Last year saw a spectacular surge in demand for all things First Growth, causing many of the chateaux’s second wines to double in price in just a few months. After a successful year on the secondary market, and a historic 2009 vintage, Margaux has announced that it plans to expand production with the launch of a third wine in 2011.
According to a Decanter interview with the chateau’s Managing Director Paul Pontallier, selection has become increasingly strict for the estate’s second wine, Pavillon Rouge. “The 2009 vintage was so good, and all barrels have aged so well, that we decided it was appropriate to create a third wine…” But how will prices for the (as yet unnamed) newcomer compare to those of its betters?
Though the inaugural 2009 vintage’s release price remains to be seen, current price ratios for Latour’s top three levels of production may provide a guide to where prices will end up.
As well as its second wine – Forts de Latour – Chateau Latour has been bottling Pauillac de Latour since 1973. Latour and Margaux’s second wines are both trading at around the same price ratio relative to their respective grands vins (3:1), so it would follow that price ratios will also be similar for the chateaux’s third and first levels of production.
If we calculate the average prices of the last five physical vintages of Latour, Forts de Latour and Pauillac de Latour, we find that the estate’s third wine is presently changing hands at around a tenth of the price of the grand vin, and a third of the price of the second wine. Applying these ratios to Margaux’s third wine (Margaux de Margaux?) using today’s pricing takes us to around £500 per 12x75cl case – or £40 per bottle.