The wine of the vintage (Liv-ex survey) and the last of the First Growths to come out this year has now been released.
Lafite Rothschild 2018 has been released at €470 per bottle ex-negociant. It is being offered by the trade at £6,000 per 12×75, an increase of 23.2% in sterling terms on the 2017 release of £4,870 per case and the same as the 2016.
Both James Suckling (99-100) and Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Advocate, 98-100) found perfection in today’s release. In her tasting note, Perrotti-Brown commented: “Anyone who wants to see what I mean when I babble about the Lafite tannins needs to try this benchmark. […] If this wine doesn’t get Bordeaux lovers hearts’ racing, nothing will.” For Suckling, the “glamorous” 2018 Lafite combined “delicacy with power” and “richness with softness”.
Antonio Galloni (Vinous), however, noted that although this was “an undeniably attractive wine, the 2018 does not appear to have the sheer pedigree of the very best wines in this vintage”. Galloni awarded today’s release a barrel range of 93-96 points.
Both Jane Anson (Decanter) and Jeff Leve (The Wine Cellar Insider) scored the wine 98-100 points. The latter wrote: “Never the most powerful of the First Growths, instead here, you find a wine of perfect balance, elegance and harmony with a unified, seemingly endless finish”.
While prices for Lafite show a far stronger correlation to bottle age than scores, much of this can be explained by the step change in the bar chart above (top). Lafite was the poster child of the Asian lead bull market that ran from 2006 to 2011. When the market corrected, the price for Lafite adjusted accordingly. The price of the 2018, much like the 2016, points to levels more akin with the bull market years – and this is squarely down to the quality of the wine itself as the chart below demonstrates.
Buyers looking for Lafite with both critical acclaim and post-bull market pricing, might want to consider the Neal Martin 95-point 2014.
Looking for more?
Our Bordeaux 2018 pages contain everything you need to know about this year’s En Primeur campaign, including:
- Critic scores
- Release prices
- Bordeaux 2018 analysis tool [members only]
- The conversation on social media
- Liv-ex’s fair value methodology