On a call yesterday with Mike King our principle buyer I felt very envious of this experience. He told me about a conversation he had with Charles Chevallier, winemaker at Lafite Rothschild and Director of Domaines Barons de Rothschild:
‘I don’t like to talk of comparisons between one vintage and another – after all each has its own character and merits. However, I was fortunate enough to recently make a rare trip away from Bordeaux to South America, where a Brazilian fine wine enthusiast / collector put on a very special event. Over the course of 2 weekends we tasted from his own collection 120 vintages of Lafite, ranging from the 1858 to the 2005. Of all these, the one which perhaps showed the most similarities to the density of character, structure and tannins as exhibited by the 2009 was the 1870. Indeed, on tasting it, the wine still seemed to show a youthful streak!’
Of interest perhaps; amidst the wines thus far released in the rather slow / stilted / over-engineered Primeur campaign, 4th growth Duhart-Milon from the Lafite stable (by Charles’ own admission the wine which he takes most satisfaction from in recent years) started trading on its first release at around £650/case. Now on its second tranche, it is trading around 30% higher at £850. Based on this, talk of the 1st growths, (when they at long last enter the fray) starting somewhere not far from the broadly anticipated 750 euros/bottle mark and then reaching 1,000 euros/bottle later within the campaign may not seem quite so far-fetched.
Very interesting and a moment to cherish, wish I was there.