Online feeling against the Bordeaux 2009 pricing has become increasingly outspoken over the past week, led by the influential Francois Mauss, founder of the Grand Jury European.

Mauss wrote on his blog this week, ‘What is happening with the 2009 en primeur market is catastrophic for the future reputation of the region... It’s not going too far to say that the spirit of Madoff, Kerviel and Lehmann Brothers has entered Bordeaux.’

He continued, ‘(...) these producers (...) are taking the real risk of finding themselves fatally cut off themselves off from their customers in the near future (...) through this short term profiteering, or the adrenalin rush of naming a price higher than their wildest expectations a few months ago.’

In France, the mainstream media has also reacted with dismay, with Bernard Burtschy in Le Figaro highlighting ‘the vintage of the century... for the fourth time in ten years’ and asks ‘Is there any justification for such extreme price rises? None.’

In Bordeaux itself, the prices (now standing at an average rise of 15% on 2005, according to Tastet & Lawton brokerage firm) have highlighted the increasing discrepancy between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in the region. The price for a tonneau (900 litres, or 1,200 bottles) of AOC Bordeaux red has dropped to around EUR600 per barrel – less than the opening price of one bottle of Latour.

‘Bordeaux wine merchants spend half of the year on the en primeur campaign, promoting the top wines of the region, while the rest of us get forgotten about,’ said winemaker Regis Chaigne, speaking at a conference held by Millesima wine merchants on the marketing of Bordeaux wines. ‘And this is not just true in Bordeaux – merchants around the world have to wait so long for en primeur prices that our wine shipments get put on hold.’