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Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Cold calls offering 2009 Lafite@£3995

Several companies are already offering First Growth Bordeaux 2009s, although it is unlikely that prices will be released before the end of May at the earliest. I have been contacted by several people cold called with offers on Lafite 2009.

In the most recent the cold call was to DD on their mobile offering Lafite 2009 at £3995. The caller said that they were just back from Bordeaux and that the 2009 vintage is fantastic and a great wine investment opportunity. Although the caller mentioned the company’s name, DD couldn’t be absolutely sure afterwards what it was.

The company had worked with Bordeaux – it wasn’t clear whether the caller meant the châteaux or the négoce – helping them to manage the cash flow. This was why they had been given a priority allocation of Lafite and could offer it at £3995 a case.
DD told me that he thought it very odd that they were only offering one wine and so early in the en primeur campaign. At the end of the spiel DD asked some questions that the caller couldn’t really answer. “The spiel was cracking up, so I told him I wasn’t interested,” DD told me.    

A senior broker for one of the UK’s most respected merchants said “Whoever is offering Lafite now at that price is a charlatan and should be locked up. This campaign is going to be bloody and stressful. Allocations will be tight and we will allocate the best wines to our best customers. They look after us, so we look after them. No Tom, Dick or Harry can phone up and expect to buy a case of 2009 Lafite. This is standard practice across the trade.”   


  1. It could be that the companies offering the wines are attempting to sell short, hoping to buy better and make a profit that way. It throws into serious question that the sale of En-Primeur is a futures contract and should therefore be regulated by the FSA. There is no doubt that the city is influencing the way a perfectly respectable and enjoyable business has run for several hundred years. This kind of exploitation of the FSA's lack of interest will cost unsophisticated investors a lot of money, how many more companies committing fraud do they need to see before they act.

  2. I agree. My particular worry is that some firms are trying to sell 2009 First Growths to people who wouldn't normally buy en primeur and who are probably not made aware how potential speculative a purchase this is.

  3. The companies selling are fully aware of what they are doing, and the fact is that historicakl recorsd show that they are hiding their overcharging through this type of selling, they have anticipated that at some time the wine will reach that price hence probably 100% mark up