2017 Bordeaux En Primeur

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JulianD
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#1 Post by JulianD » April 2nd, 2018, 2:42 pm

Looks like WineSpectator has started releasing some scores
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#2 Post by Jim Hartten » April 3rd, 2018, 1:22 pm

So far I have read a few 2017 tasting reports from James Molesworth on WS. It sounds like many of the better chateaus made out fairly well in 2017 and largely avoided frost damage, particularly on the left bank. Based on what I have read so far, the quality of 2017's, for the most part, sound like they will range between the 2014s and 2015s. Obviously, pricing of the 2017s will be key to generating reasonable demand for the vintage given the good quality 2015s that will soon be arriving in the U.S. and good quality 2016s, which are a year away. I bought a reasonable amount of 2015/2016, so I am not presently interested in 2017 unless we hear great reports from Bordeaux in the next few weeks and prices are reasonable. [stirthepothal.gif]

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#3 Post by Kris Patten » April 3rd, 2018, 9:40 pm

No reason to buy anything early unless you want mags, 3L, 6L or 375ml. Wait til it's released. There is an ocean of BDX sitting in warehouses waiting for the next demand cycle.
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#4 Post by Glen Gold » April 3rd, 2018, 11:34 pm

Four good vintages in a row. That's uncommon. The pricing model will be something out of The Prisoner's Dilemma. Multiplied by tulips. Or Beanie Babies.
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#5 Post by Marc Breitenmoser » April 4th, 2018, 3:17 am

Kris Patten wrote:No reason to buy anything early unless you want mags, 3L, 6L or 375ml. Wait til it's released. There is an ocean of BDX sitting in warehouses waiting for the next demand cycle.
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#6 Post by R Greene » April 4th, 2018, 5:52 am

One issue with 2017 Bordeaux futures is going to be the strength of the Euro, which could impact pricing (and buying) significantly for those of us in the U.S. We were fortunate that the Euro was a bit weak for the 2015 and 2016 Bordeaux futures campaigns, which made pricing more reasonable.
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#7 Post by julianseersmartin » April 4th, 2018, 7:28 am

Glen Gold wrote:Four good vintages in a row.
As always it's hard to tell right now but I think it's very doubtful this vintage is going to be in the running for comparable to any of the last 3. The yields meant that many of the chateaux were mixing varietals in tank to ensure they were filled, and then co-fermented.

Tasting is going to be essential, and unless there is a very specific wine that one needs to buy, I think there will be almost no reward for going into this EP campaign.

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#8 Post by vincentD » April 4th, 2018, 7:35 am

Kris Patten wrote:No reason to buy anything early unless you want mags, 3L, 6L or 375ml. Wait til it's released. There is an ocean of BDX sitting in warehouses waiting for the next demand cycle.
This

+ 2017 is really not a great vintage over the board from what you can read

+ Primeur period is a farce anyway: doctored samples, many chateaux don't want to be part of blind tasting. You want to wait for wine tasting from bottles in a couple of years

+ High Euro

It is urgent to wait and if you cannot wait to buy Bordeaux, there is plenty of stock
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#9 Post by Jim Hartten » April 4th, 2018, 8:30 am

Agree with the above note regarding sourcing alternative formats early and waiting on 750s. I have recently been buying some 375s from 2015 and 2016 and note that many OF THESE 375s sold out early. A better option right now may be to focus on remaining 2015s and 2016s that have gotten strong reviews, etc. But just to add, a number of journalists have noted that many of the highly regarded chateaus suffered little or no frost damage in 2017, so there will likely be a number of quality 2017s available but IT won't be a strong vintage Bordeaux-wide. [cheers.gif]

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#10 Post by Hamish Wakes-Miller » April 4th, 2018, 9:21 am

I am looking forward to taste the 2017s next week in Bordeaux. it is always an interesting week of hard work and a lot of fun. The best thing is to simply taste the wines and make your own opinions. There are always some early scores or comments thrown into the mix, but backing your own judgement is crucial.

