Yesterday, BMW Château Chteau Palmer was the first to announce the price of its 2017 vintage, to the surprise of many.
Photo courtesy of: Le Wine Guest
Max Lalondrelle, head of boutique wine buying at British Royal Wine Merchants Berry Bros Rudd (BBR), said the two teams the company sent to Bordeaux hadn"t had a chance to sit down and exchange ideas and check each other's scores on the en primeur wines before BMW announced the pricing, which, Lalondrelle admitted, we weren't ready for.
What is even more surprising is that the price of the 2017 vintage en primeur of this Margaux Village tertiary is down 20% from the 2016 vintage, with a regular ex-factory price (to the wine merchant) of €192, contracted at $1,479/bottle. 2016 BMW was €240, or about $1,849/bottle. The London market is currently selling for about £2,350 per case ($20,700), which is 18% lower than the 2016 vintage at £2,880, accounting for exchange rate fluctuations.
BMW Vice Alter Ego de Palmer is priced at €48/bottle ex works ($370 contract), a 2% price cut from the 2016 vintage, though it is currently bought by the case at £585 ($5,154) a case, 4% more expensive than the 2016 vintage.
Up to now, the BMW Château Fine Wine has been scoring well, with scores from mainstream wine critics roughly above 95 points. Although some independent wine critics, wine review publications such as The Wine Advocate (TWA), Jancis Robinson's website and Neil Martin, the big names, have not yet been published, Liv-ex, the international wine trading platform in London, believes that the TWA should score the appellation at 96-97 points, and with reference to the last few vintages, the 2017 vintage of Good Wine is worth buying.
The prices of the 2017 vintage of Château Palmer are lower than the current prices of the best vintages (2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2016), but still somewhat higher than those of the 2008, 2012 and 2014 vintages.
Mixed news from several of the UK's big wine merchants, with some saying that the 2017 vintage of BMW is almost sold out, that wine merchant Corney Barrow has only sold a little, and that Royal Wine Merchant BBR is very happy with the pricing.
Corney Barrow buying manager Will Hargrove believes that BMW Estate is doing the same thing as last year's Cos dEstournel, which gained a lot of attention but was largely uninteresting until more wine critics released ratings to add to it.
In the grand scheme of things, the 20% price cut is a good thing, and at least it sends a signal to other wineries to set the tone for the 2017 vintage en primeur.
Laondrelle added that this does not mean that every winery will reduce its prices by 20%.
In addition, yesterday, the price of Valandraud was also made public at the same time, with a price reduction of 22% to £1,200 ($10,600) a case.
The price of Chateau Coutet has increased by 4.5% compared to last year to €27.6 ($213) per bottle, the same price as the 2009 and 2010 vintages.