Lafite Rothschild has released its 2012 price at £4,050 a case. Their release price could help define the campaign, as it is the First Growth with the highest average list price across all vintages; their 2012 release price is significantly below this. With the exception of the 2011, which was released at £5,500, there are very few cases currently in the market below £6,000.
This means Lafite Rothschild have dropped their price 21.5% on last year, showing a strong willingness to lead from the front. Principally the market sentiment was that anything under £4,500 – £5,000 would have offered a significant enough discount to be interesting and as such Lafite is a must have given this reduction.
The general market sentiment is that Lafite 2012 is better than 2011 and James Suckling has already released his tasting note and score: he is 93-94 points on this!
This is beautiful for the vintage. Full body and very tender with fine tannins and a pretty finish. Attractive currant, cedar, and sweet tobacco character. More delicate than the 2011. 93-94 Point
Chateau Lafite-Rothschild is a powerhouse in terms of brand and reputation and presently commands the highest prices amongst its First Growth peers. Lafite is the largest of the First Growths both in area and production and occupies the northern tip of Pauillac close to the border with Saint Estephe in the Medoc.
Evidence of the existence of wine-making on the site of Lafite dates from the 14th century and records of the wine itself date from 1641. Chateau Lafite was purchased by Baron James de Rothschild, a member of the famous banking family, in 1868 and has been presided over by Eric de Rothschild since 1974.
Within the Pauillac appellation, Lafite is often considered a more elegant, feminine wine when compared to the masculine Latour and the exotic fruitiness of Mouton Rothschild. Since the 1980s, Lafite has produced great vintages on a regular basis and has become the favourite wine of Asia. Used as a good luck charm during business transactions in China, this iconic wine will continue to dominate the market for years to come.