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Lafite Rothschild 2013 (92-93 JS) £1,450.00 per 6 bottle case



Key Points
£1,450 per 6.

(92-93) score from James Suckling.

(91-93) score from Neal Martin.

95 score from Tim Atkin.

One of the five 1st Growths – the top classification of Bordeaux Left-Bank wines.

1st in value and volume traded on Liv-ex in 2013.

Comparable, physical vintages trade at a minimum of £1,900 per 6:

- 2012 @ £1,900
- 2011 @ £2,050
- 2007 @ £2,680
- 2004 @ £2,400
- 2002 @ £2,550
- 2001 @ £2,760
Tasting Notes
"The Grand Vin is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. The latter was apparently difficult to assimilate with the Cabernet, gradually adding 1% at a time and finally, electing 2% as the optimal amount. As usual, I spent 10+ minutes with my sample, as it is never as immediate as say, Latour or Château Margaux. It has an elegant bouquet with a fine violet scent that became more accentuated with time. There is plenty of dark cherry and blackcurrant fruit, a touch of pencil shavings that becomes more pronounced with aeration. The palate is a little austere because of the dominance of the Cabernet Sauvignon, although that 2% Merlot does take the edge off the finish, rounding out any edges. The aftertaste has that attractive saline tincture, but here a little spicier and longer than its peers. This is a traditional Pauillac; a success for the vintage and a wine that I think will improve in bottle rather than in barrel. A steadfast Lafite. Tasted April 2014."

Score: (91-93)
Neal Martin,
April 2014

From the early 18th century, Lafite found its market in London. It appeared in the very official London Gazette of 1707 as being “sold at public auctions in the City of London, after being offloaded from foreign merchant ships seized by British corsairs as well as by the vessels of the Royal Navy”. The London Gazette described the Lafite wine and its counterparts as “New French clarets”. Between 1732-1733, Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister, purchased a barrel of Lafite every three months. It was only much later that France began to take an interest in Bordeaux’s red wines.

At this time the winemaker was Marquis Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur, who also owned Latour, Mouton and Calon-Segur. He improved the winemaking techniques and above all enhanced the prestige of fine wines in foreign markets and the Versailles court. He became known as “The Wine Prince”, and Lafite’s wine became “The King’s Wine”.

Lafite was one of the four Bordeaux originally rewarded 1st Growth status in the 1855 Classification, but widely considered the best of all. In 1868, Baron James de Rothschild - of the banking dynasty - purchased Château Lafite. As a welcome indication to the new owner, the 1868 vintage held the record for its high price for the entire century.

The end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century were turbulent for Lafite. A combination of the phylloxera aphid catastrophe, two World Wars and severe financial crisis led to a reduction in vineyard size, levels of supply and quality of product.

The following decades strengthened Lafite’s position once again. However, it wasn’t until 1994 - when the estate came under the control of Charles Chevallier- that an admirable level of consistency at the best level was achieved. The average score (from Robert Parker) for the previous 10 vintages was 90.4 which sharply rose to 96.1 from the year Chevallier took over until now.

Investment Analysis

Although Lafite slipped from the Top 10 Power Brands of 2012 in the wine industry down to the Top 20 for 2013, it still topped the league for both Value and Volume traded on Liv-ex throughout the year, accounting for 18.10% and 6.57% respectively.

As the table below demonstrates, the 2013 represents the best value of all comparable vintages and shows a clear trajectory of price growth potential.

The following translates the previous data into a price over point value (POP Value), including all vitnages since 2000:


2013 Vintage

It has been more than well documented, that the 2013 vintage certainly isn’t going to make its way in to the History books alongside the 09/10 Vintages. This may be bad news if you are a lover of Fine Wine for consumption, but in a few cases, great news if you are an investor seeking value and the chance to make some strong short to medium term gains. With production levels on average down by 35-50%, there are some clear investment opportunities within this Vintage.

From the whole vintage we have so far only looked at Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild and their repective second wines – Petit Mouton and Carruades de Lafite. The graph below illustrates the value that 2013 represents for these four wines; highlighting the price compared to the next cheapest vintage available.

Key Points:

•  Low downside risk – most affordable Lafite vintage.
•  Still the most traded wine in the industry, based on value and volume.
•  Growth projection of 25-35% ahead of physical release in Spring 2016.
•  Long-term potential of 60-80% over 5-8 years.
•  Upside potential of 70-90% in 5 years if Liv-ex 50 recovers as expected.
•  Very limited availability at this buy price.
•  10% below the UK market.


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