Updated: Bordeaux 2021 Futures Prices and Analysis

Pauillac first-growth Mouton Rothschild leads the latest batch of en primeur releases. Who is offering true value?

Updated: Bordeaux 2021 Futures Prices and Analysis
Château Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux's Pauillac appellation
May 20, 2022

Updated June 14. This story will be continuously updated as more wineries release their futures allocations. Check back for the latest.

In a time of war and deep economic anxiety, Bordeaux’s futures campaign has begun, with the first top wineries releasing futures allocations this week. Early indicators suggest price increases will be minimal, with some producers even reducing prices from last year. The big question is whether all the top names will show similar restraint.

Château Pavie, Cheval-Blanc and Léoville Las Cases collectively kickstarted the campaign, releasing their first tranche of 2021 futures the week of May 16. Cheval-Blanc raised prices slightly, Pavie trimmed prices slightly and Las Cases dropped them by more than 14 percent compared to the 2020 futures on release. What’s more, the dollar is the strongest it’s been against the euro in several years, giving Americans a discount.

But the 2021 futures offer twin challenges for sales teams. The vintage was not easy: Heavy April frosts drastically reduced yields, and a rainy summer left many vintners fighting fungal diseases for much of the growing season. Some winemakers had to chaptalize in the cellars. Many are calling it a traditional vintage, more elegant than powerful. And they are quick to point out that methods in the vineyard and the cellar have drastically improved in the past 50 years—outstanding wines can be made even in challenging years.

Then there’s the economic outlook as the campaign starts. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a surge of COVID-19 cases in China have exacerbated the challenges faced by an economy already struggling with inflation and the after-effects of the pandemic. With the S&P 500 officially entering bear market territory this week, many who typically invest in Bordeaux futures aren’t feeling flush with cash.

“In a growing season that was clearly the most difficult since 2013, there is simply no reason for consumers to chase the 2021s simply because their prices are in line with 2020s,” advises Wine Spectator senior editor and lead Bordeaux taster James Molesworth. “Instead, go after more 2020s. Or better yet, stock up on 2016 Left Bank reds and 2015 Right Bank reds. Those are the still-young vintages to be socking away." (Wine Spectator has not yet reviewed the 2021 vintage.)

June 9: Another Super Second Joins the Party

Château Canon in St.-Emilion and Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux, both owned by luxury brand Chanel, declared their 2021 prices yesterday. Canon declared at €90 per bottle, ex-négociant, dropping 6.3 percent below last year’s futures, with an initial U.S. retail price down 12.8 percent, to $123 per bottle. Rauzan-Ségla lowered by 9.1 percent, to €60 per bottle, ex-négociant, with initial retail down 18.2 percent, to $82 per bottle.

Pauillac second-growth Pichon Longueville Lalande announced their 2021 vintage at €132 per bottle, ex-négociant, unchanged from 2020. However, at an average of $176 per bottle, the initial retail price is down 10.5 percent.

From St.-Julien, Beychevelle posted its 2021 futures pricing at €59 per bottle, ex-négociant, which, unlike many of its peers, represents a 2.1 percent increase over the 2020 release. Initial U.S. retail price is up 5.5 percent at $90. The 2021 Léoville Poyferré, at €72 per bottle, ex-négociant, is unchanged from 2020. Initial retail also remains unchanged at $105.

June 7: First-Growth Lafite Shows Its Cards

A major Right Bank player stepped into the 2021 futures campaign at the end of this past week, when Count Stephan von Neipperg’s Château Canon-La Gaffelière announced pricing for their 2021 futures at €54 per bottle, ex-negociant, unchanged from the 2020 release price. Initial retail price is 7.7 percent below last year’s, at $74 per bottle.

Today, another St.-Emilion estate, Troplong Mondot, set 2021 futures at €72 per bottle, ex-negociant, also unchanged from last year. The U.S. initial retail price is coming in at $98, which is a 9.5 percent drop from 2020’s initial retail release.

Finally, Pauillac first-growth Château Lafite Rothschild, which released its Carruades de Lafite at the beginning of this year’s campaign, announced futures for its grand vin at €410 per bottle, ex-negociant, a 13.7 percent decrease from last year’s release.

2021 Futures Prices

These estates represent a selection of leading wineries. Retail prices are an average of trusted retailers we follow. Prices for the 2021s 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. You'll find more updates and analyses below the chart.

