Although we’ve seen a plodding pace at times in the early going of the 2020 en primeurs, activity ramped up last week, culminating with a big Friday that saw Lafite Rothschild and other Lafite-owned wines shift the campaign into the next gear!
“We saw several quality wines last week, but discipline and selectivity are paying off as we identified some excellent buying opportunities in the latter half of the week, capped off by a Lafite Friday!”- Aaron Rowlands, Research Editor
Starting with Friday’s fireworks, Carruades de Lafite (Chateau Lafite’s second wine) hit the market at £2,124 (12x75cl) following the morning release of Rothschild-owned Chateau Duhart-Milon. The Carruades de Lafite price represents an increase over last year’s release but a discount of over 18% to the 2019 current market price and even larger reductions versus earlier vintages. For example, the 2020 Carruades, scored 91-93 points by Wine Advocate (WA), comes 24% lower than the 2017 current market value despite 2017 scoring low end of the new wine’s range (91pts). Unsurprisingly, the new Carruades comes well below where we see fair value for this standout second wine, meaning this is an excellent buying opportunity.
Carruades de Lafite Football Field Valuation
With Friday’s excitement building, Lafite’s grand vin (WA: 96-98pts) followed a short time later at £5,880 (12x75cl). This comes roughly in line with the similarly-scored 2015 vintage (WA: 96+pts) but with 2020’s volumes reportedly down around 20% versus average, we think 2020’s price should see upward pressure over the long term. We view this as a good chance to grab a memorable vintage from a fine wine icon.
Additionally, the new release shines light on what we see as undervalued 2019 (WA: 97-99pts) and 2017 (97+ pts) Lafite wines, which have current market prices of £5,400 and £5,228, respectively.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild vintage Comparison
But the week was not all about Lafite with exciting, good-valued wines from Château La Gaffelière and Chateau Rauzan-Segla earlier in the week. A perennial Saint Emilion gem, La Gaffelière (WA: 96-98pts) released on Wednesday at £600 (12x75cl) RRP, a breath of fresh air after some steeper release prices early in the week. With the likes of Neal Martin (Vinous) praising its “beautiful seam of acidity and perhaps the most satin-like texture I have encountered on a young La Gaffelière,” this wine holds plenty of potential.
The Margaux 2eme classified growth Rauzan-Ségla (WA: 96-98+pts) released at £798 on Thursday. This price sits broadly in line with the market prices of the 2015 and 2016 vintages, which both have 97-point scores. The low volumes in 2020 should boost competition for this excellent wine from star winemaker Nicolas Audebert.
This week could see a busy schedule with Château Giscours and Château Beau-Séjour Bécot both out on Monday ahead of potential releases from Chateau Brane-Cantenac and Clinet later this week.