Will earlybird Cos d’Estournel catch the worm?

Château Cos d’Estournel took everyone by surprise this morning when it released its 2016 vintage en primeur sooner than expected, at €120 per bottle ex-négociant, the same price as its 2015. Intelligence gathered by Wine Lister suggested that châteaux considered to have made “mistakes” with the release of their 2015 vintage en primeur might release early and at the same price as last year.

However, even the Place de Bordeaux was not expecting a second growth to release its wine the day after the first round of the French presidential elections, and just four days after the terrorist attack in Paris.

Cos d’Estournel is considered to have had a mediocre 2015 en primeur campaign compared to some of its peers, not necessarily pricing too high, but releasing too early. However, reports are that stocks did sell through later in year. Today’s move is bold, but could pay off, if Cos d’Estournel 2016 can harness the excitement that is growing around the Bordeaux 2016 vintage before it has too much competition.

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© Château Cos d’Estournel

By sticking to last year’s price, Cos is keeping the Bordeaux trade happy, and early reports are that négociants are wholeheartedly getting behind the release. The weak pound means that Cos d’Estournel 2016 is being offered to consumers in the UK at £117 per bottle, a 10% premium on the 2015 price of £106 per bottle. This might well be palatable given the quality of the wine this year and the goodwill shown by the château in not increasing its euro release price. UK merchants certainly seem to be enthusiastic in terms of their messages to consumers so far.

Wine Lister’s UK partner critic Jancis Robinson awarded the Cos d’Estournel 2016 18 points (compared to 18.5 for the 2015). Our French partner critics Bettane+Desseauve, and our US partner critic, Vinous, will release their Bordeaux 2016 scores later this week.

 

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