CHÂTEAU LAFITE ROTHSCHILD

CHÂTEAU LAFITE ROTHSCHILD

PAUILLAC
1er Cru Classé
Owner:
Domaines Barons De Rothschild
Manager:
Christophe Salin
Website
 
"First of the first growths," Château Lafite Rothschild is the most elegant of the great wines of the Médoc. Its finesse and capacity to age are legendary. Château Lafite Rothschild has always been considered as one of the greatest wines of Bordeaux. It lies on what many reckon to be the finest wine-growing terrain in the Médoc.
CHÂTEAU LAFITE ROTHSCHILD

From 1716, Marquis Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur would consolidate Lafite’s initial success. He improved the winemaking techniques and above all enhanced the prestige of fine wines in foreign markets and the Versailles court. He became known as "The Wine Prince", and Lafite’s wine became "The King’s Wine", with the support of an able ambassador, the Maréchal de Richelieu. In 1868 Lafite was bought by Baron James de Rothschild, a member of the French branch of the family. After the occupation of the domain by German troops during World War II, the château was restored by Baron Elie.
Since 1975, Eric de Rothschild has been at the commands of Lafite. Christophe Salin joined Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) in 1985 to assist Baron Eric de Rothschild in the realization of his development plans. As Technical Director, Charles Chevallier runs on a daily basis all Bordeaux Properties of the Group.

All the wines today, year after year, vintage after vintage, are at the pinnacle of quality. Lafite is the largest of the first growths with a total surface area of 178 hectares or 440 acres with 107 hectares or 255 acres under vines. The soil is deep fine gravel mixed with aeolien sand on a bedrock of tertiary limestone. It is well drained with favourable exposure to sunlight.
The grape mix emphasizes Cabernet Sauvignon with some 70%, along with Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and a smattering of Petit Verdot (2%) - a very traditional blending for Médoc wines. The oldest vines are located on the parcel of La Gravière. They have been planted in 1886! After fermentation and maceration of the grapes, the wines are tasted, selected and blended on the basis of their quality in order to distinguish the main wine labeled Lafite Rothschild and the second wine which goes by the name of Carruades de Lafite. Over the past ten years, an average of 40 000 cases of these two wines has been the annual production.
Eric de Rothschild has made major investments in the renewal of the vineyard and the wine-making facilities including the addition of a spectacular circular "chai" or wine storage area designed by the famed architect Ricardo Bofill, capable of holding 2200 barrels. He also invested in a cooperage, which is very important to estates, to have a barrel of high quality.

Château Lafite Rothschild is a wine characterised by finesse and elegance, with a subtle but complex bouquet often redolent of violets. Remarkable for its freshness and depth, the wine presents on the palate an harmonious, well-balanced interplay of ripe tannins, fruit and acidity. Its length on the palate can be astonishing. Well-known for its ageing capacity,Lafite can be enjoyed young but needs ten years for its distinctive bouquet of cedar, cassis, lead-pencil shavings, and floral notes to come into full bloom. Since 1815, Abraham Lawton ranked it as the leader: "I have ranked it as being the most elegant and delicate, with the finest body of the three (leading wines)," this classification was confirmed in 1855. "…whatever the case, all the wines of Château Lafite have an almond and violet aroma!"

"I discovered the wine of Château Lafite to be a generous cordial, delicious and comparable to the Nectar of the Olympic Gods." - Maréchal de Richelieu (1755), a close relative to French King Louis XV.