Chateau Lafite Rothschild Offering

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Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.  Fran Lebowitz

Ya [FIRSTNAME], but only large people can talk about wines like Chateau Lafite Rothschild because only large pocket books can afford them today.  Even the second wine of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Carruades has become a collectible in the far east.  Some wine gurus speculate that Lafite Rothschild is the most popular wine in this area because of ease of pronunciation; Lafite is the only first growth that does not have an "R" in the name.  Let me remind you that Rothschild starts with an "R" and that it may have something to do with the fact that this chateau makes exceptional wines and was classified in 1855 has the top of the top, the best of the best, and it has had fans around the globe for hundreds of years now. 

We are proud to put out an offering of so many great vintages of this great first growth, we even have three vintages of Chateau Lafite Rothschild on this offering that scored (100 Points)!  The real prize on this offering are the 3 Liter bottles of 2003 Lafite- these are from a very special vintage where the conditions produced a perfect wine but only 1/2 of the normal production, meaning large format bottles like these will be worth CRAZY money 10-20+ years from now. 

Vintages of Chateau Lafite Rothschild available:

2006 Carruades de Lafite Pauillac

Price: $300.00  Sale $264

Quantity in Stock: 12

(90 Points) The second wine, which has soared in quality over the last decade, is an outstanding effort displaying a character similar to that of Lafite, without the size, depth, and aging potential of that wine. The 2006 Carruades de Lafite offers up aromas of graphite, cedar, black currants, sweet cherries, and smoky herbs. This complex, more evolved, medium-bodied, silky-textured, sexy offering will provide plenty of pleasure over the next 15+ years. Wine Advocate # 181 Feb 2009

2003 Lafite Rothschild Pauillac (3 Liter)

Price $7500     Sale $6600

(3 bottles)

(100 Points)  A modern day version of the 1959 Lafite, the 2003 Lafite Rothschild was bottled in mid-May, 2005 after achieving 12.9% natural alcohol - hardly an astonishing figure given the vintage’s weather conditions. A combination of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, it represents a ripe version of the essence of Lafite-Rothschild. Dense purple-colored, with classic notes of graphite intertwined with melted licorice, creme de cassis, smoke, and flowers, it reveals extraordinary richness, opulence, power, purity, intensity, and viscosity. Whether this wine will close down or not is questionable as it is somewhat atypical given its sweetness and softness. Analytically, there are extremely high tannins, which I suspect will assert themselves in the future. Production in 2003 was less than half of normal. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2050.  Wine Advocate # 164, April 2006

2002 Carruades de Lafite Pauillac

Price: $300.00  Sale $264

Quantity in Stock: 9

(87 Points)  Similar to its bigger sibling, but leaner and not nearly as concentrated, as one might expect being a second wine, the 2002 Carruades reveals the Lafite fragrance of lead pencil shavings intermixed with red and black currants, plums, and a hint of cherries. Medium-bodied, with tart acidity, this is a wine to drink over the next decade.  Wine Advocate # 158, Apr 2005

2001 Carruades de Lafite Pauillac

Price: $300.00  Sale $264

Quantity in Stock: 5

(90 Points)  Fresh and focused, with violet, berry and cherry character. Medium body, with silky tannins and a clean finish. The second wine of Lafite. Best after 2007. 22,000 cases made. -JS Wine Spectator

2001 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Price: $795       Sale $699.60

(1 case original wood)

(96 Points)  Stick your nose in this and it says something¿"I am special." Deep and generous aromas of blackberries, fresh tobacco and minerals. It's full-bodied, with big velvety tannins and a superlong finish. Like a fine cashmere sweater. Best after 2010. 22,000 cases made. -JS Wine Spectator Issue: Mar 31, 2004

2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Price $2250     Sale $1980

(4 bottles)

