En Primeur News : Monday, 22nd May 2017
It seems to be Saint Julien day today. The first release was that of Langoa Barton at £420. This is classic textbook "claret" that is one of the best young Langoas that we have tasted.
We then had the release of Beychevelle. This label is hugely popular in Asia, it received its highest ever Wine Advocate score and they have released 20% less volume than in 2015. All this means that it's looking certain that only those customers who bought in 2015, pre-ordered in 2016 and can cope with the 27% price increase (in GBP) will be able to buy it. £680 and sold out.
It is interesting to note that the Langoa receives a higher rating than the Beychevelle from us and the majority of critics - including James Suckling, Jancis Robinson, Derek Smedley and Tim Atkin. Decanter ties them both with 94 points.
Third out was Croix de Beaucaillou, the excellent second label of Ducru Beaucaillou. This is a lovely wine, but customers can find the fabulous 2009 and 2010 vintages at under the 2016 price of £420.
In the Northern Médoc we now have Sociando Mallet out at £315.
This afternoon was supposed to see the release of 2016 Lafite Rothschild but unfortunately the Château appears to be playing the "tranche system" game. Only 50% of last year's volume has been released which means that everyone assumes that the other 50% will come out later at a higher price. Until the Bordeaux negociants know what their total volumes are and their average cost will be, they can't really offer the wine to us so customers will just have to be patient on this one.