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Average critic rating : 84.0 points
Except for the 1966 and 1870 vintages of Lafite-Rothschild, these wines were poured on virgin territory on my palate. Isn't it ironic that the most disappointing wine (forgetting the spoiled 1875 Lafite-Rothschild, which had frightful levels of volatile acidity) was the youngest wine, the 1966 Lafite. With a light to medium ruby/garnet color, this wine exhibited a classy, weedy, herbal, Cabernet-dominated nose, soft, washed-out flavors, and little body and length. It is also beginning to dry out. I suppose if one were to taste a 30-year old Cabernet from Monterey County, California, it might reveal similar characteristics. The 1966 Lafite-Rothschild has consistently been a major disappointment from what is an irregular, but very good vintage. ||The notes for this wine are taken from the description of Series V - Flight A of the 1995 tasting conducted in Munich by Helga and Hardy Rodenstock. Many years after the tasting from which this note derives allegations were made concerning the authenticity of old and rare bottles of wine sold by Hardy Rodenstock to collectors around the world. The matter has been the subject of numerous articles, litigation and at least one book. Mr. Parker believes that the wines served to him at this tasting were authentic so this note and the others from that specific tasting continue to be posted on eRobertParker.com. Wine Advocate.February, 1996
Lafite Rothschild: The Importance
Lafite Rothschild is one of the most famous wines in Bordeaux, if not the world. It has captured the attention and imagination of wine lovers everywhere for its finesse and style. Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate describes it as the “quintessential wine of elegance”, adding that “The key to great Lafite is balance, poise and restraint; it is a more succinct wine than its bold and boisterous contemporaries.” An overhaul of winemaking techniques and the ascendance of a new member of the Rothschild family to the helm have caused a surge in Lafite’s fortunes, and recent vintages have performed spectacularly well, propelling its status as the most famous of the five Left-Bank first-growths, revered the world over.
We are delighted to have cultivated an excellent relationship with Lafite over the years, and have been able to offer perfect provenance ex-cellar cases of their grand vin to our customers on a number of occasions; for current availability please see below.
Lafite Rothschild: The Insight
Covering an impressive 112 hectares of land on the Northern edge of Pauillac, Lafite’s origins stretch back to medieval times – the name Lafite comes from the old Gascon term “la hite”, meaning “hillock”. The vineyard comprises of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, with the balance being made up of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Approximately 20,000 cases of the grand vin are made each year, and a second wine, Carruades de Lafite, is also produced. Carruades de Lafite has also previously performed very well, with the Wine Advocate calling it “brilliant” in 2010.
Lafite Rothschild is often hailed as the most consistent performer in Pauillac. In recent decades the chateau has experienced a peak in quality, making its wines arguably better now than ever before. While Lafite wines are undoubtedly an exciting prospect in any year, there are some vintages that stand out above all the rest. Among the older wines, 1953, 1959, 1982 and 1986 are excellent, while from the last 20 years 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009 and 2010 have proved impeccable.
Lafite Rothschild: The Background
Over its lengthy history the château has been linked to a number of owners which has, on occasion, brought it into contact with other first growths. A notable example was the 1765 marriage between owner Alexandre Ségur and Marie Therese de Clauzel, the heiress to Latour. This linked the fortunes of the two chateaus for the next 100 years, until they were devolved to separate heirs in 1785. Less than 100 years later, Lafite was linked indelibly with the Rothschilds, when it was bought by a member of the family – a distant cousin of those that owned neighbouring Mouton-Rothschild. Some have claimed that the decision to buy Lafite was the result of some mischevious inter-familial rivalry – whatever the reason, it shaped the château (and the history of Bordeaux wine) as we now know it.
Over the years, Lafite Rotschild has enjoyed its status as a favourite of aristocracy and politicians alike. In the 1800s Château Lafite became known as “The King’s Wine” thanks to the influential support of French statesmen and royalty, and this prestige was later reinforced by the patronage of 3rd president of the United States Thomas Jefferson, who visited Lafite and became a lifelong customer.
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FINE+RARE offers UK home delivery through our logistics partner London City Bond, with next day deliveries available for Central London addresses.
We deliver Monday to Friday; charges are £ 16 + VAT for up to 10 cases (12x75cl or equivalent) for most UK postcodes.
For delivery charges to Highlands, Islands and outlying areas, please contact our Customer Service Team.
For deliveries into Hong Kong, we offer a dedicated air and sea service.
For more details regarding delivery to Hong Kong and all other destinations, please view our International Delivery information page.
Our storage costs are highly competitive. We will happily accept cases or single bottles, charging pro-rata based on the number of bottles and length of storage period.
Unlike many other wine companies, our service includes storage of duty paid wines as well as in bond from any reputable source, not just those bought through FINE+RARE.
Please visit our F+R Storage information page for more details.
IN BOND AND DUTY PAID DELIVERY TO STORAGE ACCOUNTS:
FINE+RARE can arrange delivery of your wines to your personal fine wine storage account:
Deliveries within London City Bond or to a Vinotheque storage account are charged at £ 8 + VAT for up to 10 cases (12x75cl or equivalent).
Deliveries to all other storage providers are charged at £ 16 + VAT for up to 10 cases (12x75cl or equivalent).
Please contact our Customer Service Team if you have any questions.