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Chateau Latour

Chateau Latour quits En Premeur

CHATEAU LATOUR quits en premeur and will only be releasing wine when it is deemed ready to drink. The 2012 vintage will be the first to fall under this decision by owner Francois Pinault. We will probably now see the 2012 vintage available for sale in 10-15 years time.

Tthe leading Bordeaux estate has announced it is to pull out of the 'futures market', meaning its prestigious wines will no longer be sold in the barrel (en premeur) and only when bottled and aged.

Chateau Latour has said the move had been driven by increasing numbers of consumers drinking the wine while it was too young, particularly a new generation of millionaires from Asia and eastern Europe. These 'new market' customers, attracted by the brand rather than the product, are then unable to appreciate its complexities, the Chateau claims.

It is the first time that a grower in the five members of the wine super league - also known as 'first growth chateaux' - has broken out of the lucrative futures market, or 'en primeur' system of wine distribution. This allows wine merchants across the world to get their hands on exclusive wines after being barrelled and lovers of fine wine to spend thousands of pounds while the wine matures in in the hope that it will turn into a classic.

What do we think
- well, something needed to be done to stop the see-sawing of first growth wine. Who can blame Latour for wanting to take back control of when the wine should be ready to drink and at the same time bring back appreciation for the product, rather than just the desire to be seen drinking it. They can always change their mind, but for now it sends a clear message to the industry in general, even if it does hit the pockets of the wine merchants and negociants. Sometimes the owner needs to take control - I think we can respect their decision.

The Super League: 'First Growth' Chateaux:

:: Lafite

:: Margaux

:: Haut Brion

:: Mouton

:: Latour