Crisis Threatens ‘En Primeur’ Campaign

Chateau Petrus winesJean-François Moueix, owner of the prestigious Chateau Petrus of Pomerol and the important Bordeaux négociant Duclot, says in an interview with Le Nouvelle Observateur that the crisis puts the “en primeur’ campaign for 2008 in Bordeaux at risk. The prices of the great Bordeaux wines are under increasing pressure. A Belgian merchant told us this week that he is constantly offered grand crus from Bordeaux offered at prices below those of the “en primeur” prices. “But those wines are still too expensive,” adds the trader. Even with the falling prices the wines find no customers. Merchants are trying to get rid of these wines by all means because they urgently need cash to buy wines that do sell.

According to Jean-François Moueix, the Bordeaux premier crus have only theirselves to blame for the current problems . They asked too much for their 2005’s, 2006’s and especially 2007’s. According to Moueix French customers have pulled out en masse. They are angry that the top 2005’s were sold for a lot of money to foreign billionaires, while there remained nothing for the home market. “You have jumped into the arms of the newly rich from the emerging countries? That will not last, and we will make you pay,” is the attitude of the traditional customers. “Since 2005 we have not seen them,” said Moueix.

According to Moueix there will be sharp price declines for the premier crus. For the moment these still command prices of 300 to 500 euros and more. The level below, the “super-seconds”, is in a precarious position. “They are too expensive to drink and not interesting enough to speculate with.”