“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.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 2014 has layers of blackberry and boysenberry fruit, still that hint of juniper berry, certainly a more extrovert Lafite-Rothschild compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, very focused and quite linear, again with plenty of black fruit laced with cedar and tobacco. It begins to clam up towards the saline finish, suggesting that it will need several years in bottle, but I still have high expectations for this First Growth once afforded several years in bottle.