After a slow start, Bordeaux 2020 en primeur hit its stride last week with several new wines every day. Pricing continued to vary, meaning discipline remained essential. But with quality high in 2020 and volumes down, many new releases offered good-value entry points even though prices are coming in above last year’s releases.
“A whirlwind of a week but amid all the action, we found some excellent buying opportunities among our favourite wines and producers. We expect to see more of the same with another busy pipeline of releases slated for this week!”
– Olivier Staub, Cult Wines’ Investment Director
Les Carmes Haut Brion
One of the most exciting releases came on Tuesday when Château Les Carmes Haut Brion released at £948 RRP (12x75cl). This 2020 wine benefits from Wine Advocate’s (WA) highest ever score for a Les Carmes offering (95-97+ points) with reviewer Lisa Perrotti-Brown calling it ‘stunning expression of the vintage.’ Other critics seemed to agree with most major scores falling in the mid-high 90s.
For a wine of this quality, the release price looks particularly appealing, offering a discount to recent and similarly-scored Les Carmes Haut Brion wines. For example, the 2016 carries a 96-point WA score and market price of £1,296, nearly 37% higher than the 2020 release price. The younger 2019 (unscored by WA) currently trades over 10% higher than the new release. As a result, our proprietary ‘football field’ valuation shows a fair value price well above the new release price – the room for growth is clear to see!
Château Les Carmes Haut Brion Football Field Valuation
Château Beau- Séjour Bécot and Chateau Ausone provided some fireworks from Saint Émilion early in the week. Decanter’s Jane Anson ranked Ausone 99 points and commented that it “could go up after tasting in bottle, a potential 100 points.”
Chateau Brane-Cantenac (WA 91-93pts) released on Tuesday at £600 (12x75cl). With volumes down (~50% vs 2019) even more than many other estates in 2020, competition will be fierce for this excellent wine which should add upward pressure to prices in the coming years.
Chateau Valandraud (WA 95-97 pts) appeared on Friday with a wine which was one of the favourites among the Cult Wines team at our EP tastings.
Château Canon also came on Friday with a highly-anticipated release of a truly magnificent 2020 wine. Both Decanter and Wine Advocate handed it score ranges of 98-100 points, leaving the possibility of an upgrade to a perfect 100 points down the road. “An exhilarating triumph!” said Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate. Although the RRP release price of £1,152 (12x75cl) does represent an increase of over 30% versus the 2019 release, the upside remains substantial as the vintage price/score comparison in the below chart indicates.
If this gets upgraded to 100 points, the price is going to the moon!” - Olivier Staub, Cult Wines’ Investment Director