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Our Lafite Rothschild wines

Parker Score
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Wine Vintage Case size Price/case Cases
Lafite Rothschild20106×75cl£2,850198LessMore
The 2010 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot (a 3% difference from the barrel sample shown two years ago), achieved relatively high alcohol of 13.32%, according to administrator Charles Chevalier. The wine is very impressive, not as fleshy, flamboyant and massive as the 2009, but nevertheless, a big, rich, full-throttle Lafite-Rothschild meant to age a half century or more. Deep purple, with notes of white chocolate, mocha, cedar and charcoal as well as hints of vanillin and creme de cassis, the wine is full-bodied yet has that ethereal lightness that makes it a Lafite. Rich, with good acidity, precision and freshness, this is a slightly zestier version of the 2009 as well as more restrained and structured than that particular vintage. It will need at least 10-12 years of cellaring and keep for 50+ years.
Lafite Rothschild20126×75cl£1,900192-95LessMore
The classically styled 2012 exhibits attractive elegance, medium body and outstanding concentration, but not the complexity and depth or prodigious qualities of many other recent Lafites. It is a relatively soft, spicy effort displaying notes of crushed rocks, white chocolate, black currants and graphite. It should be drinkable in 5-8 years and last for two decades.

Charles Chevalier was candid in saying that the tropical heat wave, along with the poor flowering resulted in intense labor in the vineyard and during the harvest where triage was the operative word, and had to be done thoroughly and consistently. The 2012 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot, was the result of a harvest that took place between September 28 and October 9 for the Merlot, October 9-16 for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The small amount of Cabernet Franc included in the Carruades de Lafite was harvested on October 11 – 12. Only 38% of the production made it into the grand vin. If the 2012 fills out completely it could turn out similar to the 1998 Lafite.

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Chateau Lafite Rothschild

 

The Lafite estate may have been founded as early as the 14th century, the chateau itself being a manor house built in 16th century followed by the establishment of vineyards in the early 17th century, where records show exports to England soon after. One of the most renowned of all Medoc chateau, and a First Growth from the 1855 classification, Lafite has an extraordinary of proprietorship. The Ségurs, an important family of Bordelaise nobles originally from Pauillac, inherited the estate in 1716 joining it to their then property, Chateau Latour. Through revolution, the trading ascendency of the day, the vagaries of inheritance laws and credit, Lafite, which was subsequently to become Lafite-Rothschild, saw a bevy of owners. First a Ducth consortium, then a Dutch grain merchant, then his wife followed by an English banker. When, in 1868, Baron James de Rothschild, from a different branch of the family to that who had acquired Mouton-Rothschild, succeeded in outbidding fierce interest from a Bordeaux syndicat.  That same year Baron James died, however, he succeeded in ensuring the acquisition of the chateau that would remain a part of the family up to the present day, where, the arrival of Charles Chevalier as director general has seen, since 1994, a significant rise in quality and consistency often competing for wine of the vintage.

Vinification and production

Lafite has one of the largest vineyard holdings in Haut-Médoc with 103 ha/255 acres planted to 71 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 per cent Cabernet Franc, 25 per cent Merlot, and 1 per cent Petit Verdot. 45, 000 cases are produced, approximately 33% of which is the second wine Carruades de Lafite. There is significant varitation in volume levels of the Grand Vin according to the vintage, but typically this would compose less than half the total, often less than 20, 000 cases. The remainder is marketed as generic Pauillac.

At Lafite grapes are hand-harvested and fermented by parcels in stainless steel vats prior to ageing barrique. The Grand Vins sees 100% new wood while Carruades de Lafite, itself with a slightly higher Merlot content, spends time in new and one-year-old barrels.

Lafite Rothschild
Style

More so than its finesse, more even than its elegant power, Lafite is perhaps most known for its remarkable ability to age, which, in the best vintages can be 50 years and quite often longer. More notable still, is how Lafite ages, ‘in the most ethereal way’ as observed by Serena Sutcliff MW, of Sotheby’s.

A wine of great breed and balance, Lafite is a noble wine with a scented elegance and excellent structure and length. Continuity of style with expression of terroir throughout the vintages is, with its extraordinary capacity to age, is the Lafite hallmark.

Top-rated vintages

Vintage
RP
JR
Market price £
£/Parker Points
2009
98-100
19
13750
                      138.89
2008
98-100
17.5+
13500
                      136.36
2006
97
17
8250
                        85.05
2005
96+
18
12350
                      128.65
2004
95
18
8300
                        87.37
2003
100
17.5
13000
                      130.00
2000
98+
18.5
22500
                      229.59
1999
95
18
8700
                        91.58
1998
98
16.5
9250
                        94.39
1996
100
18.5
13500
                      135.00 

 Prices as per May 2011
 

 Market

 
Liv-ex Power 100 ranking
 
2010
Total score
2009
Move
1
15
1
0


Liv-ex Power 100 is a list of the top performers over the previous year and their position starting the current year. The indice traces the movement of chateau and other wines using a sophisticated weighting system based on average prices, production, notional availability and Parker Points.

 

 Release price evolution

Vintage
Ex-negociant €
London release price £
2009
550
11400
2008
130
1590
2007
240
2500
2006
325
3200
2005
360
3750

  

 

Lafite Rothschild at a glance

Commune: Pauillac
Soils: Free draining gravel bed with limestone deposits
Climate: Maritime
District: Medoc
Classification: 1er Cru Classe
Owner: Baron Eric de Rothschild
Wine-maker: Charles Chevalier
Vineyard: 103ha 
/ 255
 acres. 71% Cabernet Sauvignon vines, 25 % Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
Vinification and ageing (grand vin): Fermentation in stainless steel vats followed by new oak barriques for Lafite, with new and 1 year old for Carruades
Production: 45,000 cases
Wines: Lafite Rothschild, Carruades de Lafite and (generic) Pauillac

 

 

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