- Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW rated the 2014 vintage 96-points this week.
- Highly scored ‘off’ vintages tend to trade below £5,000 (12×75).
- A release price of around £4,200, in line with the 2012 and 2013’s opening offers, would look compelling.
Next week will see the ex-cellar releases of Château Latour’s 2014 grand vin and 2016 vintage of second label Les Forts de Latour.
Although the Pauillac First Growth excused itself from the en primeur system a decade ago, critics continue to taste its wines on a regular basis and there are plenty of scores for both wines.
Critics align on their 2014 scores
The most recent notes are from Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, who released scores on the wines for her new venture, The Wine Independent this week.
She rated the 2016 96-points, saying it was as ‘deliciously drinkable as it is cerebral’. She was similarly impressed with Les Forts which she scored 95-points.
As can be seen in the tables below, her scores are broadly in line with other critics. James Suckling was the most impressed and scored the wine 99 points in 2019.
By contrast, Neal Martin initially scored the wine 96-points when writing for Wine Advocate in 2017. Back then he called it a ‘quintessential Latour…aristocratic and noble’.
Reviewing for Vinous a year later he found it more ‘solid’ and marked it down to 95-points. However, he added that there was still ‘elegance and stylishness to spare’ and said it should not be under-estimated.
A note on past release prices
It was somewhat unfortunate that Latour’s decision to withdraw from en primeur sales coincided with a slight lull in Bordeaux vintage quality.
As such, the first ex-château releases from the estate were the 2012 and 2013 vintages. The former is a well-rated vintage for Latour (the ‘wine of the vintage’ in some circles) but its release was thrown into disarray by the pandemic. Meanwhile the 2013 vintage as a whole is not highly regarded by any critics.
By contrast, the 2014 vintage carries broad appeal as an excellent source of well-priced ‘drinking’ wines. Many wines from that vintage – across multiple estates – continue to offer compelling value and Latour’s should be no exception.
Both the 2012 and 2013 were released at £4,200 per dozen and have risen in price since release. The wines are up 10% and 4% respectively.
Seeing as the 2014 is scored considerably better than the 2013 and broadly the same as the 2012, it would seem logical for this pricing trend to be maintained. The question is, will it?
What is the right price for Latour 2014?
Latour prices show a strong correlation to Neal Martin scores (97%). Looking at the Fair Value chart below, an opening price of £4,200 per 12×75 would look well-judged.
It would look even better when considering the 96-point scores of Antonio Galloni, Perrotti-Brown and Jane Anson (shown by the blue dot).
Our ‘Fair Value’ methodology hypothesises that wines will tend towards this line of regression over time. Typically, though not always, the most ‘undervalued’ wines provide the best returns as the price moves up to ‘Fair Value’ in the secondary market, whereas ‘overvalued’ wines provide the worst return.
With this definition in mind, any price that brings the 2014 under the regression line (around 95-96 points seen in the chart below) would represent fair value. But the question is also how a new release compares to equivalent physical vintages.
The 2012 has a current Market Price of £4,600 and similar scores, any opening offer above that price for the 2014 might lead potential buyers to sit back and weigh up their options.
Liv-ex analysis is drawn from the world’s most comprehensive database of fine wine prices. The data reflects the real time activity of Liv-ex’s 560+ merchant members from across the globe. Together they represent the largest pool of liquidity in the world – currently £100m of bids and offers across 16,000 wines. Independent data, direct from the market.
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