Friday, December 09, 2005

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Baron James de Rothschild acquired Chateau Lafite in the year 1868. Soon after the purchase, the Baron died leaving the property behind to his three sons, Alphonse, Gustave, and Edmond. A decade thereafter saw some great vintages from the vineyard. However, the late 1800s and the early 1900s were not conducive to the wineries. The grapevines had to endure mildew and a phylloxera emergency. This crisis was followed by World War I, the Great Depression, and occupation of France during World War II, which had some exceptions however, in the form good vintage years 1899, 1900, 1926, and 1929.

Barons Guy, Alain, Elie, and Edmond inherited Chateau Lafite in 1946. Thus, began a revival under Baron Elie de Rothschild. The vintages of 1947 and 1949 did cover some ground only to be set back by frost in early 1956. However, the vintages of 1959 and 1961 put them back on track again.

Vintages of Chateau Lafite Rothschild

2004 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 2004 Chateau Lafite Rothschild has a soft nose with an aroma of blackberry and tar. The flavor is that of blackberry fruit and plums. The blend does not appear to be harmonious and focused.

2003 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 2003 Chateau Lafite Rothschild has great aroma with blackberry, mocha and violets. The flavors are self-indulgent, and harmonious. It has the potential to age beautifully.

2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild has at this point a very backward nose. However, the flavors appear great having a luscious blackberry feel, with soothing elegance and a smooth texture.

2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild comes with a closing nose with sweet berries, cherry and vanilla. It appears to be structured well with more cedar and black fruits. Seamless tannin and great poise makes it an exciting vintage. It is expected to mature well by 2015.

1999 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 1999 Chateau Lafite Rothschild has a graceful and open nose, aromatic of roasted herbs. The flavors are supple and spicy with a fleshy mulberry-plum finish. It is not measuring up to the Lafite standards.

1998 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 1998 Chateau Lafite Rothschild has a very cabernet like aroma with hints of blackberry and chocolate.On the flavor front, the tannins are firm, and strong in structure and focus.

1997 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Characterized by a dumb nose, the 1997Chateau Lafite Rothschild has strong and focused flavors of cedar and blackcurrant. It is a great wine with layers of cassis and tobacco notes.

1996 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 1996 Chateau Lafite Rothschild has a closed nose aromatic of wood and tobacco, and hint of licorice. The wine is well defined, with a full-bodied structure. The flavors are nicely focused and concentrated.

1995 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 1995Chateau Lafite Rothschild comes with a blackberry, tar and damp earth like aroma that is low on intensity. It has meaty and fleshy flavors with moderate acidity, which are soft and elegant on the palate.

1994 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 1994Chateau Lafite Rothschild has a developing strong perfumed nose. The palate is strong with concentrated blackcurrant, earth and wood flavors. The finish is not all that smooth, and lacks some depth, though it is a fine wine.