Chateau Lafite Rothschild has released its 2011 at €420 per bottle to the wine trade, a reduction of 30% on last year's price of €600.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2011: First major name to release
The wine will be €420 ex-negociant, and merchants will wait to announce their price until they are sure of their allocations. The ex-chateau price is €350.
Merchants are still digesting the news but one or two have commented in pleased terms.
An email from Farr Vintners read, ‘Welcome news on the pricing and let’s hope that other chateaux follow this lead and allow us to sell at a lower price than we sell physical vintages.’
Both they and Berry Bros also said they were pleased there was no ‘tie-in’ with the Rothschild-owned Sauternes Chateau Rieussec, which last year merchants were obliged to buy along with their Lafite allocation.
There is now a good deal of uncertainty about how the rest of the blue-chip properties will react to this price.
‘I doubt very much that Mouton, Haut-Brion, Margaux and Cheval Blanc will be able to sell at €350,’ Simon Staples at BBR told Decanter.com.
His prediction – with the proviso that this was a very early state of the campaign – was that Lafite’s sister property Mouton-Rothschild, for one, would release a very small tranche at €350 and then price the following tranches according to market reaction.
Lafite’s announcement will also unleash a wave of speculation as to how this year’s most-lauded wines, such as the third-growth Chateau Palmer, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Montrose or Calon-Segur.
Palmer was given five stars and 18.5 points by Steven Spurrier for Decanter, the others 18 points, or four stars.
See all Decanter’s Bordeaux 2011 en primeur ratings
Written by Adam Lechmere