It seems that we can write this article every year during the “en primeur” campaign in Bordeaux. But 2009 “en primeur” prices for Bordeaux wines really are stratospherically high. Editor Michael Carpentier summarized it thus in a recent e-mail:
Montrose 2009 costs as much as Mission or Mouton 2008
La Lagune 2009 = Clinet 2008
Haut Bailly 2009 = Las Cases 2008
Evangile 2009 = Latour 2008
Mouton 2009 = Le Pin 2008
Le Pin 2009 = Methusalem Petrus 1961
Only the latter is more or less a joke, a (real) Methusalem of Petrus 1961 will not be easily found. According to the Live-ex online marketplace, prices for the sixty top wines in Bordeaux in 2009 averaged 71% higher than in 2008 and 23% higher than in the previous “vintage of the century” 2005. And this despite the fact that many critics declared 2009 to be an extremely good, but also more uneven year than 2005 and 2000. According to Decanter the wines sell well, but quantities are very low. The “en primeur” campaign is changing more and more in a publicity campaign to drive up prices ever further. The chateaux are keeping back ever-increasing amounts of their production to sell at higher prices in years to come.
Some remarkable price hikes in comparison to 2008: Mission Haut Brion: +391%; Lafitte: +323%; Malescot-St. Exupery; Conseillante, +233%; l’Evangile, +200%, Leoville-Poyferre: +172%; Canon: +150%; Montrose: +157%; Palmer: +153%; Troplong: +136%; Leoville-Barton: +131%; Lynch-Bages: +125%; Clinet: +112%; Calon-Segur: +109%; Beychevelle: +105%; Lascombes and Grand Puy Lacoste: +100%. Prices of most First Growths haven’t been released yet, so expect even higher hikes.