Châteauneuf has reached a price ceiling, specialists warn

23 August, 2007

The UK market will not sustain many more increases in the price of generic Châteauneuf-du-Pape, suppliers and retailers have warned.

The top southern Rhône appellation has enjoyed several strong vintages, with 2006 described as "the eighth very good year out of nine vintages" by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape growers' association.

Wine trade figures contacted by OLN have praised the 2006 Rhône vintage as "refined" and "elegant", but have expressed concern about the continuing price rises.

Bibendum's off-trade sales director Richard Cochrane said: "It's sufficient to be an issue. There are double-digit increases and ones that will impact on retail pricing. Juxtaposed to duty and other things it will put it out of reach of ordinary consumers."

Andrew Coghlan, managing director of independent merchant Barrels & Bottles in Sheepbridge, Chesterfield, said sales of Châteauneuf from top producers would remain strong despite price rises, but generic Châteauneuf had started to hit a price ceiling with customers. "We're selling it for £15.90 and I think the limit is around £16-£17. People are looking at alternatives from the Rhône, such as Gigondas and Vacqueyras, as well as wines from elsewhere," he said.

More views on Châteauneuf-du-Pape pricing, Rhône feature page 27.

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