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Spotlight On: First-Growth Bordeaux 1982 vs. Lafite 1982

Lafite 1982 outpaces the other four first-growths from 1982

John Siudut
Posted: June 4, 2008

The 1982 vintage for Bordeaux is a modern classic that continues to attract considerable interest from collectors. The index for the five first-growths from Bordeaux 1982 has gained 531 percent since the fourth quarter of 1995. In the past three years, prices have been rising at a faster pace, adding 128 percent of that total. While these numbers are staggering, closer examination reveals that one wine's value is soaring far above the other four: since the third quarter of 2005, the average value of the Château Lafite Rothschild 1982 (94 points, $41 release, $2,643 current) rose a meteoric 328 percent, from $618 to $2,643.

In comparison, the value of the Château Latour 1982 (98, $NA release, $1,586 current)—the closest first-growth from 1982 in terms of performance in the auction market—has increased 93 percent since the third quarter of 2005, and has been decreasing in value since its peak of $1,757 in the third quarter of 2007. Château Mouton-Rothschild 1982 (98, $38 release, $1,189 current) has gained only 62 percent since the third quarter of 2005 and, similar to Latour, has lost significant ground from its high of $1,437 in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Anyone wishing to add the Lafite 1982 to his or her cellar will have a chance this coming June 20 and 21 when Zachys will hold its late spring auction in Los Angeles. Most of the Lafite 1982 lots have high estimates from $2,500 to $2,600 a bottle.

This data comes from the Wine Spectator Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions. The average prices from each quarter have been indexed to 100 beginning in the fourth quarter of 1995. This chart plots the index value of the average price of first-growth Bordeaux from 1982 against that of Lafite 1982 and the first growth Bordeaux from 1982 without Lafite averaged in.

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