Château Lafite Rothschild

Château Lafite Rothschild

  • Pauillac, 
  • Bordeaux, 
  • france
Background

Château Lafite Rothschild is one of only five classified first growths and thus the designation as 1er Cru Classé. The vintage rankings of the Universal Paris Exposition in 1855 officially gave Lafite the rating as “Leader among fine wines.” The vineyard covers 264 acres and is divided into three separate areas: the hilly ground close to the Château, the plateau of the Carruades and a plot in the commune of Saint Estèphe (special permission was granted to incorporate these wines into the Pauillac appellation). The soil is composed of fine gravel mixed with aeolian sand and planted with four classic Médoc grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%). The average age of the vines is 35 years but those that produce the Grand Vin selection are 45 years or older. In August 1868, Baron James de Rothschild purchased Château Lafite and it has remained in the family for six generations. The property is currently run by Baron Eric de Rothschild.

TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES

After a rather mild winter, there were two nights of severe frost in the spring, causing major damage on Bordeaux’s vineyards. Miraculously, Lafite emerged unscathed. Conditions then became excellent, with higher than usual temperatures and balanced, rainfall. After heavy rain at the end of June, temperatures remained slightly below average for the rest of the summer. This enabled a slow, steady ripening of the grapes from “mi-véraison” (when the grapes change color) to mid-September when the harvests began. A final rainy spell from September 10–12 disrupted the otherwise perfect weather without impacting the quality of the grapes.

Winemaking & Aging

Depending of their provenance and level of ripeness, grapes are transferred into either wooden, stainless steel or concrete vats. The maceration period varies for each tank but is around 22 days in total. After malolactic fermentation wines are transferred into French oak barrels from la Tonnellerie des Domaines (the Lafite cooperage in Pauillac), which contributes to its unique style. The grand vin selection is made in March, once the wines have settled and start revealing their full potential. Once blended, the wine is aged 15 mo. more in barrels, primarily of new oak.

Tasting Notes

Deep, dark color. Enormous aromatic potential will be revealed over time. Very fresh, with delicate notes of cedar and mint. Intense and vibrant on the palate. The wine presents a very harmonious character, combining finesse and concentration.

Appellation

Pauillac

grape varieties

92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot

Sizes

750ml

technical details
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • TA: 3.35 g/l
  • Ph: 3.94
  • Closure: Cork
winemaker

Eric Kohler

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