Under-the-radar Lafites trading well

23rd July, 2014 by Rupert Millar

Although Lafite no longer commands the share of trade it used to there are vintages that are still attracting buyers’ interest.

Lafite ChateauLiv-ex noted on its blog that there are “pockets” of interest in Lafite, most notably the 1998 and 2011 vintages.

There has been a huge slackening off in Lafite trades since 2011 and especially this year where the weekly share of trade has fallen below 10% 11 times this year – more than in the whole of 2013.

The Lafite index level has dropped from nearly 800 at its peak to 400 in June this year, so the bubble has well and truly burst.

Nonetheless, there is still good trade in Lafite and, as with so much at the moment, it’s the wines that offer the best value and have good scores that are being picked up.

The 1998 has held steady for the last two years at £5,200 a case, it’s now up to £5,300, has a solid 98-points from Robert Parker and is entering a drinking window.

The 2011 meanwhile has the benefit of being the cheapest physical vintage on the market (23% below the next cheapest, the 2006,) and it has in fact accounted for 28% of all Lafite trading activity this month so far.

£3,500 a case, is that the base level that represents the best value for buyers of first growths?

Liv-ex said: “While Lafite does not look likely to regain the following that it had at the peak of the market, what these two vintages would suggest is that it has not fallen completely out of favour – and is, perhaps, starting to catch the eye of some.”

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