I was traveling yesterday and didn't see the news until Late in the day and my Twitter stream had gone nuts. Château Latour announced they will no longer participate in En Promeurs. The always brilliant Jane Anson covered it best:
Instead, director Frederic Engerer says, the first wine, Chateau Latour, and the second wine Les Forts de Latour, will be sold – through negociants – when they believe they are becoming ready to drink.
Their last en primeur campaign will be with the 2011 vintage.
Engerer’s motivation, according to negociants who received the letter, is partly a response to the increasing desire of consumers for ready-to-drink wines that have been stored in optimal conditions, and partly to be able to offer vintages to the market over a longer period of time.
I stopped counting at 400 Tweets on this story, but the commentary is interesting, here are some sample Tweets:
@WineKFR Good news for wine buyers as Chateau Latour exits decades-old 'en primeur' system
@Vinalytics @DittonWineTrade @BvdV Re Latour killing off speculation. Using Lafite's China import figures what will be the effect on price based....
@bkwineper Biggest joke of the day? "From 2012 Latour will sell the wines when we think them ready to drink" (Latour chief) bit.ly/IW4ltC
@TheSpitter Latour breaks ranks, Lafite cuts its price in half. Has Bordeaux gone mad. ow.ly/akkiL
There seems to be two, almost diametrically opposed, views on this move: It will either be good for consumers or will raise Latour's already high prices even more.