Bordeaux 2018 releases: Mouton Rothschild, Haut-Brion and Pavie
Châteaux Mouton Rothschild, Haut-Brion and Pavie have all launched their 2018 wines within hours of each other in the biggest day of the en primeur campaign so far.
Mouton Rothschild 2018, rated 98 to 100 points by Decanter's Jane Anson, who praised its 'incredible persistency and density of flavour', emerged as arguably the pick of the bunch in early analysis of the latest Bordeaux 2018 en primeur releases.
It was released at €408 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up 17% on last year but down versus a release price of €420 for the similarly rated Mouton 2016 first wine, according to Liv-ex data.
UK merchants offered Mouton 2018 at around £5,112 per 12-bottle case in bond, making it cheaper than the physical 2016.
That’s if you can get hold of the wine, however. Lower-than-usual production and high ratings were expected to yield strict allocations for the 2018 vintage; in such circumstances, previous buyers are generally given priority.
Analysis group Wine Lister predicted that the wine would sell and said its founder members have previously voted Mouton Rothschild as their ‘most consistently selling Bordeaux brand’.
Fine & Rare was offering six bottles of Mouton 2018 for £2,556 in bond but on a ‘request allocation’ basis. BI Wine & Spirits listed the wine as sold out on its website.
Giles Cooper, of BI, told Decanter.com, ‘Margaux [yesterday] was an instant hit. We could have sold four times the amount, and we already have a pretty decent allocation. This morning’s Mouton was much the same story.’
For wider context, Farr Vintners, which had the ’18 for £5,112 per 12 bottles, was also selling the highly regarded Mouton 2010 at £5,800 for 12 bottles. Berry Bros & Rudd had a 12-bottle case of the 2005 vintage on its BBX trading platform at £5,300 in bond.
Fellow first growth Haut-Brion also released its red, first wine on Wednesday morning, at the same ex-Bordeaux price as Mouton, which also translated to £5,112 per 12 bottles in bond. It also released its strongly rated 2016 vintage at €420, according to Liv-ex data.
Anson rated Haut-Brion 2018 at 98 points, although recently gave the 2016 vintage the full 100 points after tasting it after bottling.
Again, Liv-ex analysts said that ‘relatively tight allocations will benefit the release’.
However, there appeared to be less initial buzz over the ’18 release versus Mouton.
Wine Lister said, ‘Its release price, in-line with the two first growths that have come before it, puts it onto the market above the current price of all recent vintages apart from 2009 and 2010. As a result, it may not move as quickly as its fellow firsts.’
Sandwiched between those two, and following Margaux yesterday lunchtime, was Château Pavie, which was released at €282 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, up 2% on 2017, and being offered at £3,504 per case of 12 bottles in bond. The 2016 was released at €294, with the 2015 at €252, according to Liv-ex data.
Anson rated Pavie 2018 at 96 points, praising the restraint in a powerful vintage.
This matches the 2015 score, but Anson recently awarded 97 points to Pavie 2016, describing it as a ‘thrilling surprise’ in a vintage generally seen as less good than 2015.
Pavie emerged several weeks after fellow St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A estate Angélus released to widespread praise.
Initial applause was more muted for Pavie, it seemed. ‘The wine is more expensive than most other vintages available in the market,’ said Liv-ex. Wine Lister said that 2018 was the most expensive Pavie on the market since the 2005 vintage.
*Anson doesn’t award the full 100 points at en primeur, preferring to reserve this rating for the in-bottle tastings of the vintage that normally take place around two years after harvest.
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