1978 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) WS94
1978 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) [Top Shoulder] WS94
1979 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml)
1979 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml)
1987 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml)
1987 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) [Nicked Label]
1988 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) RP94
1988 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Premier Cru Classe, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) RP94
1989 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, OWC, 6ltr DR98/JS97
1993 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml)
1994 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml)
1997 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml)
1998 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) RP96
2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Magnum (1.5L) JS100/RP98+
2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Premier Cru Classe, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) WS95/RP94
2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) [Slight Tissue StainedLabel] WS95/RP94
2006 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Premier Cru Classe, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) RP97
2008 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) RP98
2011 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) WS94
2016 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, OWC, Magnum (1.5L) JD100/JS100
2016 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, [Banded], Case of 6 btls JD100/JS100
2017 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) JS98/RP97+
2017 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Case of 6 btls JS98/RP97+
2019 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac [Banded], Case of 6 RP100/JS100
2019 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) RP100/JS100

The Château Lafite - A Bordeaux Wine Icon

Situated in the prestigious Bordeaux region in France lies the legendary Château Lafite, a name synonymous with excellence and heritage in the world of fine wine. This historic estate has a rich history dating back several centuries and produces some of the most sought-after wines in the world. In this blog, we will delve into the captivating story of Château Lafite, explore its winemaking traditions, and discover what makes its wines so special.

Terroir and Vineyards

"Lafite has a soul, a beautiful, kind, and generous soul. Lafite turns the land into a dream. Lafite is harmony, harmony between nature and man because, without our wonderful winemakers, nothing would be done." – Baron Eric de Rothschild

Château Lafite's exceptional wines are the result of a unique combination of terroir and meticulous winemaking practices. The estate is located in the Pauillac appellation, within the Médoc region of Bordeaux where the composition of gravel and clay in this terroir plays a crucial role. These elements act as natural regulators, managing water levels with finesse—absorbing, soaking, supporting, tightening, or loosening, easing, and freeing. In a delicate dance with the environment, they nourish the soil without excess, creating a harmonious balance. The 112-hectare vineyard, situated on well-drained gravel and sand over limestone subsoil, is divided into three parts. The vines on the hillsides surrounding the château contribute to the grand vin, while the adjacent Carruades plateau yields grapes for the second wine, Carruades de Lafite. Additionally, a plot in Saint-Estèphe adds a unique touch to the estate's wines. This region’s gravelly soils and maritime climate create the ideal conditions for cultivating Cabernet Sauvignon, the dominant grape variety in Château Lafite's vineyards.

Château Lafite's vineyards are planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. The estate's vineyards are meticulously maintained, with a strong emphasis on sustainable and organic viticultural practices. This commitment to the land and the vines is reflected in the quality of the grapes used to produce their wines.

An Illustrious History

Château Lafite, often referred to as Château Lafite Rothschild, has a history that dates back to the 17th century. The estate was acquired by the wealthy Ségur family in 1670 and, in 1716, the estate passed into the hands of Jacques de Ségur. Under his ownership, the reputation of Château Lafite soared, earning it the nickname "The King's Wine" due to its association with King Louis XV. This royal connection solidified its status as one of the most prestigious wineries in Bordeaux. In 1787, even American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson recognized its greatness during a visit to Bordeaux, later gaining status as a first growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification.

Baron James de Rothschild acquired Château Lafite in 1868, passing it on to his three sons. This marked a significant turning point in the history of the estate, as the Rothschilds brought their financial expertise and commitment to quality winemaking to Château Lafite. While the estate faced periods of inconsistency in the 20th century, it has since become a paragon of reliability and quality since the mid-1990s. Today, Château Lafite is under the same ownership as the neighboring property Duhart-Milon and is part of the expansive portfolio of Domaines Barons de Rothschild.

The Winemaking Philosophy

Château Lafite's winemaking philosophy emphasizes minimal intervention, with each plot fermented separately to preserve the distinct terroir andeco-friendly practices in both the vineyards and winery. The grapes are carefully hand-harvested, and a rigorous selection process ensures that only the finest fruit is used in their wines. The estate employs a combination of stainless steel and wooden vats for fermentation and aging, allowing for precise control over the winemaking process. The grand vin typically blends 80-95% Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented by Merlot and aged for up to 20 months in new oak barrels. Carruades de Lafite, the second wine, showcases a higher proportion of Merlot (30-50%) and undergoes 18-20 months of aging.

Château Lafite's Remarkable Wines

Château Lafite is best known for its two flagship wines, Château Lafite Rothschild and Carruades de Lafite. Château Lafite Rothschild is the estate's grand vin, known for its elegance, finesse, and ability to age gracefully for decades. This quintessential Bordeaux wine has gained many praises and perfect scores throughout years:

RP100 on the 2010 “Full-bodied, rich and densely packed with perfumed black fruit layers, it has a rock-solid backbone of fantastically ripe, grainy tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing very long and minerally. Still very youthful!” Lisa Perrotti-Brown Mar 2020

RP100” The 2003 Lafite Rothschild comes as close to perfection as any of the great Lafites made over the past three decades (1982, 1986, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010. This is one of the candidates for the wine of the vintage – make no mistake about that. These are two great successes in this vintage that have aged well and surprised me by their intensity and overall complexity.” Robert Parker Aug 2014

RP100 on the 1953 “On two occasions I rated the 1953 100 and on another occasion, nearly perfect. According to some old-timers, the wine has been fully mature for almost 30 years. It possesses that extraordinary Lafite fragrance of minerals, lead pencil, cedar, and spice. It is velvety-textured, wonderfully round, and sweet, but so well-delineated and balanced. It is best purchased today in magnum and larger formats unless you can be assured the wine came from a cold cellar and has not been traded frequently. Last tasted 10/94.” Robert Parker Dec 1997

Carruades de Lafite is the second wine of the estate, made from younger vines, less than 25 years, and parcels that don't meet the stringent criteria for the grand vin. However, it still maintains a high standard of quality, offering a more approachable and earlier-drinking Bordeaux experience.

A Must-Try in Any Wine Portfolio

Château Lafite, with its rich history, exceptional terroir, and unwavering commitment to quality, stands as a shining example of Bordeaux winemaking excellence. Whether you're a seasoned wine enthusiast or just beginning your journey, a bottle of Château Lafite is a taste of Bordeaux's finest and an experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Written by: Arabella Maislinger

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