Château Lafite-Rothschild is frequently said to be the most eminent among the Premier Cru in Medoc. It is a mith among worldwide collectors.
The prince of the bordelais has its roots in the village of Pauillac, in the Medoc district.
It all started back in the second half of 17th century, when Jacques de Ségur set up the estate in an entrepeneurial way. Château Lafite was the most appreciated at the french Royal court, as well as very fashioned in London. Ownership had changed several times before Baron Jacques de Rotschild bought the property in 1868.
‘Lafite’ is guascon dialect for ‘hillok’, the estate’s vineyards are indeed within the hillside close to the castle and the level ground called Carruades, from which comes the Second Vin’s name Les Carruades de Lafite. The average vine’s age is around 40 years old; the fruit coming from plots planted to vines of 10 year old and up goes into the Grand Vin.
The Grand Vin, Château Lafite-Rothschild, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (between 80% and 95%), Merlot (between 5% and 20%), Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (up to 5% xx).
Vinification occurs either in traditional wooden vats or in modern steel tanks. A new cellar for Merlot was recently built, provided with small concrete vats. Malolactic occurs in steel, therafter the wine starts to mature in barriques. After having tasted wine from every barrel, the Chef de Cave determines which of them will go into the Grand Vin blend. After that the first racking is done. A further 18 to 20 month wood ageing period precedes the bottling.
Château Lafite-Rothschild is a classy Bordeaux , marked by an unmatched elegance. This is what distinguish it from the other Premier Grand Crus Classé. Its personality is distant from Château Mouton-Rothschild’s opulence or Château Latour’s power.