Credit checks and bank guarantees are playing a growing part in the 2008 Bordeaux wine en primeur campaign, amid concerns over the long-term liquidity of buyers and sellers in the economic downturn.

Leading negociants such as Villa des Crus are making bank guarantees available for all purchases to reassure their clients, while others are tightening rules for purchasers, insisting on passing rigid credit checks before agreeing to sell any wine.

But, even with these guarantees, questions remain over how to inject interest in the Bordeaux 2008 en primeur campaign.

One suggestion, from Philippe Tapie, managing director of HMS Selections, is that the first growths should set the tone by coming out early, just after the tastings week, and with significant price reductions.

"They could send a shockwave through the rest of the market, and get the campaign really moving," he said.