Bordeaux 2008 en primeur – the market should dictate the price, not Parker

It comes as no great surprise that Robert Parker’s high scores for the Bordeaux 2008 vintage have caused quite a stir in the fine wine investment market. However, UK fine wine specialists Berry Bros. have warned that such high praise could bring an end to the en primeur campaign.

Provenance Fine Wines has come to expect somewhat controversial ratings from the fiercely independent critic but Parker deemed 2008 as ‘a notch below 2005, but it is better than any other vintage of the last decade except 2000.’ As a result, certain wines have seen huge increases in price, putting the entire en primeur campaign in jeopardy.

After continuous bad weather and set-backs in the vineyards had lead to widespread doubt over the quality of the 2008 vintage, many of the wines had exceeded critical expectation. Furthermore, many chateaux dropped their prices in a visible move to encourage drinkers back into the market. The whole campaign relied upon this sensible pricing strategy and it’s unfortunate that Parker released his sensational review. Parker raved about the 2003 vintage while most critics were left cold; he was initially underwhelmed by the now infamous 2005 vintage, and his latest critical offering seems to fly in the face of what can loosely be called the overall consensus of the 2008 vintage.

Here is a summary Parker’s notes:

Parker Notes


Several chateaux are yet to release their prices so let’s hope they price to the market rather than to the review of one critic. As Simon Staples, Berry Bros’ sales and marketing director remarks, we ‘can only hope the properties yet to release their wines prices will continue in the same, sane way their peers had done.’


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