New Emissary

Rothschild’s, Suntory Collaborate

The story of Lafite wine continues in Japan, where 2 major names are collaborating on a new selection.

Last month I mentioned the incredible story of Château Lafite Rothschild’s Bordeaux—the selection that simply grows stronger and stronger by the month, at least in the Asian wine market, like ‘a well-fed Godzilla.’

At that time, already nearly $15 million worth of wine had been sold in the fledgling ‘liquid gold’ business centred on a series of recurring high-profile auctions held in Hong Kong. At the Christie’s auction this season, an 18-bottle lot of 2000 Lafite sold for $54,000, stunning many.

Counterpart Sotheby’s has yet to make its nearly 2000 bottles of Lafite (produced over a span of 139 years) available to eager wine investors in a sale that will take place later this month.

However, during two other wine auctions held over the first weekend of October, the auction house far surpassed estimates, selling $13 million worth of fine wine, with a case of 2005 Romanée-Conti 2005 taking the lead by hitting $232,000 for the final price.

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Meanwhile, I’ve come across an informative blog by a wine connoisseur of 30 years, Nick Stephen, who recently wrote on a new Lafite venture in our region. According to Stephen, Suntory—one of Japan’s foremost alcohol distributors and one of its most recognized brand names—has had business ties with Domaines Barons de Rothschild’s Chateau Lafite since as far back as 1985 (way before the current Asian Lafite boom).

And the two renowned names are now releasing a limited selection wine called Century, that ‘celebrates a century of grape cultivation at Suntory’ on December 1, for around $230 a bottle. Since there will only be 1,200 bottles in total made available, I’m sure it will garner the attention of many Japanese wine enthusiasts eager to try Suntory’s first-ever co-produced wine.

For more on the history of Suntory wine and its collaboration with Rothschild’s Stephen’s post can be read here.