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#11 Post by larry schaffer » April 4th, 2018, 9:36 am

With modern winemaking techniques available to all, you ever really expect there to be another absolutely terrible vintage coming out of top regions?

Yes, there will always be a hierarchy of producers within a specific region and some will fare better than others in a given vintage, but I just don't ever expect there to get catastrophic vintage unless Mother Nature forces it in a way that we have not seen before.
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#12 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » April 4th, 2018, 9:37 am

"7" years haven't been any good for the last 50 years (1957, 67, 77, 87, 97, 07) so I'm just going to assume 2017 won't be good either.

It is true that it's incredibly rare to have four good years in a row in Bdx -- I can't think of an example. Part of it might be luck of the weather, but I wonder how much is because there's no economic incentive to hype a vintage after you've had a couple of good ones in a row.

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#13 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » April 4th, 2018, 9:37 am

larry schaffer wrote:With modern winemaking techniques available to all, you ever really expect there to be another absolutely terrible vintage coming out of top regions?

Yes, there will always be a hierarchy of producers within a specific region and some will fare better than others in a given vintage, but I just don't ever expect there to get catastrophic vintage unless Mother Nature forces it in a way that we have not seen before.
what is your take on 2013 then?

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#14 Post by JulianD » April 4th, 2018, 9:46 am

Marcus Stanley wrote:"7" years haven't been any good for the last 50 years (1957, 67, 77, 87, 97, 07) so I'm just going to assume 2017 won't be good either.
Can't tell if serious or not
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#15 Post by larry schaffer » April 4th, 2018, 10:13 am

I don't have a take on any specific vintage but some will be more concentrated and some will be more acid driven depending upon what Mother Nature brings. But the idea of a terrible vintage is just not in the cards anymore. There's too much money at stake and too much technology available to allow that to happen.
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#16 Post by julianseersmartin » April 4th, 2018, 10:33 am

larry schaffer wrote:I don't have a take on any specific vintage but some will be more concentrated and some will be more acid driven depending upon what Mother Nature brings. But the idea of a terrible vintage is just not in the cards anymore. There's too much money at stake and too much technology available to allow that to happen.
Have you tried any 2013s?! I mean there's a few standouts but by and large it's pretty damn weak. I get your point but there's a level that technology cannot fix, particularly with the stubborn attitudes to winemaking that a lot of the bordelais have. You cannot make bad fruit good.

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#17 Post by Jim Hartten » April 4th, 2018, 12:32 pm

I think the comment about four good vintages in a row was meant to include 2017 not 2013, which most will agree was a mediocre vintage at best. Agree, new technology and ample wine-making resources can certainly improve the prospects for making good wines even after suffering weather related set-backs during the growing season. [cheers.gif]

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#18 Post by k s h i n » April 4th, 2018, 12:46 pm

larry schaffer wrote:I don't have a take on any specific vintage but some will be more concentrated and some will be more acid driven depending upon what Mother Nature brings. But the idea of a terrible vintage is just not in the cards anymore. There's too much money at stake and too much technology available to allow that to happen.
Larry,
The 13 left bank wines are pretty bad, i.e. try to control tannins they are very soft and lack concentration. I think I gave Chateau Margaux 90pts.
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#19 Post by Craig G » April 4th, 2018, 2:47 pm

Marcus Stanley wrote:It is true that it's incredibly rare to have four good years in a row in Bdx -- I can't think of an example.
I guess it depends on what qualifies as “good” but 1998-2001 and 2003-2006 were pretty strong runs.
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#20 Post by Subu Ramachandran » April 4th, 2018, 5:56 pm


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#21 Post by David Glasser » April 5th, 2018, 4:36 am

The first little trickle, before the dam bursts.

How are vineyards hit "vicariously" by frost? Are the frosts imaginary?

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#22 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 5th, 2018, 5:33 am

Even if you have an anniversary etc and must buy there is no reason to do so now. Very unlikely to be cheaper now then when it is bottled.
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#23 Post by Gerry Morrisey » April 5th, 2018, 6:27 am

After buying a fair amount of 2014 thru 2016, 2017 makes it easier for me to call it quits on futures going forward.

