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Lafite Rothschild voted wine of the 2018 Bordeaux vintage

Published:  26 April, 2019

Lafite Rothschild has been voted wine of the 2018 Bordeaux vintage in the Liv-ex 2018 En Primeur survey.

Overall - irrespective of price, Lafite Rothschild was voted wine of the vintage, appearing in 17% of number one picks by the experts taking part in the annual survey released this morning

Cheval Blanc came in second place, with 45% of respondents selecting the wine as one of their top five favourites. Vieux Chateau Certan, Petrus and Lafleur made up the remaining top five respectively.

In the value for money category, which comprises wines with an expected release price of £600 per case, Branaire Ducru took first place, knocking Grand Puy Lacoste off the top spot for the first time in eight years, followed by Capbern, Rauzan Segla, Domaine Chevalier and Beychevelle.

Overall the vintage scored 95.5 points, placing it just below the 2010, 2009, 2016 vintages, but just above the 2015.

A total of 69% of merchants unsurprisingly said they were expecting more demand than the 2017 campaign, although many said this depended on price.

Ex-negociant prices are expected to be 15.6% higher than last year, but 4.8% lower than 2016, on average, according to Liv-ex.

In terms of the “most disappointing wines of the vintage”, the trade was “heavily divided”, with a variety of wines from all appellations lists, said Liv-ex.

“A number of wines listed in the merchants’ table of top wines were also mentioned frequently among their most disappointing.”

Opinion on the Bordeaux 2018 was also mixed with responses ranging from “unusual combination of freshness and power” to “some estates produced their best wine ever”.

On the whole, merchants believed the vintage was “not as homogenous as press reports suggested” with many adding that the vintage was “more mixed than expected”.

One respondent said there were “some great wines, some cooked wines and some green wines. Confusing”.

Many also commented that the alcohol levels were of concern, with one suggesting that “the high pH is an issue to watch. The wines could lose their early freshness”, with another saying “not all the wines are as uniformly brilliant as per 2010 or 2016. But where the wines are good, they are seriously good indeed”.

Many agreed that “it was a vintage where the best winemaking skills shone”, with one adding that it was a “vintage that was made.

It didn’t make itself. Great vintages make themselves”.

Designed to track the consensus of opinion among the best professional tasters of young Bordeaux, the annual survey is based on Liv-ex’s 430 members - all buyers and sellers of fine wine.