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Latour defends Bordeaux distribution

Published:  23 July, 2008


Frederic Engerer, commercial manager of Chteau Latour, defended the existing distribution of Bordeaux wines at a tasting organised by the Institute of Masters of Wine last week. He refused to be drawn by repeated requests (and the threat of no lunch) on prices for the 2000 vintage, rumoured to be about FFr1,000 ex-chteau, stressing that the First Growths had not met to discuss them. He alleged that the First Growths were "quite blind" when it came to deciding opening prices because of "a fog" between producers and consumers. Asked by Clive Coates MW why the chteaux did not clear the fog and deal directly, Engerer replied that they could not do so to established customers while relying on ngociants to open new markets. "The bottom line," he stressed, "is that our distributors must make money every year - 15, 20, 25%. If not, we'll be in trouble, we'll have to change our distribution system." Attempting to reinforce the status quo, he also emphasised the First Growths' opposition to futures trading.