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#24 Post by Pat Burton » April 5th, 2018, 7:02 am

With so much available from 2014-2016, I too plan to stay out of the 2017 campaign.
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#25 Post by M. Chacchia » April 7th, 2018, 5:53 am

I'll be passing entirely on En Primeur due to many reasons above and the fact that I bought in to 20105 & 2016 futures. May skip the vintage entirely overall as well as there is enough Bordeaux in cellar now. I can wait for the next big opportunity.
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#26 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 9th, 2018, 8:17 pm

Just got an e mail from Livex. Suckling scores 18 wines 97-98 or better. I am surprised.
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#27 Post by Paul McCourt » April 9th, 2018, 9:41 pm

I've promised myself I wouldn't buy futures each and every year, and each and every year I end up swearing that this is my last year that I'm buying.

I'm not buying this year, and I'm sticking to it.

Swear.

Really. I'm not kidding.
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#28 Post by PCLIN » April 9th, 2018, 9:52 pm

Vintage of the century? [stirthepothal.gif]
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#29 Post by Kris Patten » April 9th, 2018, 9:53 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:Just got an e mail from Livex. Suckling scores 18 wines 97-98 or better. I am surprised.
Low scores on a 5 point scale of 96-100.
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#30 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 10th, 2018, 4:42 am

Suckling scores always excessive. A 90 point wine is below average in his universe.

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#31 Post by David Glasser » April 10th, 2018, 6:14 am

Paul McCourt wrote:I've promised myself I wouldn't buy futures each and every year, and each and every year I end up swearing that this is my last year that I'm buying.

I'm not buying this year, and I'm sticking to it.

Swear.

Really. I'm not kidding.
This sounds familiar. Like struggling smokers, we are really good at quitting, having done it many times.

Well, it’s gonna stick this time. I’m too old, have too much Bordeaux, and there’s no room in the cellar.

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#32 Post by Jim F » April 10th, 2018, 6:34 am

Well, I think I will take a contrarian view. I think I did that also last year. I ask, why not buy? As of now, we do not have a lot of good data. Sure, we know about the weather, and the general perception of a 2014 maybe 14+ kind of quality vintage. We do not have any reliable tasting notes that I know of and we do not have pricing. There have been assumptions about pricing, which may be more or less correct. If the idea is to buy based on financial considerations, the do not buy conclusion is the correct one.....as it has largely been since 2010. On the other hand, I hold out a lot of hope that there will be quality wines at good value price points. Maybe it can be argued that 2014-2016 offers better values, but that is not the whole picture. 2017 will be a different vintage, and hence, the wines will be diffferent, not the same as 14,etc. Bordeaux will remain a relative value vs other cabernet, merlot producing areas. Maybe there are verticals to maintain. As for me, I am waiting to see the reviews and pricing, and even though I am older than a bordeaux buyer should be, I think tracking ‘em down is a lot of fun, as is drinking the wines, and if the outlook is for an earlier maturing vintage and I can find some relative value, I will probably go in for a little. Maybe a mixed case, we will see. Will I save money vs waiting until release? Maybe not, but I can lock in what I want. Like I said, a contrarian view.
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#33 Post by Gerhard P. » April 10th, 2018, 10:13 am

julianseersmartin wrote: Have you tried any 2013s?! I mean there's a few standouts but by and large it's pretty damn weak. I get your point but there's a level that technology cannot fix, particularly with the stubborn attitudes to winemaking that a lot of the bordelais have. You cannot make bad fruit good.
Well, I generally hate the word "off-vintage" ... but if anything is "off" between 1997 and 2017 --> it´s 2013
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#34 Post by Jim Hartten » April 10th, 2018, 11:15 am

Hamish, please let us know your thoughts on the 2017s you taste in Bordeaux when you get a chance! All other Bordeaux 2017 tasting notes also welcome!! [cheers.gif] Please lower prices for the 2017s... pileon

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#35 Post by RichardFlack » April 12th, 2018, 6:08 pm

David Glasser wrote:The first little trickle, before the dam bursts.

