Lafite Rothschild 2018 is magnificent straight from the barrel, the finest in years. Lisa Perrotti-Brown of the Wine Advocate awards it 98-100 points proclaiming ‘the finish goes on, and on, and on. If this wine doesn’t get Bordeaux lovers hearts’ racing, nothing will’. James Suckling awards it 99-100 points, saying ‘glamorous. Lasts for minutes at the finish’. Lafite Rothschild 2018 is the most likely vintage to reach a perfect double score we have seen in a decade, sumptuous, elegant yet powerful, a masterpiece.
Today’s release price of £5,980 per 12, or £2,990 per six offers a 2% discount to the 99 point scoring 2016, which trades at £6,100 per case, an 18% discount to the 99+ point scoring 2009 and the 98 point scoring 2010, which trade at £7,300. It also offers a 20% discount to the 96 point scoring 2005 which costs £7,450. The average price of any vintage since 2005 which has been awarded 96 points or greater is £6,800, indicating a 12% discount to the release price today. Moreover, this is possibly the greatest modern vintage from Lafite Rothschild, a 100 point score could see this rise above £7,500 after a year in bottle. Since 2012, Lafite Rothschild has averaged a 25% increase since release, it is a prized allocation. Lafite Rothschild is perennially globally oversubscribed and in 2018 volumes on release have been reduced by 30%, which will stretch allocations beyond breaking point.
Lafite Rothschild is a powerhouse in terms of brand, 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 St 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. In 1868 Lafite was purchased by Baron James de Rothschild, a member of the famous banking family and has been presided over by Eric de Rothschild since 1974. Within the Pauillac appellation, Lafite is considered the most elegant, feminine wine when compared to the masculine Latour and the exotic fruitiness of Mouton Rothschild.