16th April, 2014 by Rupert Millar
Lafite Rothschild has released its 2013 vintage with a 14% cut on its 2012 price to €288 per bottle.
Lafite, as usual, is the quickest first growth out of the blocks – though it was pipped to the post by Mouton last year. Last year it released on 22 April – a sign of much earlier and quicker this campaign is – with a 21% cut to €335 per bottle.
This year it has gone down to €288 p/b, a 14% cut on the 2012 price though still a huge 122% above the 2008 price of €130 p/b. On the other hand the 2008 now has a bottle price of €555.
Second wine, Carruades de Lafite, is also out with a 5% drop from €95 to €90 p/b.
Lafite’s pricing is often considered fair by merchants and the château’s en primeur release is nearly always the cheapest on the market. The only caveat from merchants though is that others shouldn’t follow suit due to the Lafite’s prestige and the premium it could effectively command.
Nonetheless, Lafite’s standing has fallen somewhat of late, with prices across vintages and the various wines from the Lafite stable falling back to 2010 pricing levels and Liv-ex reported that its premium over the other first growths has fallen from 129% to 45% since 2012. Will buyers be so keen to buy this time around even if the pricing is fair?
The 2013 price will probably see Lafite available for around £3,200 a case, the current consumer price for the 2012 is £3,830, so it will be some way below vintages going back to 2004.
Now Lafite has set a benchmark for the first growths it will be interesting to see what they decide to do next. Last year Mouton, Margaux and Haut-Brion all released at €240 p/b.
One source mentioned to the drinks business that they thought Mouton might choose to release at €200 p/b this year, which would represent a 16% price cut on the ’12s.
A more in-depth look at Lafite, its pricing and analysis from merchants will be posted soon.