Christian Moueix has revealed he is willing to slash the price of his top Bordeaux 2011 wines, which include La Fleur-Pétrus and Trotanoy, by up to 50%. “Our cuts will have to be severe – between 30-50% – if we want to keep people interested,” the president of Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix told the drinks business in Bordeaux last week.
“We’ll have to come out early and drop our prices significantly this year. If you release too late people will hold out for the 2012 vintage,” Moueix warned, insisting growers wouldn’t dare release 2011 stock at the same price as 2010. He stated that the Chinese market has been instrumental in creating the Bordeaux bubble, but that many Asian investors will pull away with 2011. “They will be more discreet and selective this year as they hate to lose money,” he said.
Moueix also revealed that he has added to his portfolio with a 4.7-hectare property in Pomerol. “I’ve just bought a little estate called Château Guillot in an amazing location – facing Le Pin, I can’t believe how lucky I got, the blocks are perfect,” he said, admitting he is keen to rename the estate as the current name is “clearly not sexy.”
A new cellar is also under construction at Pétrus – which Moueix consults for – set to open next June. “We would have loved to have stayed as small as we were, but it was time to refresh things and improve our facilities,” Moueix admitted. He describes 2011 as a “difficult” vintage. “It’s like a dish where you have all the right ingredients but they’re all in the wrong proportions,” he said, adding, “The abnormal weather conditions lead to stressed wines.”
Moueix warned that those who indulged in over-extraction were playing a dangerous game: “In 2010 it created beautiful monsters, but those who over-extracted in 2011 will have awkward, angular wines,” he said, describing his own wines as having a floral, fresh character akin to 2001.
Meanwhile, Alexandre Thienpont of Vieux Château Certan is confident of the quality of his 2011 wines: “We’re back in the game this year – 2011 was an excellent year for Cabernet Franc; it shone. The wines are really energetic,” he said. “2011 was a year for the great terroirs of Bordeaux – Ausone, Figeac, Cheval Blanc; it was a good year for the Right Bank,” he added.
At Figeac, technical director Frédéric Faye (above) believes 2011 will go the distance: “These wines will keep until 2035 – they’re classic with great freshness and balance,” he said. “Coco Chanel once said the most important thing is style, not being in fashion, and we have our own style. I think a number of Right Bank châteaux like Angélus are coming back to the old style of elegance and classicism, having lost themselves to a more concentrated modern expression,” he added.
Faye plans to release Figeac 2011 at €80-100, despite the 2008 vintage, which 2011 is frequently being compared to, coming out at €40 and currently selling for €70. “The price rises are due to the Chinese market – we all want to make money at the end of the day and it’s good to make as much money as you can,” he said.