Ending months of intense speculation Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton-Rothschild have released prices for the 2005 vintage.

Lafite has released 40% of last year’s quantity at €300 per bottle. Negociants are selling that on to merchants at between €360 and €375.

Mouton was released €320 to negociants and has hit the UK market at between £3,300 and £3,800 a case.

Lafite, at €360 per bottle, or €4320 per case, will be one of the most expensive releases ever. It is a 275% increase on last year’s price.

And that is just the first tranche. Three or four other batches will follow, each with a hike in price.

Most of the first growths will not go onto the market for a few days – until all tranches have been released and merchants know what the final price will be.

Mouton however has been released for sale by some merchants. Gary Boom, managing director of London-based Bordeaux Index, said he did not want to risk not selling any of his 80-case allocation, so he was putting it on the market immediately.

‘I didn’t want any cases left on my hands. It’s a lot of money for a Mouton that didn’t get 100 points.’

Mouton was given 19/20 by Decanter, and a potential 96 by Robert Parker.

When all the wine is released, the price increase should make decanter.com’s February prediction that the first growths would be 300% up look conservative.

That price is what the wine trade – importers – will buy the wine at. With merchants’ margins added it will work out at around £4000 per case in the UK.

Bordeaux negociants are now waiting on four other wines to release their prices: two first growths, Chateaux Margaux, and Latour (Haut Brion has already released at €240), and St Emilion premier grand cru classes Ausone and Cheval Blanc.

Ausone is predicted to be the most expensive wine in Bordeaux this year, with bottle prices of €500 being suggested by high-level sources in St-Emilion.

See also

Parker slams Medoc for ‘pride, provincial jealousies and greed’

Bordeaux chateaux: fair price or ‘profiteering’?

Bordeaux 2005 likely to ‘zoom up’

Written by Adam Lechmere