With Chinese New Year – the year of the dog – rapidly approaching, buyers may be interested in the current market positions of wines from previous dog zodiac years, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006.

The acclaimed 1982 vintage stands out as a member of this group. Lafite Rothschild 1982 currently commands an eye-watering £36,000 per case in bond. Last year, a single imperial (600cl) of the wine traded for £22,000.

Lafite is not the top-scoring wine from the ’82, vintage, however. It is rated 97+ by Robert Parker; Latour (£20,000) and Mouton Rothschild (£11,500) are rated 100 by the critic. Margaux (£9,600) scores 98 while Haut Brion (£8,950) has achieved 95. Points do not, therefore, appear to be the primary driver behind the prices of First Growths from this sought after vintage.

The cheapest dog vintage First Growth is Margaux 1970 at £2,724 per 12×75. It was scored a lowly 76 by Robert Parker and 80 by Neal Martin, who called it “dull” and “one-dimensional” – not, perhaps, something to cheers with. Haut Brion from this vintage (92 NM; 85 RP) costs just £35 more.

On the move

Buyers lucky to have acquired some of these wines at release will be looking at very tidy returns. Merchants estimate that the 1982s were released at around £250-300 per 12×75. This means that Lafite has gained a staggering 11,900-14,300% since release.