Bordeaux wine chateaux have slashed their prices during this year's en primeur campaign for the 2008 vintage, in response to the economic downturn. 

Some of the biggest price drops have been from the prestigious names; Chateau Margaux down 50% to EUR162 (initial consumer exit price), Chateau Yquem down 59% to EUR160 (US$214) and Chateau La Conseillante down 29% at EUR57.

There are worries, however, that excellent ratings from critic Robert Parker may persuade wineries to maintain prices that buyers cannot afford.

Chateau Clinet, which Parker rated  94-97, came out this week at EUR33, unchanged from last year.

Simon Staples, of wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd, said: "The campaign is going well and now it could be stopped dead in its tracks if the chateaux price their wine as the result of an enormous Parker score and not to the market."