2019 En Primeur UpdateThe fate of the 2019 En Primeur campaign, uncertain until now due to Covid-19, is beginning to look a little clearer this week, with two significant pieces of news.
Perhaps the most immediate sign we’ve had is initial barrel scores from James Suckling who, as ever, likes to be first to the EP punch. Tasting barrel samples delivered to his Hong Kong wine bar, Suckling has reviewed a little over 400 wines and given his pronouncement on the vintage as one of very high quality that is likely to make for good early drinking.
There are some notable absences among his review, no first growths, no St. Emilion class A’s, no Montrose, no Pontet Canet, none of the Leovilles, neither Pichon Lalande or Pichon Baron, no Lynch Bages … Lafite Rothschild has been added in the last 24 hours so we can expect more additions. In a sign of the times his Lafite Rothschild review comes complete with a video of his Zoom tasting with representatives of the Chateau!
The release of tasting notes and the shipping of barrel samples is the first solid indicator that the release of the 2019s will be happening if not as planned then at least almost on schedule, and confirms expectations that this is another strong vintage. Suckling comments that “Most of the dozens of winemakers and wine merchants in Bordeaux I spoke to say they will release prices for wines in June”.
Perhaps of more interest to buyers is the follow up comment “all agreed that prices have to come down. Price decreases from 2018 futures mentioned range from about 10 percent to 40 percent.”
Discounts on this scale would be attractive in and of themselves, but given that we also expect most of these wines to be above 14% alcohol and be exempt from tariffs too this could be the most attractive En Primeur vintage since the release of the 2008’s.