Cheval-Blanc and Figeac Finish: 2018 Bordeaux Wine Futures Prices and Analysis

Three big Right Bank names have released their 2018 futures. Will the price be tempting enough for consumers?

Cheval-Blanc and Figeac Finish: 2018 Bordeaux Wine Futures Prices and Analysis
Château Figeac has produced improving quality in recent years. (Benjamin Duvignac)
Jun 18, 2019

This story, originally published on April 23, 2019, was last updated on June 18, 2019.

The 2018 futures campaign is winding down, with top estates Cheval-Blanc, Figeac and Vieux Château Certan all releasing in recent days. All three estates raised prices this year. But while they're higher than the 2017s, Cheval-Blanc and Vieux Château Certan's prices are comparable to the high-quality 2016 and 2015 vintages. By contrast, Figeac opted to aim higher.

The current strong dollar compared to the euro is also making prices attractive at leading U.S. retailers that Wine Spectator tracks. Will consumers bite?

"What is clear is that the wines have everything an American consumer will enjoy: complexity, depth, length and richness," Edouard Moueix, executive vice president at Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix, told Wine Spectator. "So, if the prices remain at the level of or below the prices of 2016 … I think we should be able to get the attention of some Bordeaux lovers and possibly others."

Many 2016s, the last high-quality vintage, are still stuck in the system at their opening price, indicating they were released as futures at too high a price to attract consumers. If châteaus turn a blind eye to the realities of the market and get overzealous with pricing the 2018s, the wines, despite high quality, could be stuck as well.

As for the wines, the 2018 vintage is rife with superb options. Overall, 2018 is better than 2015 and 2016 as it is a more consistent vintage, though there are high points in both of those earlier vintages that sometimes best their 2018 counterparts.

Following a wet and humid spring, mildew pressures resulted in some crushing crop losses at estates in 2018. But the vintage was saved by a warm, dry summer and idyllic harvest conditions that allowed producers who culled their crop well to harvest some spectacular fruit.


Wine Spectator website members can check out James Molesworth's preliminary scores and tasting notes for the top 2018 Bordeauxs; and read his reports on more than a dozen visits to top châteaus.


June 18: Right Bank’s Big Names Release as Campaign Winds Down

Some of the Right Bank’s best-known wineries have now released their 2018 futures, a sign that this year’s campaign is winding down. Cheval-Blanc, Figeac and Vieux Château Certan are all out now.

St.-Emilion’s Cheval-Blanc (NYR) set its 2018 futures prices at €528 per bottle, ex-négoce, a 22.2 percent increase over the 2017 vintage. The average initial retail price of $703 per bottle ($8,436 per case) is 17.1 percent higher than the 2017 initial retail price. That’s 10 percent lower than the 2016 current retail price, and even lower than current prices for the 2015 and 2010 vintages.

Figeac (97-100) released at €174 per bottle, ex-négoce, for the 2018 vintage, a significant 45 percent increase over the 2017 futures price. The initial retail is $240 ($2,880 per case), a 39 percent increase over 2017’s initial retail price and only 6 percent below 2016's current price, 6 percent above 2015's current price and 23 percent below the 2010 current price. Figeac general director Frédéric Faye has made notable changes in recent years, and the owners may believe the rising prices are warranted.

Pomerol’s Vieux Château Certan (NYR) has released its 2018 futures at €210 per bottle, ex-négoce, a 25 percent increase over the past vintage. The initial retail price of $293 ($3,516 per case) is 23 percent higher than 2017, but 20 percent less than the 2016 and 2015 current retail prices, and 40 percent less than the 2010 current price of $497.

June 13: Lafite Joins the Party

Château Lafite Rothschild (NYR) released its 2018 futures today, the last, but certainly not least, of the first growths to participate in the campaign, since Château Latour does not release futures. Lafite set its price for 2018 at €470 per bottle, ex-négoce, which is higher than Haut-Brion, Margaux and Mouton, but actually a more modest increase over 2017 at 11.9 percent than the other three wineries. The initial retail stands at $643 per bottle, $7,716 per case, also a modest 7.8 percent increase over 2017 initial retail, and markedly lower than current retail prices for the 2016, 2015 and 2010 vintages.