How are vineyards hit "vicariously" by frost? Are the frosts imaginary?
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#36 Post by Jim Hartten » April 16th, 2018, 11:21 am

Anyone back from the en primeur tastings in Bordeaux with thoughts on the 2017s? [stirthepothal.gif]

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#37 Post by Jeff Leve » April 16th, 2018, 11:46 am

vincentD wrote:
+ 2017 is really not a great vintage over the board from what you can read
My response comes from actually tasting 500 wines from 2017, not from what I have read. First, few vintages are great, we got lucky in 206, 2015, 2010 and 2009. But great years are generally not common.

There are some wines is that some wines are truly very good. It depends on the vineyard, the producer and the style of wine you like.

Primeur period is a farce anyway: doctored samples,

Where do you get this info? What chateau doctor samples?

many chateaux don't want to be part of blind tasting.

Most do not care. Perhaps 20 estates only allow their samples to be tasted at the estate. This is true. And so what? Very few real writers or critics taste barrel samples blind for numerous reasons. It is a silly way to evaluate barrel samples. Wines in bottle can be tasted blind however.

+ High Euro

I'm not sure the Euro is going to weaken from here. But I would not base my buying decisions on that one way or the other. But that's just me.

It is urgent to wait and if you cannot wait to buy Bordeaux, there is plenty of stock

There is stock, but most of the strong vintages like 09/10. 15 & 16 have moved in price. More important it the style of the wines. Some people will prefer 2017, others not. That strategy for many of the better wines in 2015/2016 did not prove successful, partially for currency reasons. If only I had tomorrow's news paper today, just once!

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#38 Post by Jim Hartten » April 16th, 2018, 12:09 pm

Jeff, thanks for your impressions of the 2017s. Do you think that the 2017s will be early maturing, kind of like the 2012s, some of which are showing pretty well right now? I guess pricing on the 2017s will be key to U.S. demand. I read that there were many Asian buyers in attendance last week in Bordeaux - is demand still as strong in Asia as it has been for Bordeaux futures? pileon

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#39 Post by Jeff Leve » April 16th, 2018, 12:24 pm

Jim Hartten wrote:Jeff, thanks for your impressions of the 2017s. Do you think that the 2017s will be early maturing, kind of like the 2012s, some of which are showing pretty well right now? I guess pricing on the 2017s will be key to U.S. demand. I read that there were many Asian buyers in attendance last week in Bordeaux - is demand still as strong in Asia as it has been for Bordeaux futures? pileon
A lot of 17 you can drink early. No idea on prices. It will be a combination of currency, demand and wishes.

Not sure how much wines is sold as futures to Asia. I imagine it is small, but in bottle the market thrives.

17 will please tasters that prefer brighter, fresher, red fruited wines with soft tannins and sweet fruit. The wines in most cases lack density, but they have charm. It is a good vintage where a few producers made great wine.

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#40 Post by Pirom P. » April 23rd, 2018, 3:11 am

https://www.liv-ex.com/2018/04/palmer-2 ... ands-pack/

Looks like Ch Palmer along with 2nd wine Alter Ego is first off the stands. Prices are down 20% from 2016 but interestingly: "buyers looking for value may consider the 2012 vintage. The wine received a score of 96 points from Robert Parker and is available at a 20% discount to today’s release"

Whats your experience with EP? This is going to be my first so I'm looking forward to it.
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#41 Post by Gerhard P. » April 23rd, 2018, 3:51 am

I don´t think 20% down is enough ....

