DOMAINES BARONS DE ROTHSCHILD (LAFITE)
Château Lafite Rothschild
CHÂTEAU LAFITE ROTHSCHILD 2012
Château Lafite Rothschild is one of only four classified first growths and thus the designation as 1st er Cru. The vintage rankings of the Universal Paris Exposition in 1855 officially gave Lafite the rating as “Leader among fine wines.” The vineyard covers 264 acres and is divided into three separate areas: the hilly ground close to the Château, the plateau of the Carruades and a plot in the commune of Saint Estèphe (special permission was granted to incorporate these wines into the Pauillac appellation). The soil is composed of fine gravel mixed with aeolian sand and planted with four classic Médoc grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%). The average age of the vines is 35 years but those that produce the Grand Vin selection are 45 years or older. The oldest plot, “La Gravière”, was planted in 1886. In August 1868, Baron James de Rothschild purchased Château Lafite and it has remained in the family for five generations. The property is currently run by Baron Eric de Rothschild.
Pauillac (Bordeaux), France
91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, .5% Petit Verdot
2012 was characterized by difficult weather conditions in the Bordeaux region. After a relatively mild winter, the spring was mostly wet and rainy, especially April, with a hail storm on April 24th. Such conditions hampered fertilization, leading to fears of reduced yields. June and July alternated heat and humidity. The weather became more stable from the beginning of August, enabling the healthy grapes to finish ripening in good conditions. Nevertheless, there was considerable variation in the degrees of ripeness and a great deal of sorting work was carried out by our teams from the end of September. Harvests took place from September 28th - October 9th for the Merlot, from October 9th - 16th for the Cabernet Sauvignon, October 12th for Cabernet Franc, and October 14th-16th for the Petit Verdot.
Pumping over and maceration times were adapted to each vat, according to the plot and the level of ripeness of the tannins. Alcohol and malolactic fermentation both took place in wooden and stainless steel vats with temperature control. Maceration lasted 15-20 days.
20 months in new barrels crafted at the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) cooperage.
Intense, deep crimson color. On the nose, fruit is expressed with a slight dominant woodiness. On the palate, the texture is tight and dense. Then the heart of the wine comes through, with solid, compact balance. Very dense finish and yet the tannins are “almost light and airy”! Great length with long lingering flavors.
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