As one of the exceptional five first-growth Bordeaux châteaux, Château Lafite Rothschild has enjoyed over a century’s worth of acclaim for its delicately delectable wines. Once the toast of Versailles, discerning connoisseurs from Madame de Pompadour to Maréchal de Richelieu and even King Louis XV himself praised these wines for their aromatic complexities and silky tannins. Not for nothing was Château Lafite Rothschild known as “the King’s wine.” Today, it remains one of the most distinguished labels in the world—and if you are looking to build a top-quality Bordeaux collection, only the best vintages of Château Lafite Rothschild will do.
Château Lafite Rothschild: A Study in Elegance
Bordeaux wine has always been a sensible investment for serious wine collectors. Wine from the Pauillac, in particular, is known for its exceptional quality thanks to the superb climate and soils of the area. Château Lafite Rothschild stands out as possessing a unique salinity and a delicate balance between ripe sweetness and tantalizing tartness that only grows in elegance and finesse as it matures. Even among its fellow premier cru classé wines, it has reigned supreme since 1855 as the first among the first growths thanks to its quality, longevity, and trading price.
This iconic wine has its start in the painstakingly tended vineyards around the Château as well as in Saint Estèphe and the Carruades plateau. The terroir here offers fine, deep gravel, aeolian sand, and tertiary limestone. In the cellars, an innovative vinification process blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot grapes of varying ripeness in as many as 66 different wood, steel, and concrete vats of different sizes. The wine is then aged for 18-20 months in French oak barrels, most of which are produced at the château’s own cooperage. All of this together helps the château to achieve the perfect harmony of flavors for which it is renowned.
The resulting wines are among the most luscious—and lusted-after—in the industry, with an aging potential of 15 to 60 years or more and the promise of significant gains in value over time. Focusing on the very best vintages for Château Lafite Rothschild not only enhances the quality of your collection, but also provides ample opportunity for maximizing your profits should you eventually choose to resell.
Identifying the Best Vintages for Château Lafite Rothschild
It is hard to go wrong with any bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild. Identifying the best vintages for your collection will, therefore, depend largely on your vision—whether you are looking for wines that are ready to drink and be enjoyed now or those that will age the most gracefully while stored carefully in your cellar or a professional storage facility. Below are the very best younger and older vintages of Château Lafite Rothschild for your consideration.
|Recent Vintages (by average score)|
|2003||A rich wine with a silky-sweet blend of currant, tobacco, and iodine flavors and complex aromas.|
|2009||This darkly seductive blend of currant, boysenberry, black tea, and violet notes delivers a surprisingly opulent twist at the finish.|
|2010||An intense dark ruby blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with a lovely balance between fruity blackberry and currant flavors and more earthy notes of sandalwood and cedar.|
|2005||A fine, medium-bodied vintage with velvety tannins, ripe red fruits, and a mineral perfume.|
|2000||A medium-to-full-bodied wine with elegant floral and mineral notes intertwined with silky dark fruits and spices.|
|Older Vintages (by average score)|
|1986||Flavors of blackberry, mint, cedar, and chestnuts make a powerful yet graceful combination in this deep crimson vintage.|
|1998||This vintage boasts a nose of smoky graphite and subtly sweet black currant along with an elegant blend of fruity and toasty flavors.|
|1996||A memorable vintage featuring silky-smooth tannins, sweet tobacco and blackberry notes, and a methodically mesmerizing finish.|
|1959||Sweet, smoky, and smooth as silk, with notes of tobacco, black cherry, and cedar.|
|1982||A plump, full-bodied wine that masterfully blends herbal and mineral notes with ripe, refreshing raspberry, blackberry, and a hint of mint.|
Of course, selections from 1918, 1846, 1945, 1947, and 1961 are also worth considering—if you can find them. Older vintages are ideal if you’re looking for a wine that is ready to drink and has reached the peak of its potential. While Château Lafite Rothschild is well worth waiting for, if you truly can’t resist opening a younger vintage, try decanting for at least two hours before sipping to soften it up.
Collecting the Highest-Quality Château Lafite Rothschild Vintages
The best vintages of Château Lafite Rothschild will be among the crowning jewels of any collector’s menagerie. Though they are among the most expensive fine wines in the industry, these beauties age just as well on the market as in the cellar, appreciating significantly over time. One way to make the most of your investment in this iconic wine is to purchase by the investment-grade case. This ensures excellent provenance and saves you money on the per-bottle price of the wine. In addition, wines still in their original wood case are likely to command a higher price on the secondary market than if the wines are sold as individual bottles. No matter how you choose to invest in Château Lafite Rothschild, you’re certain to find this so-called “ambrosia of the Gods” (as Maréchal de Richelieu once named it) well worth every penny.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.