Myself tasted zero so far - but a friend (journalist) was in Bx 2 weeks ago - and he said:
very very mixed quality, few great wines (but there are some), and a lot of mean or even weak wines ...
I don´t think the prices will raise that much after bottling ...
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#43 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 23rd, 2018, 5:48 am

Palmer has just been released at 20% below the 2016. I have no doubt that the negotiators will take their allocation but whether the consumers will pay is another question especially as the weakness in the pound and dollar have taken a chunk out of the savings.
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#44 Post by vincentD » April 23rd, 2018, 7:16 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
vincentD wrote:
Primeur period is a farce anyway: doctored samples,

Where do you get this info? What chateau doctor samples?
Maybe my choice of word is poor but there is a huge manipulation. I hope you are aware of it no?
There are several ways everybody gets fooled:
- by primeur tasting time, assemblage is clearly not final [which makes sense as winemakers deal with an evolving matter]. Most chateaux still have the different grape fruit in separate tanks. So it means what you taste is not the final assemblage in the bottle.
- Some wines that use a lot of extraction are not good to be tasted by April; they would be too strong and not very drinkable. Yet those chateaux come up with samples and wil incorporate everything later. The come with something that is very different with the 95% of the production of the chateau.
- They obviously make sure to make primeur assemblage using the best wine from best parcelles; clearly this is misleading for the consumer because he will not get that in the final product.
- They also treat the samples to be tasted in a special way by ("cliquetage") to expose wine with a lot of oxygen. That opens up the wines.
- Moreover, the split between first and second wine is not decided at primeur time frame. If they see that there is high demand of the wine, miraculously, the production of 1st wine is increases and production of second wine is down. [even worse: it is allowed to add up to 15% of the wine from the year before in the assemblage. That help also pumping up the production of a high demand vintage]

La Revue des Vins de France did a lot of articles on that ... It is widely known that what you have at the primeur is not really what you get in bottle. Michel Rolland is very open about it that he will help chateaux take care about the best 20 tanks they have and make them ready for primeur tasting.

So giving your money for 2 years to purchase a product that has been tasted using pimped up samples ? I admire the chateaux that make you feel that inventory is limited and that you really have to purchase now.
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#45 Post by Dennis Borczon » April 23rd, 2018, 7:51 am

Yawn. These wines will be available in 2 years. Oceans of Bordeaux at similar prices

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#46 Post by Howard Cooper » April 23rd, 2018, 8:54 am

Pirom P. wrote:https://www.liv-ex.com/2018/04/palmer-2 ... ands-pack/

Looks like Ch Palmer along with 2nd wine Alter Ego is first off the stands. Prices are down 20% from 2016 but interestingly: "buyers looking for value may consider the 2012 vintage. The wine received a score of 96 points from Robert Parker and is available at a 20% discount to today’s release"

Whats your experience with EP? This is going to be my first so I'm looking forward to it.
My experience is that you should buy EP when the vintage is really strong or the prices are really good (see 2014). For other vintages, wait.

Also, only buy from reputable vendors.
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#47 Post by Jeff Leve » April 23rd, 2018, 9:32 am

vincentD wrote:
Jeff Leve wrote:
vincentD wrote:
Primeur period is a farce anyway: doctored samples,

Where do you get this info? What chateau doctor samples?
Maybe my choice of word is poor but there is a huge manipulation. I hope you are aware of it no? There are several ways everybody gets fooled: - by primeur tasting time, assemblage is clearly not final [which makes sense as winemakers deal with an evolving matter]. Most chateaux still have the different grape fruit in separate tanks. So it means what you taste is not the final assemblage in the bottle.
The wines in the Left Bank and Pessac Leognan are blended in January, following the harvest. Perhaps, they might include more press wine before bottling, but the blend is finalized. This is only true in the Right Bank, where the final blend has not been produced.

- Some wines that use a lot of extraction are not good to be tasted by April; they would be too strong and not very drinkable.

Where do you get this idea, or info? It is 100% wrong. Can you name specific wines that you are referring to?

- They obviously make sure to make primeur assemblage using the best wine from best parcelles; clearly this is misleading for the consumer because he will not get that in the final product.

No, this is not true. Today, as more wine is relegated to second wines, you usually see the same parcels used for the Grand Vin. This is for numerous reasons, better terroir, older vines, etc. At some estates, this is fixed, at others, it can vary slightly, to be more or less inclusive, depending on the vintage.

