Wine News 

November 6, 2019

The favorable weather conditions for the 2019 vintage in the northern Haut-Medoc made for ``six very good years in a row'' for appellations Saint-Julien, Pauillac and Saint-Estephe, according to wine producer and writer Gavin Quinney, in a blogpost on the Liv-ex website. 

The larger right-bank appellation of Saint-Emilion, which had frost damage in 2017, has seen ``four winners out of the last five'' with 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019, according to Quinney, with a similar analysis applying to Margaux and Pessac-Leognan. 


October 29, 2019

Chateau Lafleur, Pomerol. Photo: Guy Collins

Bordeaux 2017 prices remain under pressure as critics start to assess the vintage now that it has become available in bottles, with numerous wines ``readily available at opening prices'' in Bordeaux, according to the London-based online wine market Liv-ex's blog. 

Average prices during the en primeur campaign for the 2017s  fell almost 12 percent from the more highly rates 2016 vintage, while volumes sold fell 60 percent, according to Liv-ex. 

Since the sales campaign in the spring of 2018, six months after the harvest, prices have on average drifted down 1 percent, broadly in line with the wider Bordeaux 500 Index. That however masks significant gains by a small number of top brands, and declines by many others.

Chateau Lafleur 2017 has risen 57 percent since release, according to Liv-ex, while Petrus 2017 has risen 48 percent, Le Pin is up 33 percent and two second wines of left-bank first growths, Carruades de Lafite and Petit Mouton are up 37 percent and 8 percent respectively. 

Leading decliners include dessert wines Chateau Suduiraut, Chateau Coutet and Chateau Rieussec, down 42 percent, 30 percent and 11 percent respectively, while among leading red wines of the vintage, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Chateau Pavie have fallen 10 percent, Chateau Margaux 9 percent, Chateau Palmer 8 percent and Chateau Duhart-Milon and Chateau Montrose both down 7 percent, according to Liv-ex. 

``Interest in the vintage was very focused on the First Growths and the most popular brands'' Liv-ex said. ``The majority of releases struggled.''

Bordeaux 2017 wines were on show this month to the international trade in both Bordeaux and London, and will be available more internationally for tasting in coming months on road shows in the U.S., Asia and continental Europe. 


October 27, 2019

Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes wine. Photo: Guy Collins

Sauternes wines continued to lag the broader Bordeaux index, with the Sauternes 50 Index rising just 4.6 percent over the past three years, compared with a 12.6 percent gain in the Bordeaux 500 Index, according to the Liv-ex blog.

Over the past year the Sauternes 50 has actually dropped 2.5 percent, with none of the constituent wines of the in dex making gains in that period. Chateau Climens fell the most, down 8 percent, while Suduiraut fell the least with a 1.8 percent decline. Chateau d'Yquem dropped 7.3 percent. 

October 25, 2019

Three vintages of Petrus led trading by value on the London-based Liv-ex online wine market in the week to Oct. 24, according to Liv-ex's Talking Trade market report.

Petrus wine estate in Bordeaux's Pomerol region. Photo: Guy Collins

Petrus 2016 accounted for the largest market share by value, with a 12-bottle case priced at 32,996 pounds  ($42,304) in bond, while Petrus 1989 and Petrus 1990 claimed the next two slots. Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 2008 and the estate's second wine Carruades de Lafite 2017 also featured in the top five, according to Liv-ex.


October 12, 2019

Leading wine estates in Pauillac including Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Chateau Pontet-Canet and top producers in Saint-Julien including Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases completed their harvests over the past week as Bordeaux basked in mid-October sunshine.

Barrel cellar at Chateau Mouton-Rotschild. Photo: Guy Collins

Mouton completed its harvest as early as last Saturday, Oct. 5, according to Managing Director Philippe Dhalluin, who was speaking yesterday at a tasting for 2017 wines organised by the Union des Grands Grus de Bordeaux. The harvest at its neighboring vineyards Chateau d'Armaihac and Chateau Clerc-Milon were completed on Oct. 9. 

Dhalluin said there was ``quantity and quality'' in the harvest, with good tannins, and while he would have a clearer idea of its potential in two to three weeks, ``we are happy.''

