The Chinese interest in buying Bordeaux en primeur is ‘recovering’, though the key lies in the price of the ‘modern and charming’ 2015 vintage, said merchants.
The widely reported government austerity drive at the end of 2012 has significantly hit the high end of the market.
‘In the last four years, one third of our clients have changed,’ said Patrick Jestin, President of Bordeaux negociant and estate owner Dourthe. Many importers have ‘disappeared’ after the austerity drive, he added.
More Chinese merchants are ‘looking for what’s in the middle’, as opposed to only chasing the grand crus, said Jestin.
After three ‘weaker vintages’, thanks to the favourable currency rate, the 2014 vintage saw the Chinese market ‘in the good move’ towards recovery, said Jestin.
Dourthe currently has 150 Chinese customers of various scales, one third of which are from the mainland, according to the company.
As there are positive expectations on the Bordeaux 2015 vintage, ‘ASC is expecting reasonable price increase for 2015,’ said Bruno Baudry, CEO of ASC Fine Wines.
This year the importer intends to buy en primeur but ‘mainly for our own stock’, Richard Li, Vice President of ASC’s Fine Wines department, told DecanterChina.com.
However, ‘we noticed an increased interest from private customers, who are end consumers,’ said Li, adding that now less Chinese buyers are buying en primeur for the purpose of investment.
Steven Spurrier praised the fruit dominant, modern style of many Bordeaux 2015 Médoc wines, in an interview on his initial impression of the vintage to Decanter.com.
‘The whole of Médoc has done very well and my line is Bordeaux is back,’ he said.
Read more first impressions of the Bordeaux 2015 vintage on Decanter.com.
*The story was edited at 13:00 9th April upon receiving suggestions from interviewee.
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