(100 Points)  Well, well, well - Lafite Rothschild does it again. Ever since manager Charles Chevalier was transferred from his beloved Sauternes property of Rieussec (also owned by the Rothschilds) to Lafite in 1994, there has been a succession of profound wines to emerge from this noble estate. The 2000 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 93.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.7% Merlot (only 36% of the crop made the grade) has an opaque ruby/purple color, followed by an extraordinary aromatic expression of liquid minerals/stones interwoven with the tell-tale graphite notes, mulberry, black currants, caramel, and tobacco. In the mouth, it is remarkably light on its feet, but somehow seems to pack intense flavors into layer upon layer of fruit and richness that cascade over the palate. A compelling wine, with extraordinary precision, great intensity, and a seamlessness in spite of what are obviously elevated levels of tannin, this wine was provocatively open and beautiful when tasted in January and February, but I am sure it will soon close down. The finish lasted a whopping 72 seconds! This is utterly fascinating stuff. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2050. Wine Advocate # 146

Apr 2003

1999 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Price $750       Sale $660

(7 bottles)

(95 Points)  The 1999 Lafite Rothschild sports an engraved "1999" on the bottle along with an eclipse to mark that significant historical event of August, 1999. It is a quintessential offering from Lafite Rothschild. This prodigious wine is both elegant and intensely flavored, and almost diaphanous in its layers that unfold with no heaviness. An opaque ruby/purple color is accompanied by a complex bouquet of lead pencil, graphite, cedar, creme de cassis, toast, and vanilla. It is medium-bodied, with extravagant layers of richness yet little weight, and a finish that is all sweetness, ripeness, and harmony. This extraordinary Lafite increasingly appears to be a modern day clone of the majestic 1953. A mere one-third of the crop made it into the grand vin! Anticipated maturity: 2007-2030.  Wine Advocate # 140

Apr 2002

1989 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Price $750       Sale $660

(2 bottles)

(93 Points)  Subtle, yet rich and decadent, offering meat, sweet berry and fresh leather on the nose. Full and very soft, with velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. This has so much ripe fruit. Reserved and firm, this is turning to a very fine and shy Lafite. This is fresh and structured, but still holding back. I wouldn't wait, though.¿'89/'99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. -JS

1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Price: $4500.00            Sale $3960

Quantity in Stock: 5

(100 Points) The 1982 Lafite possesses a dark, dense ruby/purple color with only a subtle lightening at the rim. Spectacular aromatics offer jammy cherry and black fruits intertwined with lead pencil, mineral, and smoky wood scents. Powerful for a Lafite, this wine unfolds to reveal extraordinary richness, purity, and overall symmetry in addition to stunning flavor depth and persistence. The finish lasts for nearly a minute. Plenty of tannin remains, and the wine displays a vibrancy and youthfulness that belie its 18 years of age. The modern day equivalent of Lafite-Rothschild's immortal 1959, the 1982 will enjoy another 30-70 years of life! An amazing achievement! Anticipated maturity: 2007-2070. Wine Advocate # 129

June 2000

1979 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Price: $600.00  Sale $528

Quantity in Stock: 3

(92 Points)  Fruity, deep and firm, filled with plum and cherry, backed by youthful, stiff tannins. Needs time for complexity to develop. Try in 1995.--Lafite Rothschild vertical. - Wine Spectator

A brief history of Chateau Lafite Rothschild:

n the opinion of many winelovers and certainly in the opinion of the public at large, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild is the greatest red Bordeaux as well as the greatest red wine vineyard in the world.  The history of the property is certainly as interesting as the wine itself and is too long and complicated to recount in the short space at hand.

