1989 Lafite Rothschild

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£534.00 DP

Average critic rating : 93.75 points



As I suspected, the 1989 and 1990 vintages of Lafite-Rothschild have gone dormant. Both wines were among the more closed, backward examples in my blind tasting. The 1989 Lafite is also outstanding, but closed, with the tannin more elevated, and the wine so stubbornly reticent as to make evaluation almost impossible. Lafite's 1989 was far more easy to taste and understand several years ago. It appears to have gone completely to sleep. This medium ruby-colored, medium-bodied wine reveals new oak in the nose, and a spicy finish. It is a quintessentially elegant, restrained, understated style of Lafite. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025. Wine Advocate.February, 1997



Tasted at Bordeaux Index’s Christmas lunch. At 21-years of age, the Lafite-Rothschild ’89 has a lovely bouquet, quintessential Pauillac with cedar, pencil shavings, bay leaf and tar. The aromatics are very well-defined and melt nicely with aeration though all the time remaining well-knit. The palate is medium-bodied with a svelte, quite seductive entry with hints of blackcurrant wine gums, wild strawberry, cedar and graphite. It has impressive weight in the mouth with a strident, graphite and dried herb finish that lingers wonderful. Simply a wonderful Pauillac at the peak of its powers. Drink now-2025. Tasted December 2010. Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com



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. James Suckling, Wine Spectator 2010



On being poured there was real tension in the glass, I felt, between Lafite's delicate style and the big, ripe character of this vintage, warmed as it was by a particularly hot summer, the summer of the bicentenary of the French revolution. There was a slightly burnt note and quite a bit of tannin on the finish. But then it really mellowed in the glass and became super voluptuous. And fragrant. But edgier than the 1997. Unusually spicy for Lafite and wonderfully persistent. These bottles had been bought in 1996 for just £55 each (which probably seemed iniquitous at the time). The 1989 Lafite is now trading at £800 a bottle, a surprisingly low premium on the 1997. Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 17/10/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Lafite Rothschild 1989
+£4,894.00     (+322.61%) Latest price:  £6,411.00
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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.
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