- They also treat the samples to be tasted in a special way by ("cliquetage") to expose wine with a lot of oxygen. That opens up the wines.

Who specifically is the "They" you keep referring to? Do you have specific chateau, wineries, estates in mind?

FWIW, very few wineries practice that today. It is difficult to do and also to have a lower level of SO2, for tastings.

- Moreover, the split between first and second wine is not decided at primeur time frame.

Partially true. The percentage of the Grand Vin and second wine is not always fully determined yet. But that is not relevant. The goal today is not increased production of the Grand Vin. Today, all top estates make less Grand Vin than ever. You are seeing an increase in the second and third wines. It is better to charge more for a better product, not dilute it.

If they see that there is high demand of the wine, miraculously, the production of 1st wine is increases and production of second wine is down.

This is silly. Who is they you keep referring to?

even worse: it is allowed to add up to 15% of the wine from the year before in the assemblage. That help also pumping up the production of a high demand vintage

Yes, that is 100% true. I imagine that in vintages like 2013, they added 2012. It is the same rule in California. In California you can also label a wine as a single grape variety and never know that your wine can have up to 25% of other varieties in the blend. You can also blend in up to 15% of the wine from grapes that were planted in a different appellation, and never know. And so what? Either you like the wine or not.

Michel Rolland is very open about it that he will help chateaux take care about the best 20 tanks they have and make them ready for primeur tasting.

Of course they look for the best barrels. Who wouldn't? But I am also positive that 99% of the estates do not alter their wine. Having tasted every year in Bordeaux starting in 2005, and published close to 5,000 barrel tasting notes, I can only think of 1 instance where this was done purposely.

I admire the chateaux that make you feel that inventory is limited and that you really have to purchase now.

You know more about Bordeaux than any other wine. You know how much was produced. You know the price they charge, and how much of a markup was taken. What we do not know is how much of the production was offered for sale.

As an example, please tell me how many bottles of DRC, Leroy, Gaja, Krug, Screaming Eagle etc were produced, how many of those bottles were released, and what was the price the winery charged their distributor etc... ?

There are 3 main reasons to buy futures, IMO.

You think prices will be more expensive on release.

You want specific format sizes.

The wines are small production Pomerol, St. Emilion etc and the wines will be harder to find on release, and thus more expensive.

Jim Hartten
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And we're off! En Primeur 2017 has begun

#48 Post by Jim Hartten » April 23rd, 2018, 9:54 am

Not certain how or even if the 20% discount in euros (noted for Palmer) will translate to discount in dollars - given changes in currency rates we may see no discount in the U.S. market! pileon Buying the 2015s and 2016s currently in the market looks like a better play. But however you slice it, the 2017s are looking like a difficult sell if prices don't come down. [stirthepothal.gif]

Jim Hartten
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Posts: 451
Joined: May 11th, 2010, 1:30 pm

And we're off! En Primeur 2017 has begun

#49 Post by Jim Hartten » April 23rd, 2018, 10:00 am

Chateau Valandraud is also out at £1200, which is said to be close to 25% down on the 2016. hitsfan

vincentD
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2017 Bordeaux En Primeur

#50 Post by vincentD » April 23rd, 2018, 10:12 am

Jeff Leve wrote: Where do you get this idea, or info? It is 100% wrong. Can you name specific wines that you are referring to?
You are really that naive uh?
They have been number of articles over the years (including the one I reference the most: Revue des Vins de France in 2010: "ce que cachent les echantillons" ) on that particular topic. Everything has been done to make samples better for primeurs.

They are many changes between the primeur scores and bottle scores.

In top of that, don't you think that the wine testers are not influenced by the label on the bottle, you are naive. Blind tasting should be the norm.

So:
- early samples of unfinished wines
- samples from the very best areas that are treated the 'right' way for the event.
- unknowns on what is a first wine or second wine
- non blind tasting

Also you mention that we know everything about the wine: we do, but at release, not at the primeur stage.
De\La\F o ss e

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