Chateau Lafite Rothschild ’09 Slides to Record Low on Liv-Ex

Photographer: Elin McCoy/Bloomberg

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild's cellar and vineyards in Pauillac, France. Close

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild's cellar and vineyards in Pauillac, France.

Photographer: Elin McCoy/Bloomberg

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild's cellar and vineyards in Pauillac, France.

A case of 2009 Chateau Lafite Rothschild sold for 6,750 pounds ($10,900) on the Liv-ex market last week, taking the vintage to a record low amid selling pressure on top Bordeaux as investors focus on other regions.

The trade on Oct. 18 followed 12 bottles selling for 6,872 pounds the previous day, according to date on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website. The vintage traded at 8,340 pounds as recently as April and peaked at 14,350 pounds in February 2011, at the height of Asian demand for Lafite and other top Bordeaux labels.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, tracking leading Bordeaux vintages, has declined since March 15, paring an 8 percent gain made in the previous 11 weeks to leave it up 1 percent since the start of this year. Lafite, a first-growth wine estate in the Pauillac region on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, is one of the highest-priced growers of Medoc with Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Margaux, particularly for older vintages from the 1980s and 1990s.

A decline in the proportion of first-growth wines traded on Liv-ex in recent weeks “is an indicator of the negative sentiment that pervades the market,” Liv-ex said in a market commentary blog.

Family Estate

Eighteen bottles also sold on the Liv-ex market on Oct. 21, 12 for 6,900 pounds a case and six for the equivalent of 6,600 pounds a case, pushing the trading range even lower, according to Liv-ex data. The vintage has fallen from the 10,000 pounds a case at which it traded in May 2010, immediately after its release to the market.

The vintage was rated 99+ on a 100-point scale by U.S. critic Robert Parker in an online tasting note in February last year, making it the estate’s highest-rated since the 2003 wine, which scored a perfect 100 points.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild has more than 100 hectares (247 acres) planted with red-grape vines. Cabernet Sauvignon typically makes up from 80 percent to 95 percent of its wine, with Merlot from 5 percent to 20 percent, and smaller quantities of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

The vineyards, owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), date back at least to the 17th century and the estate has been under the control of the Rothschild family since 1868, when Baron James de Rothschild, then head of its French branch, acquired the property.

To contact the reporter on this story: Guy Collins in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Sillitoe at

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