Lafite’s fortunes continue to fade

Château Lafite’s price premium versus its fellow first growths is continuing to fall with Mouton Rothschild and Haut-Brion catching up.

lafite premiumLafite has always maintained at least a small premium over the other four firsts, in July 2003 it stood at 6% although it had risen to 50% by the end of 2007.

Demand from Asian buyers pushed that premium to 129% after the announcement in 2010 that the 2008 vintage would carry the Chinese character for “8” on the bottle.

However, by 2011 the 2008 was already among the worst performers of Lafite’s physical vintages, suffering in the rapidly collapsing fine wine market.

The premium stood at 44% last year and has now slipped further to 35%.

In the meantime, Mouton and Haut-Brion have been gaining ground.

Mouton was given a boost by the Chinese Year of the Sheep this year, while Haut-Brion is perhaps set to narrow the gap further thanks to being the “cheapest” first growth albeit the one with the highest average score – 99.7 – across the four “great” vintages of modern times: 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010.

Where will Lafite’s premium be next year?

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