Over in Pomerol, Château L’Eglise Clinet (95-98) has set its 2018 futures prices at €210 per bottle, ex-négoce, a 25 percent increase over 2017. The initial retail price of $294, or $3,528 per case, is 22.9 percent higher than 2017, lower than current retail prices for 2016 and 2010, but relatively close to 2015 current retail of $284.


Check out Wine Spectator's "How (and Why) to Buy Wine Futures" for more on the benefits and pitfalls of en primeur purchases.


Below you will find prices and analysis on the campaign, with prices given both ex-négoce, which means before importers and retailers add markup, and average retail price, which is compiled from Wine Spectator's tracking of leading U.S. retailers. It's what you can expect to pay.

For more on the 2018 Bordeaux vintage, watch for James Molesworth's full report in the July 31 issue of Wine Spectator. For all the latest releases, check out our price chart below.

2018 Futures Prices

These estates represent a selection of leading wineries. Our ratings are potential scores based on barrel samples. Retail prices are an average of trusted retailers we follow. Prices for the 2018s are listed alongside the current prevailing retail price for Bordeaux's recent benchmark vintages, so you can measure where the wines are vis-à-vis those currently on retail shelves.

Data compiled by Cassia Schifter.

Château 2018 Score 2018 initial futures offering at U.S. retail 2017 initial futures offering at U.S. retail 2017-2018 retail change Current 2016 price at U.S. retail Current 2015 price at U.S. retail
Angélus 95-98 $353 $392 -10% $430 $429
Beychevelle 94-97 $86 $77 +12% $115 $117
Brainaire-Ducru 94-97 $55 $51 +8% $67 $69
Calon-Segur 96-99 $112 $88 +28% $145 $96
Canon 96-99 $121 $96 +26% $218 $347
Canon-La Gaffelière 95-98 $87 $80 +8% $109 $118
Cheval-Blanc NYR $702 $600 +17% $778 $899
Clos Fourtet 96-99 $114 $104 +9% $139 $142
Cos-d'Estournel NYR $197 $152 +30% $233 $212
Ducru-Beaucaillou 96-99 $193 $172 +12% $226 $202
Figeac 97-100 $240 $172 +39% $254 $227
Giscours 93-96 $64 $61 +5% $71 $84
Grand Puy Lacoste 95-98 $77 $76 +2% $93 $85
Haut-Brion NYR $567 $492 +15% $652 $669
Hosanna 95-98 $168 $166 +1% $159 $188
L'Èglise Clinet 95-98 $291 $239 +22% $329 $284
La Fleur-Pétrus 96-99 $240 $227 +6% $239 $276
La Mission Haut-Brion NYR $346 $332 +4% $501 $503
Lafite Rothschild NYR $642 $597 +8% $833 $754
Léoville Barton 96-99 $88 $77 +14% $109 $112
Léoville Las Cases 97-100 $253 $206 +23% $325 $241
Léoville Poyferré 95-98 $93 $79 +17% $118 $118
Les Carmes Haut-Brion 95-98 $103 $80 +29% $180 $105
Lynch-Bages 96-99 $126 $109 +15% $163 $153
Malescot-St.-Exupéry 93-96 $57 $53 +7% $72 $106
Margaux NYR $573 $500 +15% $728 $1,856
Mouton-Rothschild NYR $569 $499 +14% $722 $643
Palmer 97-100 $337 $281 +20% $365 $377
Pape Clément 95-98 $91 $91 0% $109 $252
Pavie 96-99 $372 $392 -5% $423 $402
Pavie-Macquin 95-98 $74 $75 -2% $100 $95
Pétrus NYR $NA $2,950 -% $3,225 $3,689
Pichon Baron 95-98 $160 $134 +19% $180 $181
Pichon Lalande 97-100 $183 $127 +44% $222 $190
Rauzan-Ségla 96-99 $109 $77 +42% $101 $160
Smith-Haut-Lafite 95-98 $110 $99 +12% $129 $137
Talbot 93-96 $60 $56 -% $67 $72
Troplong-Mondot 95-98 $105 $103 +2% $166 $143
Trotanoy 97-100 $330 $330 -% $379 $265
Valandraud 96-99 $177 $150 +18% $200 $189
Vieux Château Certan NYR $290 $238 +22% $356 $359

NYR means a wine has not been submitted for review yet. NA means a wine has not been released or is not sold in sufficient quantities by U.S. retailers yet to determine an average price.

