip side, Cos and L'Evangile raised some eyebrows when they released prices with a minor decrease and a flat level, respectively, vis-à-vis their 2009s.
Cos dropped its négoce price from 210 euros for the 2009 to 198 euros for the 2010; L'Evangile's price for the 2010 remained the same as for its 2009 at 180 euros. "I thought it was the correct price, despite the fact production was 20 percent less," said Christophe Salin, general director of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), which owns L'Evangile. (Château Lafite Rothschild has yet to release its 2010 price.)
But despite the pricing moves of Cos and L'Evangile, the market has apparently reacted with a bit of a shrug.
One major négociant chose not to comment directly on the sales of Cos, saying only, "It's really scores, brand reputation and worldwide brand recognition [that move the wine]. Just dropping prices isn't a guarantee to move the wine. The châteaus that went from 80 to 200 euros in the last few vintages have really slowed down this en primeur campaign. The difference in '09 was the fact everyone was jumping back into the market after being away for a few years and so the buying was more widespread."
Don't you find it interesting that consumers are asking for prices to come down, yet the buying still seems to be linked more to label and prestige than actual value?