At neighboring Chateau Pontet-Canet the pioneering biodynamic estate conducted a fully manual harvest for the first time, with no use of machinery. ``We finished the harvest yesterday,'' Justine Tesseron, a member of the family that owns the estate,  said at the same event. ``It's very promising wine.''

And at Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases in Saint-Julien, Antoine Gimbert, who is estate owner Domaines Delon's Export Manager for Europe and America, said the harvest had also been completed this week ,with both quality and quantity looking good, although he said it was too early to judge in detail. 


September 19, 2019

Chateau d'Yquem, Sauternes. Photo: Guy Collins

Chateau d'Yquem has put its 2017 vintage on sale at 3,500 pounds a case, its most expensive vintage since 2009, according to London-based online wine market Liv-ex.

Other top-priced Yquem vintages in the past 10 years include 2010 and 2015, according to Liv-ex data.


August 22, 2019

Chateau Haut-Brion 2013, the cheapest available first-growth wine from the region, was the most actively traded on the London-based Liv-ex wine market in July, according to its monthly market report published on

 Vineyard at Chateau Haut-Brion. Photo: Guy Collins

Trade by value rose 6% in July from the previous month, led by Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Haut-Brion, while in terms of vintage, the landmark 2009 was the most popular, according to Liv-ex.

The total value of bids and offers on the Liv-ex market exceeded 70 million pounds ($86 million), up 20 million pounds from October last year, it said. 

August 21, 2019

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande wines quoted on the London-based Internet market Liv-ex rose 7.6% over the past year, one of the top performers within the Left Bank 200 sub-index, which rose 0.5% over the same period, according to a blog post on

The Left Bank 200 Index outperformed the Fine Wine 50 Index, which tracks left-bank first growths and which fell 2.6% over the period, according to Liv-ex. The Second Wines 50 Index, tracking the second wines of first growths, slipped 0.6%.

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Photo: Guy Collins

June 29, 2019

The exceptional heat of recent days in Bordeaux and across France may be a factor in defining the style of this year's Bordeaux vintage, as maximum temperatures exceeded those of late June last year and approached the levels of the 2003 heatwave, according to data from

 Grapes in Bordeaux. Photo: Guy Collins

Maximum temperatures reached 37.3 degrees Celcius at Bordeaux Merignac on June 26 and 27, compared with the maximum June temperature last year of 33.9 degrees. In June 2003 the maximum June temperature reached 38.5 degrees.

April this year was broadly in line with average temperatures over the 30 years from 1981 to 2010, according to, while May was slightly cooler than normal and June is shaping up to be hotter, particularly on the maximum end of the scale. 

Concerning rainfall, April and June have been wetter than normal in Bordeaux while May was drier than average, according to

June 29, 2019

Le Pin rounded off the Bordeaux 2018 sales campaign this month with a release of its wine at 1,450 euros ($1,650) a bottle ex-negociant, up 21 percent from the opening price for the 2017 vintage although below the price for which physical wines from its 2016, 2015, 2010 and 2009 wines are available, according to data on London-based wine market Liv-ex's website.

Pomerol vineyard Le Pin. Photo: Guy Collins

Vieux Chateau Certan, another Pomerol producer, put its wine on sale at 210 euroe a bottle, up 25 percent from the 2017 release, although the amount of stock coming to market was 15 percent less than last year, Liv-ex said.

``While there was a marked improvement in the quality of this year's releases compared to last year's, for some merchants few stood out as a `must buy,' Liv-ex said in its Bordeaux 2018 En Primeur Report.

Chateau Cheval Blanc in Saint-Emilion released its wine at 528 euros a bottle ex-negociant, up 22 percent from 2017, while nearby Chateau Figeac relased at 174 euros a bottle, up 45 percent from 2017. Chateau La Conseillante, just over the appellation boundary in Pomerol, put its wine on sale at 162 euros a bottle, up 35 percent from the 2017 opening price. 

Among left-bank first-growths,  Chateau Lafite-Rothschild put its wine on sale at 470 euros a bottle ex-negociant, a price which Liv-ex said resulted in it being offered to the U.K. trade at 6,000 pounds ($7,600) per 12 bottles, up 23 percent in sterling terms from the 2017 release price. 


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Disclaimer: All opinions are my own, and tweets and retweets are not endorsements.

While every effort is made to check third-party data, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.