Following on the re-release last week of 1995 Latour and 2005 Forts de Latour and my resulting sarcastic post, is the move by negociant Millesima to refuse future allocations from Chateau Latour and in effect boycott the brand:
“We strongly believe that en primeur is an excellent opportunity to get your wine brand in to the public consciousness and to raise its value. We believe what Latour is doing undermines the whole system, and that a chateau that doesn’t sell en primeur does not respect how Bordeaux works… Much of our turnover is dependent on the system of futures selling – that is how top growth Bordeaux operates, and when one party decides to retain almost all the profit, clearly something is not working.” -Patrick Bernard, Millesima Owner
While I find Latour “double-selling” each vintage, starting with 1995 and going forward, to be somewhat less than charitable to the consumer, their stated intent is hard to fault:
“Assuring the provenance of the wine is our key intention… A wine that has been stored in the chateau will always taste better in the glass than one that has been round the globe three times. This is one of the key assurances that we want to be able to make to our clients.” -Jean Garandeau, Comercial Director at Latour
This is a contest for public opinion between two rich men representing two very profitable brands. Latour is at once threatening the core values of the establishment in Bordeaux while simultaneously grabbing for more money, which is so uniquely Bordelais. I can picture Mr. Bernard sitting on a pile of money and cursing Latour while imagining his future en primeur profits, once so dependably punctual, shrinking; it must be maddening.
Full Decanter Article: