Winemakers

Charles Chevalier

Technical Data

Acidity
3.63 g/L

Alcohol
12.57%

DOMAINES BARONS DE ROTHSCHILD (LAFITE)

Château Lafite Rothschild

CHÂTEAU LAFITE ROTHSCHILD 2011

Background

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.

Appellation

Pauillac (Bordeaux), France

Varietal Composition

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot

Vintage Notes

2011 was unusual and required all of our technical teams’ vigilance and expertise. A very early vintage, with an exceptionally hot spring, low rainfall at the beginning of the year, but then more in the summer, and a persistent threat of powdery mildew. Finally, just as we were getting ready to harvest, a huge hail storm in the north of Pauillac and Saint Estèphe on September 1st obliged us to reorganize the schedules. The plots that had been affected had to be picked first; fortunately, the grapes had ripened early, and quality was not compromised. Harvest took place from September 5th - 13th for the Merlot, and September 13th - 21st for the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaking

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.

Tasting Notes

Intense, deep crimson color. Dense nose, aromas of red and black fruit, boxwood and spicy notes. Very dense on the palate with fine intensity. Very complex finish.

96 pts

Wine Enthusiast 5/14

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