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Bordeaux 2000 price concern

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Neil Beckett

Concern over likely price rises for the 2000 vintage from Bordeaux came to light at the Institute of Masters of Wine 1996 claret tasting at the Royal Festival Hall last week. Most opening prices were down by at least 10% for the 1999 vintage, at least partly in response to widespread resentment at high prices in previous years. But apparent atonement last year, a high-quality harvest this year, and the added cach of the 2000 vintage, will almost certainly cause prices to rise significantly when they are released in the spring. Nick Adams MW, marketing director of Mentzendorff, said that many of the crus classs would not be able to resist the temptation. Mark Bingley MW, sales director of Maisons Marques et Domaines, agreed: "They'll do what they usually do, they'll make a mistake," and feared that lesser producers would also follow the upward spiral. David Roberts MW, buying director of Berry Bros & Rudd, is encouraged by early reports on the quality of the vintage, but confessed to being "petrified by the prices. From what I've heard, they'll be absolutely crazy." Charles Taylor MW acknowledged that on past precedent some producers are more likely than others to restrain themselves to increases which are regarded as legitimate and realistic by the UK trade. But while it is clearly far too soon to form even a preliminary view of the wines, he doubted that there would always be a direct correlation between quality and price, as producers attempt to capitalise on the year 2000.