Bordeaux 2018: ‘Seductive’ Lafleur released

The releases of 2018 Bordeaux continued this week with more from Right Bank stalwarts Lafleur, Clinet and Gazin.

The release of Langoa-Barton and Branaire Ducru earlier this week showed that the Bordelais were keen to get the ball rolling on the 2018 campaign.

Since then there have been a few more releases with Batailley, Sociando Mallet and Haut Bages Libéral announcing their ex-cellar prices – all good ‘drinking’ sort of labels.

It is this morning though (2 May) that has seen the release of the next ‘serious’ labels, most notably Lafleur.

The Pomerol estate’s 2018 is being offered for around £5,800 per dozen, up 8.6% on the 2017.

Critics have loved it with The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW giving it 97-100 points and calling it “incredibly seductive”.

Elsewhere it’s picked up scores of 18.5 from Julia Harding MW (writing for Purple Pages), 98-100 from Chris Kissack and Jeff Leve, a straight 100 by James Suckling and it was named the fifth favourite wine (on average) by Liv-ex’s 430 merchant members in a recent survey.

Cracking scores for an estate on a roll at the moment, the 2018 clearly ranks alongside the château’s best efforts from ’05, ’09, ’10 and ’16 but sits at a significant discount to all of those – indeed the 2017 is now £8,000 a case.

This is the sort of instance where, if you have the money, there is definite value to be had in buying en primeur because the wine is unlikely to be at this level in a year’s time (on current form at least).

Clinet at £768 a dozen is up 14.5% on the 2017, it’s had some very good scores and reviews but it’s maybe a little bit of a stretch if you start comparing it with some recent back vintages.

Gazin meanwhile is up 8.3% on its 2017 release to £756 per dozen. Like Clinet the reviews have been good but Liv-ex suggested that it falls above what would be considered ‘fair value’ with the 2015 or 2012 vintages looking quite attractive by comparison.

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