Chateau Latour's decision to abandon the futures market

Mssr. Duroux - what is the feedback and opinion of other great Bordeaux houses on the rather significant decision made by Chateau Latour in abandoning the futures market, and further, to sell only ‘ready to drink’ wines? Do you feel this will affect the en primeur market in a significant way? Do you support their decision?

We hear all kind of comments in Bordeaux but generally speaking I would say that the majority is skeptical.
I personnaly think this is an interesting move. It does exist elsewhere (Vega Sicilia Unico) and if I am not wrong this was the way Chateau Latour used to sell Les Forts de Latour in the 80’s. This is not a bad think on a consumer point a view. But I don’t think a lot of properties can afford such a move. That is why I don’t see a lot of effect on the en primeur market…unless wine buyers and wine lovers decide this must be the new rule!!

Do you think Latour hopes, or is counting on, other major houses to follow suit? The cost of holding many vintages without revenue seems to be a massive economic burden

I don’t think Latour is counting on. And yes the cost of this politic is high and not everybody could afford it. But an other hand if this becomes a new standard for top wines in Bordeaux it will be followed for sure…

Thomas, what would be the motivation to make such a move?

Motivations could be:

  • please the customers
  • make sure that the bottle are open when the wine is ready
  • make sure that the bottle aging process is made in perfect conditions

Thank you

Profit as well?

Seems to me, once Latour absorbs the initial cost of carrying the first vintages of wines until ready, the releases could command a higher price as the marketplace is getting a more mature Bdx with great provenance. The value increase would accrue directly to Latour rather than downstream middlemen, retailers and consumers.

As you note, like Vega Sicilia Unica.

Great concept.

agree roberto, intially they may take the hit but a big pay day in the long run.