With the En Primeur campaign fast approaching, Bordeaux 2011 is stepping into the spotlight. Robert Parker has already tasted his way through the young vintage. His official notes and scores will not be published until next month, but on Sunday (on his bulletin board) he described the overall quality as being close to 2001 and 2008. To the relief of many overspent buyers, then, 2011 is not a blockbuster vintage. Nonetheless, Parker's comments do bode well for the wines. In a recent interview with Liv-ex, the critic cited 2001 is as an underrated vintage that he would recommend.
Quality, it seems, has beaten expectations. If priced correctly, the 2011s could boost interest in Bordeaux. But what sort of price reductions are needed to attract buyers, who have just faced two extremely expensive campaigns?
In June last year we noted that the real measure of a wine's likely (or unlikely) success on the secondary market is how it compares to the current prices of other available vintages – particularly those of similar quality. With this in mind, we thought it would be interesting to analyse the current prices of the 2001 and 2008 vintages based on price data for 24 leading chateaux.
As you can see, the 2001s are trading at an average of €250 per bottle, while the '08s are available at around €290. To really appeal to buyers, the 2011s would need to be released at a discount to both vintages. If we deduct ten per cent from the mean price of the 2001s, we are left with an average of €225 per bottle. This would equate to a 37 per cent reduction on 2010 release prices.
Interestingly, the high average price for 2008 is skewed by the "big eight" (the First Growths, Ausone, Cheval Blanc and Petrus). When we remove these wines from the calculation, 2001 is actually more expensive.
If we single out the First Growths we find that the mean price is currently €500 per bottle for the 2008s and €400 per bottle for the 2001s. Will the 2011s be more affordable? The individual prices of the Firsts' 2008s and 2001s are shown below.