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Château Lafite Rothschild
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Top Vintages Produced:
1848, 1865, 1870, 1899, 1900, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009
Lafite Rothschild – Premier Cru Classé in 1855 and 1973
Carruades de Lafite – Appellation Pauillac Contrôlée
Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%)
Lafite Rothschild – First Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon (80%-95%), Merlot (5%-20%), Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
Carruades de Lafite – Second Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon (50%-70%), Merlot (30%-50%), Petit Verdot
As Bordeaux’s most famous property, Château Lafite Rothschild has a reputation steeped in prestige. This reputation
is supported by a rich and multi-layered history and is maintained by the estate’s production of exceptional wines with
Starting in the late 17th century, Jacques de Ségur first planted and cultivated the vineyards. In the early 18th
century, the Marquis Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur inherited the estate and built upon Lafite’s initial successes by marketing
the wines to the nobility of France and across Europe. After an introduction to the Versailles court, demand for Lafite
exploded – it was even referred to as 'The King’s Wine', with Marquis de Ségur known as 'The Prince of Vines'. The
association with famous personalities continued throughout the 18th century with both Robert Walpole (in the 1730's)
and Thomas Jefferson (in the 1780's) frequently purchasing the wines of Château Lafite Rothschild.
After a tumultuous period, including the French Revolution and acquisition by a group of Dutch merchants, management
of the estate was stabilized when Baron James de Rothschild bought the Château in 1868. With the exception of a five-year
occupation by German troops during the Second World War, the Château has remained in the Rothschild family ever since.
Viticulture and Vinification
Occupying the finest crests of land in Pauillac, at just over 100 hectares, Château Lafite Rothschild has one of the
largest vineyard areas in the entire Médoc. Producing approximately 45,000 cases annually, of which between 15,000 and
20,000 are of the first wine, Lafite Rothschild is arguably the most revered of the First Growths. Progressively it has
also become known as a secure and highly-profitable
In the vineyard, the soil is a mix of deep fine gravel and aeolien sand which lies on top of tertiary limestone bedrock.
This combination of various soil types helps impart great complexity to the resulting wine. The fruit is hand-harvested
from one of three plots: a collection of vines surrounding the Château, those on the Carruades plain, and a tiny plot
in St Estèphe. Grapes from each plot are then fermented separately in vats of Bosnian oak so as to maintain their
specific site identity and allow for great flexibility during the final assemblage. After fermentation, maturation
of the wine takes place in 100% new Bordelaise oak barriques for between 18 and 20 months. The resulting wine develops
infinite layers of flavour if cellared properly and it may be savoured and enjoyed
for decades (or even centuries) after bottling.
The entire process, from picking the grapes to bottling, is strictly supervised by Charles Chevallier, the Technical
Director of the estate. Chevallier ensures that tradition and technical progress go hand in hand, continually
strengthening Château Lafite Rothschild’s position at the forefront of the iconic First Growths.
- Lafite Rothschild – Premier Cru Classé in 1855 and 1973
- Carruades de Lafite – Appellation Pauillac Contrôlée
Four varieties are cultivated: Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) with the remainder mostly Merlot (25%).
In addition there are modest plantings of Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%).
- Lafite Rothschild – First Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon dominates with 80 to 95% of the blend.
Merlot’s contribution is usually 5 to 20% and it is balanced with final small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
- Carruades de Lafite – Second Wine: 50 to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 to 50% Merlot and a little Petit Verdot are the components of this blend.
Order top vintages of Château Lafite Rothschild
- Château Lafite Rothschild 2008: (98-100 RP)
"The 2008 Lafite Rothschild is one of the most profound young wines I have ever tasted..." – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
- Château Lafite Rothschild 2003: (100 RP)
"It reveals extraordinary richness, opulence, power, purity, intensity, and viscosity..." – Robert Parker,
The Wine Advocate
- Château Lafite Rothschild 1996: (100 RP)
"This huge Lafite is oozing with extract and richness, yet has managed to preserve its quintessentially elegant personality..." – Robert Parker,
The Wine Advocate