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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bordeaux 2013: Best Value Buys!

Wine industry insiders name their value picks.

If you are one of the few interested in buying 2013 Bordeaux en primeur and want value for money, look to Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Calon-Ségur and Domaine de Chevalier.

That’s the word from wine merchants and négociants across Europe and Asia. A merchant survey published by fine wine trading platform Liv-ex this week suggested that these wines will offer the most bang for your buck (expected release price of less than 500 pounds).

Respondents were also impressed with Pauillac's Château Batailley, as was James Suckling, who awarded it a 91-92 in-barrel score. It is the only estate in the best value top five yet to hit the market: a bottle can be picked up for a relatively affordable $37 a bottle on Wine-Searcher, excluding taxes.

Best value for money wines in 2013*:

ChâteauSuckling scoreSpectator score
1. Grand-Puy-Lacoste 89-90 89-92
2. Calon-Ségur 89-90 89-92
3. Domaine de Chevalier 91-92 88-91
4. Batailley 91-92 n/a
=5. La Chenade 89-90 85-88
=5. Léoville Barton 91-92 90-93

However, this is not going to be an easy year for Bordeaux châteaux, négociants and merchants, with 78 percent of those surveyed saying the level of demand will be significantly lower than last year. “A few respondents reported no demand at all at present and possibly none to come,” the report revealed.

And that's due to mediocre wine quality. "Weak, disappointing and lacking personality" were commonly used by those who attended the en primeur tastings, noted Liv-ex.  Similarly, wine critic, Antonio Galloni, who is due to release the first of his scores today, has labeled it "an average vintage with a handful or two of outstanding wines".

This week's major releases (GBP/USD per 12-bottle case, excl. duty and sales tax.)

Pichon Baron: 600/1006
Lynch Bages: 550/922
Montrose: 630/1057
Beychevelle: 475/797
Ormes de Pez: 175/293

Source: BBR, Corney & Barrow
* According to Liv-ex Bordeaux 2013 Survey