Tasting of September’s great wine releases via Place Bordeaux

Each September, some of the world’s best wines are released via Place de Bordeaux, and this year a top Rioja and a vintage champagne are represented for the first time. We explore the trend, list this year’s releases and provide exclusive tasting notes on the wines.

September now sees almost daily releases of great ‘iconic’ wines from all corners of the world using the historic Bordeaux Place market to launch their new vintages.Names already released at the time of writing include Opus One 2018, Inglenook Rubicon 2018, Seña 2019, Nicolás Catena Zapata 2018 and Clos Apalta 2018, among others. Many more will follow, from Tuscany and Champagne to Australia and California.The Place, which has traditionally – and very successfully – been used to sell 99% of all Bordeaux’s great wines via a network of around 300 négociants, now manages a collection of more than 70 wines from five continents.While Bordeaux en primeur remains the flagship event in the Bordeaux calendar, these September releases are now an important meeting place for the great wine trade. Not only do they focus buyers’ attention at a time when interest in premium Bordeaux is traditionally low, but they have also helped merchants diversify their business by creating a dedicated and separate sales strategy to handle international releases. This trend has been growing every year since the first non-Bordeaux wine joined the Plaza in 1998 in the form of Almaviva, a joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA (Mouton) and Chile’s Concha y Toro.Opus One, the Californian joint venture created in 1979 between the Rothschilds and the Californian Mondavi family, began releasing some of its wine via the Plaza in 2004. The first non-Bordeaux wine was Italy’s Masseto in 2009, followed by Solaia in 2010, followed by South Africa’s famous sweet wine, Vin de Constance, as well as one of the Rhône Valley’s most sought-after wines, Château de Beaucastel’s Hommage à Jacques Perrin, which is now sold exclusively through La Place in September. More recently, the first Australian wines entered the system in 2020 and there are several debutants in 2021, including the first wine in the Penfolds range, a Spanish Rioja and a vintage Champagne.Source: DecanterRelease date: 10 September 2021.


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