June 12: Margaux Marches Out, Followed by Haut-Brion, Mouton and Pavie

Château Margaux (NYR) leads the charge for first-growths, releasing on June 11 at €408 per bottle, ex-négoce, 17.2 percent higher than 2017 futures. The initial retail price of $565 per bottle ($6,780 per case) is a 13.1 percent increase over the 2017 initial retail price, but it is still significantly lower than the current prices for recent notable vintages. Most dramatically, this includes 2015, which is 70 percent higher, at a current price of $1,856.

Fellow first-growths Château Haut-Brion (NYR) and Château Mouton-Rothschild (NYR) followed suit this morning, both releasing at an identical €408 per bottle, ex-negoce, which is also a 17.2 percent increase on the opening price of the 2017. Both are currently selling at leading retailers for $570, markedly lower than the 2016 and 2015 vintages' current prices.

St.-Emilion's Château Pavie (96-99) released at €282, up just 2.2 percent from 2017. Leading U.S. retailers are offering it for $376 per bottle, a four percent drop from the 2017 release price and even lower than the current 2016 and 2015 prices.

June 6: Campaign Gets Hot, Thanks to La Mission

La Mission Haut-Brion (not yet rated) stunned a lot of Bordeaux watchers yesterday, releasing their 2018 futures at €252 per bottle, ex-negocé, just 5 percent higher than their 2017 futures. Plenty of other big-name wineries have released this week, typically raising prices by 15 to 20 percent. But those prices are still low enough that merchants are offering the wines for less than the high-quality 2016 and 2015 vintages currently on the market. It’s prompting more consumer interest than expected.

La Mission Haut-Brion is being offered by retailers for $346, only a 4.2 percent increase over 2017 initial retail offering, and 31 percent less than current prices for both 2016 and 2015 and 65 percent less than the 2010 current price of $985.

Ducru-Beaucaillou (96-99 points) is on trend with its St.-Julien neighbors, increasing prices modestly by 16 percent over 2017, releasing its 2018 at €139.20 per bottle, ex-négoce. An initial retail price of $193 comes out to a 12 percent increase over the 2017 initial price, however, like most, it remains lower than current prices for 2016, 2015 and 2010.

Léoville Las Cases (97-100) announced their futures release at €180 per bottle, ex-négoce, a 25 percent increase over last vintage. Initial retail average is also up 23 percent, from $206 to $253, which interestingly is also higher than the current 2015 price of $241, but remains lower than 2016 current price of $325 and 2010’s $333.

Futures for Pichon Lalande (97-100) have been released at €132, ex-négoce, a significant 46.7 percent increase over 2017 futures. This increase is being reflected in a U.S. retail price of $183, 43.8 percent higher than 2017’s initial retail price of $127. While Initial retail for 2018 is only slightly under 2015 current price of $190, it is lower than 2016 and 2010 current prices of $222 and $254, respectively.

Smith-Haut-Lafitte (95-98) released its 2018 at €79.20 per bottle, ex-négoce, up 17.9 percent over 2017 futures release. Initial retail price is also up 11.7 percent over 2017 at $110, however, it is less than 2016, 2015 and 2010 by 15 percent, 20 percent and 47 percent, respectively. The initial price for 2018 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc is also slightly higher, at $118.

Second-growth Cos-d’Estournel (NYR) released at €144 per bottle, ex-négoce, which is a 33.3 percent increase over the 2017 release price. The initial retail average of $197 is 29.9 percent higher than 2017’s $152 initial retail price. As compared to other recent vintage’s current prices, however, it is 15 percent lower than 2016, at $233 and 42 percent lower than 2010 at $339.

Pichon Baron (95-98) is out at €114 ex-négoce, an 18.8 percent increase over 2017. Initial retail average upon release is $160 which, compared to 2017, is a 19 percent increase. This 2018 retail price is a bit lower than the almost identical current prices for 2016 and 2015, and 43 percent lower than the 2010 current price of $281.

