Lafite adopts a different approach in 2013

Peter Shakeshaft - Vin-X blogToday we visited Lafite, and learned that the 2013 version of the iconic brand has, like Margaux, adopted a ‘different way’ to combat the challenges imposed by conditions last year.

Lafite 2013 is constructed of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. Lafite has adopted a similar strategy before with 1961 (99% Cabernet, 1% Petit Verdot) and in 1994 which was 100% Cabernet. At first tasting – 2013 appears smooth and elegant with virtually invisible tannins. For me the there is no stand out leader of the 2013 offerings from the three great houses of Lafite, Margaux and Mouton. Will the trade agree? We will see.

LafiteLafite is probably the most recognized brand in the world of fine wine, and the First Growth that has suffered the most in terms of price pressures in recent years.

The reasons for this are well documented in terms of the impact of the Asian market particularly in its consumption of the vintages between 2008 and 2011 and, post this, the search for value elsewhere in the market. This resultant ‘bubble’ has had a markedly negative impact. Such is the significance of the Lafite brand in the market that this has had a seismic effect on the overall Bordeaux performance reported on Liv-ex in recent years.

The Liv-ex Power 100 Report 2013 recorded the performance of the top 100 fine wine brands last year. Lafite, ranks 18th globally in the report but its percentage share of value and volume of the market is extraordinary as can be seen in the table below.

The Scale of Lafite:

Rank

Brand

Value share

%

Vol. share

%

Average price (£)

Performance

%

Average score

Unique wines

1

Pavie

4.70

4.41

1,687

19.77

95.86

14

2

Angélus

2.84

2.41

1,868

22.94

93.25

20

3

Pétrus

3.4

2.59

19,132

7.89

94.16

25

4

Pape-Clement

0.58

1.00

919

27.44

95.65

13

5

Haut-Brion

3.93

2.59

2,486

4.13

93.38

44

6

Eglise-Clinet

0.32

0.25

2,018

17.74

95.86

11

7

Mouton-Rothschild

8.93

4.68

3,020

4.6

92.59

33

8

Montrose

2.72

3.77

1,143

6.75

93.55

22

9

Margaux

5.76

3.27

2,784

2.61

92.86

45

10

Penfolds Grange

0.75

0.35

3,425

17.56

96.60

5

18

Lafite Rothschild

18.10

6.57

4,368

-2.76

93.01

42

Source: (Power 100 Report), November 2013

The finest wines produced by the Rothschild Barons will always have a major influence over the market and 2013 is no exception.