In all likelihood the 2019 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign will commence in earnest in early June amid some considerable uncertainty.
As in previous years, we will email out offers of wines where we believe there is a merit in purchasing, and list full availability of the 2019s as they release on our website, as whether or not we opt to endorse a wine, we will have access to the vast majority. In many instances, this year, just like the rest of the trade, we will not have had the chance to taste, and even if we have, like anyone else in the trade, it will be based on the sample of an unfinished wine shipped to a central location or to our home addresses.
The greatest compulsion to purchase this year will therefore be based on price – if this is used correctly to incentivise sales in a much-needed period for Bordeaux, then it will be judged a success. However, at this stage, it is far from clear as to what the approach will be and there is bound to be disagreement among the Château owners as to the chosen course. We know of some Châteaux keen to rush out their prices early, as Pontet-Canet have done this morning, while others are considering when might be the best time to release; in the next month or even in the autumn.
We will shortly be releasing an overview of the vintage to give you some background on the 2019 campaign. Rest assured that we will give you an honest view of value on offer and do our best to justify any rationale to purchase, but do beware of the numerous comments and quotations you will read, often no more than snippets and soundbites. If your inbox is anything like mine it is already being assailed with comments from certain critics known to big things up and declare greatness on unformed wines. There may very well be merit in buying a number of wines this year, particularly if we witness a significant reduction in price on last year, or see the cheapest prices in many years, but our advice is to tread carefully, as the marketing machines are about to hit overdrive…and very few have had the chance to form their own opinions.
All the best,