Data compiled by Cassia Schifter

Château 2021 initial futures offering at U.S. retail 2020 initial futures offering at U.S. retail 2020-2021 retail change Current 2016 price at U.S. retail Current 2015 price at U.S. retail
Angélus $340 $380 -10% $448 $446
Beychevelle $89 $85 5% $121 $122
Brainaire-Ducru $45 $50 -10% $73 $77
Calon-Ségur $NA $121 -% $167 $149
Canon $123 $141 -13% $205 $325
Canon-La Gaffelière $74 $80 -8% $111 $126
Cheval-Blanc $532 $575 -7% $860 $849
Clos Fourtet $NA $118 -% $135 $142
Cos-d'Estournel $218 $223 -2% $258 $234
Ducru-Beaucaillou $NA $240 -% $229 $235
Figeac $NA $243 -% $274 $240
Giscours $58 $62 -6% $81 $91
Grand-Puy-Lacoste $69 $77 -10% $108 $93
Haut-Brion $NA $628 -% $722 $696
Hosanna $140 $163 -14% $175 $209
La Fleur-Pétrus $NA $260 -% $253 $249
La Mission Haut-Brion $NA $366 -% $529 $501
Lafite Rothschild $613 $701 -13% $892 $800
Léoville Barton $77 $91 -15% $163 $150
Léoville Las Cases $218 $308 -29% $352 $240
Léoville Poyferré $105 $105 0% $137 $121
Les Carmes Haut-Brion $NA $128 -% $145 $117
Lynch Bages $121 $134 -10% $167 $166
Malescot-St.-Exupéry $56 $61 -8% $85 $105
Margaux $NA $629 -% $737 $1,917
Mouton-Rothschild $563 $627 -10% $741 $664
Palmer $316 $342 -8% $384 $413
Pape Clément $NA $96 -% $119 $139
Pavie $301 $346 -13% $459 $436
Pavie-Macquin $NA $88 -% $104 $103
Pétrus $NA $NA -% $3,225 $3,689
Pichon Baron $144 $162 -11% $201 $182
Pichon Lalande $176 $197 -11% $238 $216
Pontet-Canet $100 $112 -11% $166 $161
Rauzan-Ségla $82 $100 -18% $113 $151
Smith-Haut-Lafite $118 $140 -16% $133 $140
Talbot $54 $59 -8% $72 $79
Troplong Mondot $98 $108 -9% $168 $146
Trotanoy $NA $335 -% $375 $315
Valandraud $NA $157 -% $211 $213
Vieux Château Certan $NA $358 -% $379 $402

NYR means a wine has not yet been submitted for review. $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 1: A Left Bank Flurry

After a brief lull, futures are coming into June hot with a flurry of releases from the Left Bank.

Malescot-St.-Exupéry in Margaux announced yesterday a 2021 release price of €37.20 per bottle, ex-négociant, which is a 3.1 percent drop from 2020. Retailers are pricing it at $57 per bottle, a 7.1 percent decrease from 2020’s initial retail price of $61.

Pauillac fifth-growths Lynch Bages and Grand-Puy-Lacoste released 2021 futures today with prices unchanged from 2020. Lynch Bages set at €90 per bottle, ex-négociant, with an initial U.S. retail price of $120, a 10.3 percent decrease from last year; GPL remains at €50.40 per bottle, ex-négociant, with only a 9.8 percent initial retail price decrease from 2020 at $69 a bottle.

From St.-Julien, fourth-growths Talbot and Branaire-Ducru followed suit with their 2021 futures pricing also unchanged from 2020. Talbot’s price has been set at €39.60 per bottle, ex-négociant, and retailers in the U.S. are listing it for $54, an 8.9 percent drop from last year’s initial retail price. Branaire-Ducru’s owners announced the 2021 vintage at €31.20 per bottle, ex-négociant, however, the 2021 initial retail price is 10.6 percent below 2020's, at $45.

May 24: Full Speed Ahead

New releases have continued to come quickly this week, as two well-known wineries, one on the Right Bank and one on the Left, released prices on May 23. Two more top names followed the next day.

Château Angélus released its allocation on May 23, pricing them at at €265 per bottle ex-négociant, up 1.9 percent on their 2020 futures' opening price. The St.-Emilion estate has been aggressive with pricing in recent years, and this suggests thier not changing their approach. The wine is available at leading U.S. retailers for about $340 per bottle, a 10 percent drop on the 2020 futures, thanks to the strong dollar. There are numerous vintages of Angélus from recent top vintages already on store shelves.

Always value-conscious, Château Léoville Barton's owners have released its 2021 futures at €55.80 per bottle ex-négociant, down 7 percent on the 2020’s opening price. Top retailers are offering it for $77 per bottle, or $924 per case, a 15 percent drop on the 2020 futures.

This morning, Château Palmer released its 2021 futures at €240 per bottle ex-négociant, identical to 2020. Reflecting the smaller vintage and a growing strategy of holding on to more wine for future sale, the winery released 30 percent less futures than last year. Château Pontet Canet also released its first tranche on May 24, at €74.40 per bottle ex-négociant, unchanged from the 2020’s release price. 

Jean-Hubert Delon]
Jean-Hubert Delon of Léoville Las Cases reduced prices for the winery's 2021 vintage. (Deepix Studio)

May 20: Three Big Names Kick Off

Château Pavie’s owners released their first allocation of 2021 futures on May 18, pricing them at €234 per bottle, ex-négociant, down 2.5 percent on the 2020’s opening price. Thanks to the favorable exchange rate, leading American retailers are offering it for $302 per bottle, or $3,624 per case, a 13 percent drop on 2020s on release. However, the 97-point 2019 vintage is currently available at top retailers for $360.

Cheval-Blanc released its 2021 futures the day after Pavie, raising prices by 2.6 percent on the 2020’s opening price, at €390 per bottle, ex-négociant. The futures are available at U.S. retailers for $513 per bottle, or $6,156 per case. That’s 7 percent less than the 2020s on release. But the 97-point 2019 vintage is currently available at top retailers for $500.

The Left Bank debuted its first heavy hitter this morning, as Château Léoville Las Cases released its 2021 futures at €169 per bottle, ex-négociant, down 14.6 percent on the 2020’s opening price.

News Collecting Economy France Bordeaux Bordeaux's Left Bank Bordeaux's Right Bank 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

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