Named Lafite since at least as early as 1234, this enigmatic celebrity of a Bordeaux château has been owned by the Rothschild family since 1868.
“I have discovered the wine of Château Lafite to be a delicious, generous cordial, comparable to the ambrosia of the Gods of Olympus” Maréchal de Richelieu (1755)
Ranked as the very best of the Premiers Grands Crus Classés in 1855, Lafite has been one of the world’s most expensive red wines ever since. On the hill just north of Pauillac, with the land around the stream given over to a beautiful park and gardens, the Lafite property is just as pretty as its wines.
“Lafite has a soul, a beautiful, generous, kindly soul. Lafite turns bare earth into heaven. Lafite is harmony, a harmony between man and nature, because without our magnificent winegrowers, nothing would be accomplished.” Baron Eric de Rothschild
One of the largest Médoc estates, the vineyards are planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot and have an average age of 39 years old. One peculiarity of Lafite is that a small, but very highly prized, vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon vines is not actually in Pauillac at all, but in the adjoining commune of St Estèphe. The wine from this parcel almost always ends up in the Grand Vin, but the property has a special exemption allowing this cross-border labelling.
The volumes of the Grand Vin vary according to the vintages, but is often less than half the total crop with 20,000 cases made. The second wine, Carraudes de Lafite, has a slightly higher percentage of Merlot and is therefore more approachable in youth.