EnPrimeur report

Fine wine news roundup: 27 April-3 May



Bordeaux 2018 kicks off earlier than expected

Many had anticipated a slightly later start to this year’s En Primeur campaign, but after Chateau Angelus made its (well-received) release on 16 April, other chateaux have followed closely behind.

Chateau Langoa-Barton, Brainaire-Ducru and Chateau Lafleur have all made their 2018 debuts, as have Chateau Clinet and Chateau Gazin.

Langoa-Barton, which has received a lot of positive scores and appreciative noises from critics, released at €36 a bottle ex-négociant, a 16% increase on last year. Chateau Branaire Ducru released at €38.40 per bottle, up 14% on 2017, while Lafleur's 2018 – called ‘incredibly seductive’ by Lisa Perrotti-Brown – released at £5,800 per dozen, up just 8.6% on last year.

Meanwhile, Clinet released at £768 per dozen (up 14.5%) and Gazin at £756 (up 8.3%).

Sauternes estate Suduiraut also made its sweet 2018 release, overshadowed as usual by the reds. The estate is bucking the trends seen so far with a release price of £480 per dozen, down 12% on last year.


HDH to hold biggest ‘Celebration of Burgundy’ ever

US auction house Hart Davies Hart has revealed that its eighth ‘Celebration of Burgundy’ sale will be its largest yet.

Held in Chicago from 17-18 May, the sale will feature 2,550 lots worth an estimated $5 million to $7.6 million, covering wines from 212 domaines that span vintages from 1937 to 2017.

Particular highlights include a consignment of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, which covers 187 lots and 73 vintages from 1942-2015. Other lots will include fine wines from Domaine Armand Rousseau, Henri Jayer, Domaine Leflaive, Georges Roumier and more.


UK’s first still Pinot Meunier released

Simpson’s Wine Estate in Kent has released what it claims to be the UK’s first still wine made with 100% Pinot Meunier.

Made from the 2018 vintage, the Derringstone Pinot Meunier saw grapes hand-picked and whole bunch pressed before being cold settled for 48 hours. The wine then underwent a long fermentation and was rested on its lees for seven months prior to bottling.

Speaking to the drinks business, co-owner Charles Simpson said: “We were really encouraged by the phenolic ripeness of the grapes. Pinot Meunier is rarely made into a still wine and is usually used as a softener in Champagne.”

The Pinot Meunier will retail for £19 a bottle, with a total of just 5,000 bottles produced.

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