It is now the perfect timing for the release of Cos-d’Estournel 2006 futures to the Bordeaux wine trade. As we say, the fruit is fully ripe, the timing is very appropriate.
Many châteaus have successfully put their wines on the market, and we have now a clear vision of which direction the wind is blowing.
The economic conditions are now easy to interpret, especially in France after the successful election of our new president, Nicolas Sarkozy. Looking at actual currency exchange and interest rate is also fundamental.
Next week the famous Vinexpo wine fair will start in Bordeaux. About 50,000 professional visitors are expected. Clearly the en primeur campaign should be finished by this time. Releasing the big names of Bordeaux in July after the fair makes no commercial sense and, I believe, is not showing great respect to the consumers.
Taking into consideration all the above, we have decided to release Cos-d’Estournel 2006 today to the Bordeaux trade, before all the first growths, the major super seconds (such as Ducru, Las Cases, Palmer, Pichon-Lalande) and even Angélus and Pavie have released their prices.
Cos-d’Estournel 2006 will be released at 80 euros (from the Bordeaux négociants to their clients around the world). This is nearly 50 percent below the current prices of Cos 2003 and 2005.
We at Cos feel this price is fully justified by the quality of the vintage, and represents good value to the consumer. Indeed, the wine trade from around the world has tasted cask samples of Cos-d’Estournel 2006 on numerous occasions and has a very good overview of the quality of Cos in the content of the vintage.
The press has published their tasting notes and rated the various appellations of Bordeaux. James Suckling gave a score range of 92-94 to his barrel tasting of Cos d’Estournel 2006, with a note that the wine is “almost 95-100.” We hope our customers will be pleased with this new vintage.
For more information about Bordeaux’s en primeur system, please refer to my earlier blog posts.
This blog will be my last one with Wine Spectator. I have tried over these few weeks to be as open as possible about the way Bordeaux operates. I have enjoyed our exchange of views, even when there has been controversy and disagreement. Without the U.S. market, Bordeaux would not have made so much technical and quality progress since 1975. The great estates of Bordeaux are challenged by some Californian wines and that is very healthy for all of us, producers and consumers.
I believe that since the 2000 vintage Bordeaux has entered into a new cycle of quality and development. The Internet and the press, the wide choice of wines given to the consumers, global warming (which makes it easy to reach perfect ripeness nearly every vintage) and financial investments from new Bordeaux château owners will lead us towards better wines.
Some may perceive Bordeaux as arrogant. But isn’t this self-confidence the privilege of those who have such a long-standing history and dedicated themselves so much to constant improvement and research?
In 1965, while tasting all of the top estates from the 1961 vintage, the famous Daniel Lawton, who was then the most renowned Bordeaux broker (courtier), was asked by my grandmother Arlette Ginestet, who was then the co-owner of Château Margaux, which one of the first growths he preferred from that legendary vintage. Lawton answered: Madame, it doesn’t really matter since they are all very good and all for sale.
That is Bordeaux…
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