There is renewed strong demand for older vintages of Bordeaux such as 2006 following on the success of the 2015 and 2016 futures campaigns, according to Mathieu Chadronnier of Bordeaux negociant CVBG.
Chadronnier, who was in London this month hosting a tasting of a selection of Bordeaux vintages back to 2004, as well as wines from further afield including Italy and Chile, said that "the Bordeaux market goes in cycles."
After the runup in Bordeaux prices that ended in July 2011, which was followed by a period of challenging vintages and declining prices, the market has improved significantly with the 2015 and 2016 harvests, he said, and that is also benefiting back vintages. "It looks like we're in a very strong phase of the cycle," he said in an interview in London Sept. 13.
At the London tasting he was showing the 2006 vintage of Chateau Palmer and Chateau Cos d'Estournel, as well as 2011 wines from Chateau Giscours, Chateau Rauzan Segla and Chateau Figeac and a variety of other wines including Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2004.
"I really think of 2011 stylistically as a repeat of 2006 with more finesse and more precision," he said, while acknowledging that both years were affected in the market by coming immediately after highly successful vintages.
"'06 is not as good as '05, and '11 is not as good as '10, but if you take '05 and '10 away from the table, you're left with two really stylish, truly Bordelais vintages," he said.
The Palmer '06, along with samples of Chateau Latour's second wine Les Forts de Latour 2010, were included in the tasting ahead of ex-chateau releases of the wines this week, while additionally Chateau d'Yquem 2015 was on show ahead of its release today.
Chadronnier said that wine trading in the immediate aftermath of the U.K. vote in June 2016 to leave the European Union had been difficult because of the drop in sterling, which made wines stored in the U.K. cheaper relative to those elsewhere, disrupting normal demand flows.
"Exchange-rate volatility has always been part of the market," he said. "Last year we took a major hit" after the referendum, but business was recovering by last September and he described Bordeaux demand from the U.K. now as "surprisingly healthy."
CVBG ships more than 2 million bottles of grand cru wines a year, with 72 percent of its sales going in exports to 84 countries, according to data in its wine tasting notes. 37 percent of its business is in futures and the rest in back vintages.