Lafite Rothschild 2018 was ‘wine of the vintage’ with potential perfect scores from James Suckling and The Wine Advocate. Rumours of a special label being released for this commemorative vintage have been confirmed and we expect the price to continue to rise, it was released at £5,980 per 12 and the current trading price is £6,400. Enter Lafite Rothschild 2019, which once again demands attention and is again among the wines of the vintage, having already been awarded 99-100 points from James Suckling, mimicking his score from last year. Of it he says ‘Graphite and tar. Stunning. It’s full-bodied yet shows such harmony and polish. Elegance and complexity with finesse. The tannins are so integrated and endless. It goes on for minutes.’ It promises to be another future legend, however, the price makes it a brilliant release. It was scored 97-99 last night by Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate, who desribes it as displaying; ‘Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls effortlessly out of the glass with compelling notions of baked black cherries, ripe blackberries and crème de cassis followed by hints of mocha, licorice, smoked meats and Sichuan pepper with a waft of eucalyptus.’ We tasted it last night and it is every bit the successor to 2018, it is modernistic classicism, yet far from a renaissance, more a dialectic: it speaks of the richness of 2018, with the structure of 2016.
Released today at £5,112 per 12 or £2,556 per case of six, this wine is unmissable for collectors and investors. It reflects a £868, or 15% reduction to last year’s release price and 20% to its current trading price. It also provides a 12% discount to the average trading price of vintages running back to 2005. As a truly great vintage this provides brilliant short-term upside for those who secure an allocation. Indeed, its Price Over Points ratio (POP) is 284, significantly lower than all other vintages, with the exception of the 2017. There is no doubt this is a stellar release and will be met with huge demand.

Lafite RothschildWAJSReleasePricePOP
201997-9999-100£5,112£5,112284
201898-10099-100£5,980£6,400337
201797+98£4,950£4,950283
201699100£5,650£6,000316
201596+99£4,350£5,250328
20149598£2,900£4,875325
20139095£3,200£4,900490
20129195£4,000£4,800436
201190-9394£4,950£4,850422
201010099£12,000£7,000350
200997100£13,000£7,000412
20089895£1,850£6,925385
200794n/a£2,500£6,100436
200695n/a£3,200£5,950397
200596100£3,750£6,700419

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.

 

While the release price and quality of Lafite Rothschild will be remembered for years, L’Evangile should be a wine collectors take very seriously in 2019. It is a darling of the Barons de Rothschild stable, a wine they cherish, a triumph of the right bank. As they secured the prime terroir in Pauillac, so too they acquired some of the finest terroir in Pomerol, among the hum of Vieux Chateau Certan, Petrus and its nearest estate Cheval Blanc. It has been released this year for £1,752 per case of 12 or £876 per six, a 22% discount to 2018.
 

L’EvangileWAJSReleasePrice
201996-9897-98£1,752£1,752
201897-9995£2,200£2,200
20179595£2,100£2,100
20169799£2,125£2,050
201597+100£1,560£1,800
20149594£880£1,020
201388-8990-91£530£960
20129495£530£960
201188-9091£750£920
201098+96£1,800£2,000
200910099£1,700£2,900
20089493£640£1,000
200788n/a£825£900
200693n/a£995£990
200596100£1,150£1,950

It has been awarded 97-98 points from James Suckling his best since 2016, who is clearly impressed by a stylistic change. ‘It’s long and structured with a blue-fruit and stone undertone to the palate. Some sage, too. More balanced than in the past. Extremely persistent on the palate.’ It has also been scored 96-98 points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown, who says ‘the palate is wonderfully concentrated with seductive layers of exotic spice-laced black fruit preserves and a velvety texture, finishing long and with just enough freshness. Tantalizingly moreish!.’ It is the most refined modern L’Evangile, transcending Bordeaux with opulent Beckstoffer To Kalon-esque blockbusting bravado, yet with a nuance that is a signature of Bordeaux. It is hard not to be impressed and at this price, sub £150 a bottle, it looks like a steal for a Pomerol of this renown.