Bordeaux 2008 en primeur – opinions begin to crystallize…

As the initial hubris surrounding the 2008 Bordeaux en primeur campaign begins to subside, it has becoming increasingly clear that 2008 Bordeaux wines will not ultimately prove a vintage highly suited for those seeking fine wine investment.

However, it is exciting nonetheless to be see opinions begin to unfold…

Liv-ex (The London International Vintners Exchange) have published the results of their 2008 Bordeaux En Primeur Survey, which prove extremely interesting – especially when considered against the views of those major critics whose judgements are already known.

Robert Parker of course has (at the time of writing) not yet given his own verdict, but James Suckling of Wine Spectator, Jancis Robinson MW, the magazine Decanter and the Parker affiliate Neal Martin have, and it would appear that – a few exceptions aside – consensus is not a word that can easily be used.

First things first, the results of the survey taken amongst the Liv-ex membership look like this:

1. Lafite
2. Latour
3. Ausone
=4. Cheval Blanc
=4. Mouton Rothschild
6. Haut Brion
7. Lafleur
8. Le Pin
9. Leoville Las Cases
=10. Palmer
=10. Petrus

But the ratings of the other major critics differ widely. The top wines of each of the others are as follows (where more than one is noted they are scored equally highly):

James Suckling Jancis Robinson Decanter Neal Martin
Ausone Ausone Latour Petrus
Haut Brion Latour Cheval Blanc
Le Pin

Decanter did rate Ausone in their second placing and Neal Martin in his third, so according to the Liv-ex “survey of surveys” it would appear that Ausone is indeed by a loose (and certainly not unanimous) consensus the wine of the vintage.

And although Latour would appear the second most highly regarded wine, the fact that James Suckling rated it only joint ninth and Neal Martin did not feature it at all in his top ten means that it only comes in – as the highest first growth – at fourth overall.

So everyone here at Provenance Fine Wines can’t wait for Parker to release his scores, if only to see how he may somehow mettre le loup dans la bergerie…


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