En Primeur News : Tuesday, 22nd May 2018
We now have the release of what was, for us, one of the finest wines of 2017. Pauillac is clearly one of the most successful communes in this vintage and right at the heart of it is Lynch Bages - one of Bordeaux's most popular and respected classed growth châteaux. The Cazes family have always listened to the market and we are very pleased that they have reduced their release price by a significant 22%. At £885 per case it is offered at around mid-estimate and is priced at not much more than the market price of the less good 2014, 2012 and 2011 vintages. It is considerably cheaper than any mature vintage. In an en primeur campaign where we have advised caution, at last we have a wine to buy!
Also available is the second label Echo de Lynch at £295 per dozen.
Today sees the release of Monbousquet 2017 from St Emilion at £460 per case. Well over our top estimate. This frost-affected wine receives disappointing reviews from most of the critics. The price is 15% higher than the still available 2015 and 2012 vintages from this property, so there would seem little reason for anyone to buy it en primeur. Bear in mind that the 2015 here receives in-the-bottle scores of 95, 93, 93 and 91 from the leading critics.
With 2017 en primeur now desperately in need of some correctly priced wines, this release does nothing to help this flagging campaign. With very few exceptions, nobody in Bordeaux made a better wine in 2017 than they did in 2015 and 2016, so releases above the current market prices of either of those vintages simply make no sense. Customers should keep their money in their pockets and wait for more reasonably priced 2017 releases or - if they fail to happen - re-visit the three preceding vintages.
This afternoon we see the release of another St Emilion and this one is made by the team from Chateau Cheval Blanc. With similar or higher scores than Monbousquet, Quinault L'Enclos at £265 per dozen looks like it is reasonably priced for the vintage. It's hard for us to criticise one of Bordeaux's more moderately priced wines, but the canny buyer should probably stock up on the excellent 2015 produced here that is physically available, £5 cheaper and has scores of 95, 94, 93, 93 and 91 from the critics.