Lafite index showing signs of growth

19th March, 2013 by Rupert Millar

Liv-ex’s Lafite Indices are climbing once again after months of poor performances.

1982-Chateau-Lafite-RothschildThe index for the first growth has risen 6% on the year to date and the index for the “on” vintages (2000, 2003, 2005 and 2009) shows that the estate is back to its August 2012 levels again.

On the other hand, rather unsurprisingly though little reported, the “off” vintages (01, 02, 04, 06, 07 and 08) continued to move upwards and are now around 10 points above their sister wines.

This interest in off vintages reached a particular peak in December last year, as already reported by the drinks business.

This disparity in performance was down to the sheer demand placed on the more famous vintages which forced prices up and in turn forced buyers – particularly Chinese keen to have Lafite regardless of vintage – to the more affordable “off” vintages.

In October last year, John Kapon, CEO of Acker Merrall & Conditt, announced that the Lafite bubble had burst.

If the Lafite indices are compared since November 2012 then the gap is narrowed considerably – with the off vintages ever so slightly above the “on”.

However, as Liv-ex concluded, the fact that the two graphs show greater correlation now, that would suggest, “that Lafite is attracting broad market interest again.”

The news that Lafite is back on the move is indicative of a wider stirring in the fine wine world.

Liv-ex also reported recently that its Liv-ex 50 Index (which tracks the performance of the 10 most recent vintages of the first growths) has risen over 10% in four months since its nadir in November last year.

Interestingly enough, it was the “off” vintages of Mouton Rothschild and Haut Brion that were among the leading wines on the index, the 2006 Mouton and 2004 Haut-Brion rising 16.2% and 9.1% respectively.

The news adds further credence to views already covered in the drinks business that 2013 would be the year Bordeaux bounced back.

The first growths led the price surge in the Fine Wine 100 earlier this year.

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