Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Review of the Estate

Château Lafite Rothschild is a wine estate in France, owned by members of the Rothschild family since the 19th century. The name Lafite comes from the Gascon term "la hite" meaning "small hill".

Lafite was one of four wine-producing Châteaux of Bordeaux originally awarded First Growth status in the 1855 Classification, which was based on recent prices. Since then, it has been a consistent producer of one of the world's most expensive red wines.

Situated in the wine-producing village of Pauillac in the Médoc region to the north-west of Bordeaux, Chateau Lafite Rothschild was the property of Gombaud de Lafite in 1234. In the 17th century, the property of Château Lafite was purchased by the Ségur family, including the 16th century manor house that still stands. Although vines almost certainly already existed on the site, around 1680, Jacques de Ségur planted the majority of the Lafite vineyard.

In the early 18th century, Nicolas-Alexandre, marquis de Ségur refined the wine-making techniques at Chateau Lafite, and introduced his wines to the upper echelons of European society. Before long he was known as the "Wine Prince", and the wine of Château Lafite called "The King's Wine" thanks to the influential support of the Maréchal de Richelieu. Towards the end of the 18th century, Chateau Lafite's reputation was assured and even Thomas Jefferson visited the estate and became a lifelong customer.

The first half of the 19th century saw Chateau Lafite in the hands of the Vanlerberghe family and the wine improved more, including the great vintages of 1795, 1798 and 1818. On 8 August 1868, the Château was purchased by Baron James Mayer Rothschild for 4.4 million francs, and the estate became Château Lafite Rothschild. Rothschild, however, died just three months after purchasing Chateau Lafite. The estate then became the joint property of his three sons: Alphonse, Gustave, and Edmond Rothschild.

Succeeding his uncle Élie de Rothschild, Chateau Lafite Rothschild has been under the direction of Eric de Rothschild since 1974.

The record price at auction for a bottle of Lafite Rothschild ($156,000) was for a 1787 Chateau Lafite which was once thought to be owned by Thomas Jefferson. The authenticity of the bottle, however, has been challenged.

Recently the Lafite Rothschild 2008 vintage produced a worldwide increase in price of over 125% in 6 months from release, which in turn has come to push some Asian countries to the top of the list of worldwide markets in which investment grade wine is purchased.

 

Vineyard

Surface area: 247 acres

Grape Varieties: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot

Average age of vines: 45 years

Density of plantation: 7,500 vines per hectare

Average yields: 48 hectolitres per hectare

Average cases produced: 17,500 per year

Plateau of maturity: 10-50 years

 

Chateau Lafite Rothschild Performance History Graph

*Click on the graph below to review the performance of each individual wine*

Lafite Rothschild Performance History Graph

Chateau Lafite Rothschild Wine List

*Click on a wine to view more details including a review, recent price history and tasting notes*

Wine

Point Score

Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1990 96
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1991 86
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1992 89
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1993 88
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1994 90+
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1995 95
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1996 100
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1997 92
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1998 98
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1999 95
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2000 100
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2001 94
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2002 100
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2003 100
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2004 95
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2005 94-98
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2006 97
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2007 94
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2008 98
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2009 99+
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2010 98
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2011 90-93

 Bordeaux Investment Wines - Chateau Lafite Rothschild Review

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