Château Lafite Rothschild
First Growth — Premier Cru Classe
15,000- 20,000 cases
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is said to date back to 1234, with a certain Gombaud de Lafite, abbot of the Vertheuil Monastery north of Pauillac. Taken from the Gascon language term (is the name of the vernacular Romance variety spoken mainly in the region of Gascony, France), the word ‘Lafite’, or ‘la hite’, means ‘hillcock.’
Lafites wine success largely ascended from 1716, Marquis Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur improved wine making techniques and enhanced the wines reputation in to foreign markets, coupled with the courts of Versailles. The Prince of vines had the wine of Lafite coined as ‘The Kings Wine’.
”In 1755, Maréchal de Richelieu was appointed Governor of Guyenne, and consulted a Bordeaux doctor, who advised him that Château Lafite was “the finest and most pleasant of all tonics. On Richelieu’s return to Paris, Louis XV told him, “Maréchal, you look twenty-five years younger than you did when you left for Guyenne.” Richelieu responded “Does his Majesty not know that I have discovered the Fountain of Youth? I have found Château Lafite’s wine to be a delicious, generous cordial, comparable to the ambrosia of the Gods of Olympus.” Soon, Lafite was the subject of much discussion at Versailles, honoured as it was by the King’s high approval. Everyone sought to procure Lafite’s wines. Madame de Pompadour had it served with her supper receptions, and later, Madame du Barry made a point of drinking “only the King’s Wine”.
At present there are two wines produced at the Grand Vin estate, firstly the Chateau Lafite Rothschild (annual production 16,000 cases), and the second wine of Carruades de Lafite (annual production 20,000 cases). Please also note, that Chateau Duhart-Milon (annual production 20,000–25,000 cases) is a separate estate under Lafite, and is a great neighbouring plot to Lafite within Pauillac.