Les Carmes Haut-Brion (95-98) futures have been released at €69 ex-négoce which, compared to 2017’s €54 release, is a 27.8 percent increase. Initial retail of $103 is a slightly higher percent increase, up 29 percent over 2017. Somewhat off trend, the initial retail price for 2018 is considerably lower than current 2016 price, only $2 shy of 2015’s current retail price, but actually 15 percent higher than 2010’s current retail of $90.

June 3: Lynch Bages Grabs the Spotlight

Last week, the 2018 futures campaign hit full steam, as multiple top names released their allocations. Château Lynch Bages was the biggest attention-grabber: The brand has a strong presence in the United States and other markets, and its 2018 earned a potential 96-99 points in Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth's blind tastings. Lynch Bages raised prices 20 percent from last year, similar to what other wineries have done so far. While that’s a healthy jump, it still prices the futures lower than the château’s 2016 and 2015 wines, the previous top releases. Many wineries are adopting a similar strategy.

More big names are expected to release this week. Will we see a first-growth join the party?

Lynch Bages released its 2018 (96-99) at €90 per bottle ex-négoce, which puts it 20 percent higher than last vintage. The initial retail average of $124 per bottle, or $1,488 per case, is 14.2 percent higher than 2017 initial price, but it’s lower than the current prices for top vintages 2016, 2015 and 2010, all selling for more than $150.

Troplong-Mondot (95-98) released its 2018 futures at €74.40 per bottle ex-négoce, which is only a slight bump up from 2017 at 3.3 percent. The initial retail price of $105 is far below the current 2016 price of $166 and 51 percent lower than standard bearer 2010’s current price of $216.

Léoville Poyferré (95-98) is up 22.2 percent with a 2018 release price of €66 ex-négoce. An initial retail price of $92 puts it 16.2 percent above the 2017 initial price and almost equal to 2016 initial retail of $91. That price is 22 percent lower than current prices for 2016 and 2015, however, and 48 percent below the 2010’s current price of $179.

Château Giscours (93-96) in Margaux has set their futures price at €44.40 per bottle, a 7.2 percent increase over 2017. Initial retail price of $63 remains consistent with the past two vintages: 2017 initial of $61 and 2016 initial of $62. Like most, the initial price for 2018 is still increasing less than current prices for recent notable vintages 2016, 2015 and 2010.

May 24: Prices Creeping Higher

Prices began to creep up this week, as Vinexpo came to a close and more wineries got down to business. Château Canon released on May 23 at €84 per bottle ex-négoce, up 27.3 percent over 2017. With an initial retail price at leading retailers of $120, or $1,440 a case, the 2018 is 24.6 percent above last vintage’s initial retail price, but 45 percent below 2016’s current price of $218 and 66 percent below 2015’s current price of $347.

Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux, owned by the same family as Canon, priced its 2018 futures priced significantly higher than last year, at €72 ex-négoce, a 36.4 percent increase. The initial retail price of $99 is 41.2 percent higher than 2017’s initial price of $77 and almost even with the 2016 current retail price of $101.

In Pauillac, Grand-Puy-Lacoste released at €55 per bottle ex-négoce, which is only a 4.2 percent increase over 2017’s release price. The initial retail price of $77 is almost even with last year’s $76, but 17 percent less than 2016 current retail of $93 and 9 percent less than 2015 current retail of $85.

St-Julien’s Léoville Barton announced a release price of €62 ex-négoce, a 17 percent increase over last vintage. An initial retail price of $88 puts it at 14 percent over 2017 initial retail but at least 20 percent less than the current retail prices for 2016, 2015 and 2010.

At €42 per bottle ex-négoce, Château Talbot's 2018 price is 12.9 percent higher than the 2017 release of the St-Julien fourth-growth. Initial retail average comes to $60, which is just above both 2017 and 2016 initial retails of $56 and $58, respectively.

On the Right Bank, Valandraud futures have been released at €129 ex-négoce, a 29 percent increase over 2017, but identical to the 2016 release price. Initial retail stands at $176, or $2,112 per case.

May 14: Palmer, Pape-Clement and others release at attractive prices

At €240, Château Palmer’s 2018 futures are 25 percent above last year’s ex-négoce price of €192, but identical to the 2016 futures. While retailers are just starting to offer it, as of today the average retail price is $340, or $4,080 a case, up 21.1 percent over the 2017 initial retail price and also higher than the 2016 initial retail price, but lower than current average prices for the 2016, 2015 and 2010 vintages.

