“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.
In 1815, Guillaume Lawton said of Château Lafite, “I consider it to be the the most elegant and delicate, with the finest substance of the three (Premier Crus). The location of its vines is one of the finest in the Médoc”. In 1855 the Château was ranked as a Premier Grand Cru in the famous classification that was prepared for the Universal Exhibition of that year.
The vineyard was at one time owned by Alexander de Segur, proprietor of Châteaux Latour and Calon Segur. Lafite became public property in 1794, after the owner (the President of the Parliament of Guyenne) had been guillotined in the Revolution. After changing hands a few more times, the Rothschild family acquired the property when it was put up for auction in 1868 and remain the owners today. The second label of Lafite Rothschild is Carruades de Lafite.
This stunning wine is still extremely young, with an amazingly expressive nose with tea leaf hints. The aromatics keep building and building in the glass, and the elegance and persistency shine through. This was a drought year, unusual because it was almost perfect from beginning to end with not a drop of rain from May to October. Temperatures were not hot like 2003, of course, so the ripening was slow and complete, with relatively small yields and relatively high alcohol. This is full of energy and the flavours just keep on going, while those tannis have really started to embrace the fruit and showcase their elegance. It’s concentrated and luscious yet focussed and beautifully balanced – the perfect example of how they don’t need excess to deliver something truly extraordinary in Bordeaux.