• Domaine: Château Lafite-Rothschild
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: First Growth, 1èr Grand Cru Classé in 1855
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Wine Notes: Château Lafite-Rothschild is now considered one of the greatest Bordeaux wine estates. It was originally simply known as Château Lafite when listed among the Premier Grand Cru Classé in 1855. Lafite, comes from Gascon term "la hite", which meant "small hill". On 8 August 1868, Baron James Mayer Rothschild purchased the property for 4.4 million francs, and it became known as Château Lafite Rothschild. During his term as the ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson visited this estate and became a lifelong customer.
"Tasted three times since bottling, the 1996 Lafite-Rothschild is unquestionably this renowned estate's greatest wine. As I indicated last year, only 38% of the crop was deemed grand enough to be put into the final blend, which is atypically high in Cabernet Sauvignon (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot). This massive wine may be the biggest, largest-scaled Lafite I have ever tasted. It will require many years to come around, so I suspect all of us past the age of fifty might want to give serious consideration as to whether we should be laying away multiple cases of this wine. It is also the first Lafite-Rothschild to be put into a new engraved bottle (designed to prevent fraudulent imitations). The wine exhibits a thick-looking, ruby/purple color, and a knock-out nose of lead pencil, minerals, flowers, and black currant scents. Extremely powerful and full-bodied, with remarkable complexity for such a young wine, this huge Lafite is oozing with extract and richness, yet has managed to preserve its quintessentially elegant personality. This wine is even richer than it was prior to bottling. It should unquestionably last for 40-50 years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050. The wine of the vintage?" - Robert Parker Jr, The Wine Advocate (4/22/1999, Issue 122), Ratings: 100, Drink: 2012-2050