In St.-Julien, Branaire-Ducru released its 2018 futures at €38.40 per bottle ex-négoce, up 14.3 percent over 2017. The initial retail price stands at $55, which is a 7.3 percent increase over 2017, but the exact same initial price as the 2016 vintage, which has risen to $67 since.

Beychevelle came out at €60, a 13.6 percent increase over last year. The initial retail average is $86, a 12 percent increase over 2017 and 2016’s initial retail of $77. However, it’s 25 percent less than the current 2016 price and 37 percent less than the 2010 price .

Malescot-St.-Exupéry in Margaux at €40.80 ex-négoce is up 17.2 percent over last vintage, although initial retail is $57, which is only a 6.5 percent increase and a small decrease from the 2016 initial price of $58.

St.-Estèphe’s Calon-Ségur is up a whopping 20 percent, at €72 per bottle ex-négoce. Unlike the other châteaus so far with smaller increases if any, its U.S. initial retail price has increased 23.6 percent, to $108 over 2017’s $88. It is also 13 percent higher than the 2015 current retail price of $96.

Pavie Macquin released at €52.80, a slight increase of 2.3 percent from 2017. As for U.S. retail, the futures are nearly identical to the 2017 price, selling for around $75.

In Pessac-Léognan, Pape Clément released last week at €66 per bottle, which is 7.8 percent higher than last year’s release. But the initial retail price of $92 is only slightly above 2017’s $91 and 2016’s $90. The Pape Clément white also came out, at €98.40, a small increase over last year’s release, and is selling at retail for about $137.

April 23: Angélus rings the opening bell

Heading into this campaign, the current exchange rate of $1.12 to 1 euro has made the dollar 8 percent stronger than during last year's campaign.

Angélus released its 2018 at 252 euros per bottle ex-négoce, a drop of 8.7 percent from the 2017 and identical to its 2015 on release. The U.S. retail price is around $352 per bottle, a drop of 10 percent from 2017 (varying exchange rates are behind the difference in decline). It's a price devised to spark enthusiasm. "It's good that it came out at the 2015 price, which is where the campaign should be pitched ideally as a whole," said one négociant. Today, the 2015s and 2016s are both selling for about $430 per bottle, making the 2018 futures attractive.

More Bordeaux Barrel Tastings 2018

See More

A Comeback for the Ages

Jul 31, 2019

Alphabetical Guide to 2018 Bordeaux Barrels

Jul 31, 2019

Bordeaux Vintners Excited About 2018 Wines, Uncertain About Futures Campaign

Apr 19, 2019

The 2018 Bordeaux Barrels Diary: A Right Bank Bonanza, Part 2

Apr 5, 2019

The 2018 Bordeaux Barrels Diary: A Right Bank Bonanza, Part 1

Apr 4, 2019

France Bordeaux News Bordeaux Barrel Tastings 2018 Collecting Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

You Might Also Like

Trade War Roils European Wine Industry

Trade War Roils European Wine Industry

French, Spanish and German wineries are still figuring out how to withstand 25 percent …

Nov 15, 2019
The Tavern by WS Joins an All-Star Dining Lineup at New York’s Hudson Yards

The Tavern by WS Joins an All-Star Dining Lineup at New York’s Hudson Yards

The restaurant, affiliated with Wine Spectator , opened Nov. 13

Nov 13, 2019
Moderate Wine Consumption Linked to Lower Risk of Lung Disease

Moderate Wine Consumption Linked to Lower Risk of Lung Disease

A new study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption may significantly lower the risk of …

Nov 13, 2019
Wineries Fight to Keep Tax Cuts

Wineries Fight to Keep Tax Cuts

Excise tax credits passed in 2017 are set to expire at the end of this year. Can they be …

Nov 8, 2019
When Disaster Strikes, Sonoma Endures

When Disaster Strikes, Sonoma Endures

Through fires, floods and droughts, Northern California's work ethic serves it well

Nov 7, 2019
Sonoma Wine Country Regains Its Footing

Sonoma Wine Country Regains Its Footing

With the Kincade fire contained, wineries and restaurants reopen their doors to returning …

Nov 7, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search