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Lafite's Mystique Lures Wine Bidders to Spend $1.82 Million  - 19th December 2008
By William Cohen - http://www.wineinvestment.org


Due to the economic meltdown, many bidders thought financial jitters would mean softer prices. However a top-quality, single- owner collection, mostly consisted of first-growth Bordeaux reds and Burgund Domaine de la Romanee Conti, all were purchased on release. Most were in original wooden cases and perfectly stored, which command a premium.

One of the eye-opening auction trends of the past two years has been the rise of the Lafite brand, especially in Asia. Prices of older vintages are double the price of those in Bordeaux first. Nobody saw this coming when a particular demographic attacks a specific type of wine, i.e. Lafite''.

At a recent auction in New York, people battled against each other for the first case of 1982 Lafite, taking it for over $50k ($5ka bottle), a world record, beating case lots of auction darling 1982 Chateau Petrus. The six other cases of '82 Lafite went for $33k to $40k. Two years ago, it traded for approximately $10k a case.

A private wine club owner said “A single bottle of '82 in a retail shop is $10k. It would be displayed like a treasure, people do business while drinking, so if you treat to such a great, expensive bottle of wine, you will be taken more seriously''.
 
Many people have said Lafite is popular because the name is easier to pronounce, an Asian representative pointed out that Lafite was the first wine to be identified in China as “great''. Its not just Asia who buys Lafite. It's a favorite in the U.K. and Europe, too.

A recent wine investment fund (who picked up an imperial of 2000 and cases of '96 and '86 magnums) suggested, “most prices are holding because provenance is the name of the game''.
 
Lafite has always been Bordeaux's most famous property and its wine the most elegant, with more finesse than power. The 1980s bottles, “82 and 86” are the stars, with layers of flavour and luscious ripe fruit unlike the 1970 bottles “75, and 76” which are seen to be dinner disappointments. It is noted that the “85 is succulence and finesse, the 88 is tight and structured and the 89 is developed, with a mineral-tinged and smooth taste”. Out of the 10 vintages from the 90s, the deep, concentrated 95 and 96 is powerful, intense and higher- priced 96.

     
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
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