Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2004
• Domaine: Château Lafite-Rothschild
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: First Growth, 1èr Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Baron Eric de Rothschild, chairman of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR), described Château Lafite Rothschild as a viticultural tour de force with the power to, “turn bare earth into heaven.” After managing the portfolio of family wine estates for 42 years and overseeing significant expansion across the globe (including new vineyards in Chile, Argentina, and China), Baron de Rothschild transitioned the leadership of the family business to his daughter, Saskia de Rothschild, in 2017. The château has been owned by the same branch of the Rothschild family since 1868. 2018 marks the family's 150th anniversary as owners. With over 150 years steeped in rich history, Lafite Rothschild is a place where man and nature work together in perfect harmony to produce wine that continues to captivate wine drinkers around the globe.
The late American president Thomas Jefferson was reported to have visited the estate and been a lifelong consumer of its great wines. As a President, he had a penchant for the finer things in life and spent $10,000 on his wines one year -- that's the equivalent of 1 million dollars today. A hefty amount of that purchase consisted of wines from Château Lafite Rothschild and the other great First Growth, Château Haut Brion. Naturally, his extravagent lifestyle led him into debt and towards the end of his life he was practicaly penniless. His biggest regret? That he couldn't drink the wines from Château Lafite Rothschild anymore.
Lafite Rothschild has an illustrious past, with references to its exalted wines that date back to as early as 1234. The chateau rose to prominence in the 17th century, largely due to contributions of Marquis Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur. Known as, “The Wine Prince,” the Marquis de Ségur improved the viticultural techniques at Lafite and introduced the wines to royalty at the court of Versailles. The excellence of the wine was undeniable, and soon Lafite Rothschild’s Grand Vin became known as the wine of kings.
Lafite Rothschild cemented its reputation when it was recognized as one of the First Growths of the 1855 Classification, earning it much-deserved prestige on a global scale. As the years progressed, new innovations improved the viticultural process on the estate. Dairy cows were introduced to organically fertilize the property, and the estate built its own cooperage for making barrels to age the wines to perfection. At Lafite Rothschild, tradition marries artistic innovation and the result is great wine for generations.
The wines of Lafite Rothschild possess an excellence that transcends beyond their pedigree. The strength of these wines lies in their versatility. They are fresh, vibrant, and drinkable even when they are young and deviate from the more austere Bordeaux style that favors raw power. With that in consideration, these wines have the potential to evolve beautifully for decades to come.
"The 2004 Lafite Rothschild appears to be another late-bloomer in the sense that this 12-year-old bottle is the best I have tasted, implying an upward swing in quality. It has a wondrous bouquet, very sensual and pure with blackberry, graphite and cedar - all the hallmarks of Pauillac, delivered with great panache. It is more opulent than I recall. The palate is medium-bodied with silky tannins, pitch-perfect acidity and a beautiful structure. There is a regal sense to this Lafite, understated compared to the other First Growths and yet the persistence on the finish deserves a round of applause, especially in the context of the vintage. This is superb and could possibly turn out to be the pick of the Firsts. Tasted September 2016." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2/28/2017, Interim Issue) Rating 95 Drink 2020-2050
"Deep garnet. Marked and attractive herbaceous freshness on the nose. Even a touch of capsicum. Very little tertiary character showing. Similar on the palate, really quite cedary and herbaceous – not unripe but quite the opposite of super-ripe. But all this adds up to great freshness, tannins that are fine and dry, and a long, dry yet rather gentle persistence." - Julia Harding MW, on jancisrobinson.com
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