Cheval Blanc launches 2020 En Primeur at “proper market prices”

Monday May 17 2021 by Vitisphere

 “If we come out in a good price range, the market has faith and the system works”, stresses Pierre Lurton. “If we come out in a good price range, the market has faith and the system works”, stresses Pierre Lurton. - Photo credit : Château Cheval Blanc

After an initial flurry, the 2020 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign was officially launched on 11 May with the surprise release of Château Cheval Blanc. “Not everyone was expecting the release”, quips Pierre Lurton, director of the 39-hectare Premier Grand Cru Classé A property in Saint-Émilion, co-owned by the Arnault and Frère families. The release, at 380 euros per bottle on the Bordeaux market, has got the ball rolling for the 2020 vintage marketing campaign and has been acclaimed by negociants who welcome its modest 3% increase compared to the 2019 vintage. As a reminder, the 2019s were already down by 30% on the 2018 vintage, a trend that played a part in the success of the 2019 En Primeur campaign despite the pandemic.

 

After selling all the En Primeur allocations in one day – and now considering requests for additional volumes – Pierre Lurton commented that “Cheval Blanc has been released at proper market prices and is being met with genuine market enthusiasm. The robust demand proves that there is a market, which is reassuring”. The release, which supports a pricing policy that allows distributors to make a profit in times of health and economic uncertainty, could inspire other Grands Crus Classés when they come out and show their hand. “By coming out early, I hope it will give the campaign a boost. It is up to each and every one to set their own prices as they see fit, I don't give advice”, adds Lurton.

Although the Bordeaux trade is calling for releases to focus on May-June, not all estates are planning to rush into a quick release. “We're going to wait a little while. We usually release very early, but we'll see how the markets react and reopen”, says Michel Reybier, owner of 1855-classified Saint-Estèphe Grand Cru Classé Château Cos d'Estournel.

 

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