Beginning of the end for the primeur sales? Chateau Latour quits

Talking about primeur wines (previous note on Lafite), Château Latour has announced its intention to stop selling its wines en primeur, that is to say, in spring following the harvest. Vintage 2011 will be the last vintage they sell in this manner. Instead they will sell their wines when they are ready to be drunk. For some time there have been speculations in the trade about what was going on at Latour.

Rumours have had it that the volumes “released” from Chateau Latour have been suspiciously low and people have been wondering why. This is perhaps the answer. The chateau has been stockpiling its own wines in the cellar to be able to offer more of somewhat older vintages to the market. What impact this will have and if others will follow, remains to be seen.

Do you think this will really be the beginning of the end for primeurs, or will it have no impact? Curious to hear your views.

Chateau Latour tower

Chateau Latour tower, copyright BKWine Photography

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3 Responses to Beginning of the end for the primeur sales? Chateau Latour quits

  1. Andy McLeod May 18, 2012 at 16:24 #

    Makes sense. If they don’t need the cash why not earn the huge rewards that currently come from holding on to young first growths? Will be sad if I cant get Les Forts de Latour en primeur. About the best I can afford!

    • Per May 18, 2012 at 16:33 #

      Guess it depends on how much of a value contribution the sales channel and the logistics chain gives. But I can’t imagine that they would have any difficulty selling their bottles though, so it’s probably not much of a contribution. At least not in good times, like now (for them).

      You could always try some Languedoc if ever you need to go budget & quality… ;- )

  2. Andy McLeod May 18, 2012 at 18:36 #

    I’m drinking a €1.39 Corbieres from Lidl at the moment. Surprisingly drinkable and amazing value.

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