Nevertheless, the high points bear repeating.  As with most wines of the Médoc, the fame of Lafite first dates from the eighteenth century.  During the reign of Louis XV, Lafite was owned by the very powerful and wealthy Marquis de Ségur, who also owned Latour, Mouton, and Calon Ségur.  Upon Ségur's death in 1755, the estate became embroiled in a long and complex battle among the heirs.  Over the course of the next one hundred years, it was auctioned twice - the second time in 1868 to the scion of a famous Paris banking family, Baron James de Rothschild.  The selling price was an astounding 4,400,000 francs.  To properly appreciate the significance of this sum, the equally prestigious Mouton-Rothschild had sold a little more than a decade earlier for one quarter of that sum.  The lofty price paid for Lafite was due in no small part to the enormous prestige the property enjoyed as a result of the famous 1855 Grand Cru Classification.  At the Paris Exposition in that year, Bordeaux brokers and merchants compiled a list of the top sixty Médoc chateaux and ranked them in five groups.  Lafite was placed at the very top of the first group - first of the firsts.  Also shortly after the sale to the Rothschilds in 1868, a famous auction of some of the chateau's wonderful old vintages was held.  This was a remarkable event, for the wines fetched hitherto unheard of prices - with the 1811, the great Comet vintage, commanding the highest price of all.  It was without doubt the greatest wine auction that had ever been seen up to that time.  Over the years to the Second World War various Rothschilds ran the chateau, but after the war it seemed that Lafite was just one of many jewels owned by the family - an interest and concern to be visited and supervised when necessary.  The period after 1945 was not one of neglect, but the property certainly did not get the care and attention that cousin Baron Philippe fostered on his beloved Mouton-Rothschild.  As a result many felt that Lafite gradually began to lose its place of preeminence during the postwar years and that the last great Lafite was produced in the 1959 vintage.  In fact, another vintage the equal of the 1959 was not seen for nearly two decades.  That was in 1975, the same year that year that the chateau hired a new winemaker, Jean Crete, formerly of Leoville Las Cases and also engaged the consulting services of Emile Peynaud, the famed University of Bordeaux enologist.  In 1977 a new generation Rothschild, Eric de Rothschild, arrived to oversee the property and become a hands-on proprietor.  The stage was set for Lafite's return to greatness, and the 1975 vintage proved that Lafite still had the stuff.

With nearly 200 acres under vines and an average annual production of 20,000 cases, Lafite is the largest of the first growths both in terms of area and production.  The vineyards lie on slopes in the northern end of the commune of Pauillac.  Across a meadow on its northern border lies the commune of St. Estèphe and the imposing Chinese Gothic architecture of Chateau Cos D'Estournel.  On the Pauillac side, Lafite adjoins Mouton at many points.  The chateau itself is a pleasing compendium of medieval turrets and seventeenth and eighteenth century buildings standing among a row of trees on a hill above the famous Routes des Chateaux.  The chaise (the cellars where the new wine is aged in barrels) are quite impressive, but even more awesome is the magnificent underground cellar where Lafite's unique collection of old wines goes back to the 1797 vintage.  If any one spot on earth is Mecca to the wine lover, it is here at Lafite - the one place that connoisseurs the world over must visit once in their lifetime.

And what is one to say of the wines of Lafite that has not already been expressed with all the gloriously extravagant rhetorical fantasies of bygone days? Without attempting to outdo the embellishments of some of the greatest writers of wine lore, we will say only that, at its best, Lafite is the quintessential claret - a wine that combines finesse, breed, depth, and longevity.  It certainly is a softer wine than Mouton and Latour, the other two great Pauillacs.  This is due no doubt to the high percentage of Merlot used in the blend.  And what about recent vintages of Lafite? It is true that Lafite went through spotty times.  Although 1961, 1966, and 1970 were remarkable vintages for Bordeaux, some critics were not impressed with the Lafites of those years.  However, Lafite has recently made great wines in 1975, 1976 (the best wine in Bordeaux in that vintage), 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 (a monumental year for Lafite), 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Once again Chateau Lafite Rothschild has reached the most coveted wine in the world title in the second decade of the 21st century as Asia has made this wine the most sought after claret from Bordeaux with the Chinese paying astronomical prices for event the second wine, Carruades de Lafite selling for upwards of $300 per bottle in any vintage!

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