Two no-shows for the 2013
en primeur campaign. (Parker 
will review the wines, but
two months later than usual).

Two months ago, I wrote a post mischievously suggesting that Bordeaux might either not have an en primeur campaign at all – or not much of one. Well, predictably enough, it looks as though the annual bit of cinema is going to happen, but the signs are already that “not much of one” may well be the appropriate description. Neither Robert Parker nor Jancis Robinson will apparently be there for the traditional tasting dates – both are committed elsewhere, it seems – and we know neither Chateau Malescasse nor its second label La Closerie de Malescasse will be offered en primeur. There was too little le Pin produced in 2013 for it to be worth selling as a future and Maison Bouey will not be selling a 2013 Les Parcelles de Stéphane Derenoncourt. (Given M Derenoncourt’s description of 2013 as a ‘shit vintage’ it will be interesting to see which wine he’s involved with will be presented.

So far, no top flight wines have broken ranks, and Christian Seeley  of Pichon Baron and Petit Village has confirmed that his properties will be maintaining the tradition, but it’s not entirely clear for whom they and the other players will be performing. Stephen Browett, chairman of Farr Vintners, one of the biggest buyers of top Bordeaux spoke for many when he told Decanter that ‘We are expecting a very low-key year and in my humble opinion maybe there shouldn’t even be an en primeur campaign. There is no interest from customers in buying the wines.” 

Of course if prices plummet, that interest will be rekindled, though even the Chinese are unlikely to do much until their pipelines are clearer and the effects of the government clampdown on gifts and banquets lose a little of their bite.  Producers are in any case, naturally wary of creating a problem for themselves when they have to decide how much to ask for the 2014s. Watch this space.

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