FRANCE: Falling prices cast doubt on Bordeaux en primeur sales
Uncertainty surrounds this year's Bordeaux en primeur wine campaign, with some calling for the annual sale to be delayed due to falling market prices.
Jean Guillaume Prats, of Cos d'Estournel, said this week that en primeur, which allows buyers a first glimpse of the 2008 vintage, should be put back until September 2009 to allow the markets time to recover.
The Union des Grand Crus has confirmed, however, that the annual tastings will be going ahead as planned in April.
"This is how our wines are sold," Thomas Duroux at Chateau Palmer in Margaux told just-drinks. "It allows for two months when the focus of the wine world is on Bordeaux. Whether chateaux adapt to market conditions in price this year, or whether they adapt the volume released to satisfy the smaller number of expected buyers, remains to be seen."
One negociant, who did not wish to be named, said: 'The biggest problem we face is that, although we know prices should come down [for the 2008 vintage], it will leave our stocks of 2007s virtually unsellable, as they will be higher priced for a worse vintage."
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