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AOC Pauillac, Bordeaux, France

The vintage

The vintage was so early in all its stages that we prepared all year to harvest early, that is, from the end of August. The harvest was the last stage of a year of constant concern, in which we went from monitoring temperatures at the weather station to watching the vines closely to detect any development of powdery mildew. The last test we had to face was the storm of August 15 and its 100 mm of rainfall, which caused us great concern. Little did we know then that it would become a blessing. By the end of August, both growth and ripeness seemed normal, but when we tasted the grapes, their extremely expressive aromas were a great surprise. The rain in mid-August boosted the ripening process! The harvest was excellent and fermentation progressed very well. The musts reveal a young monster in the making, restrained, incredibly elegant, but disciplined.

Location

Pauillac is located on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, approximately 40km North of Bordeaux. With the tempering influence of the estuary and a great diversity of soils originated from both the Massif Central and the Pyrenees, Pauillac boasts exceptional climatic and geological conditions to make outstanding wines.

Terroir

Chateau Lafite Rothschild is located to the north of the appellation, bordering Saint Estèphe. Lafite's best terroirs stretch on the 50ha Plateau des Carruades to the west of the Château. This plateau, which is the highest point of the Pauillac appellation, is well-drained and enjoys optimal sun exposure. Its clayey gravel soils offer excellent water regulating abilities, and provide optimal ripening conditions for the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Some 4.5 ha planted in the neighbouring Saint Estephe appellation, count amongst the oldest vines of the property and provide year after year grapes of outstanding quality for the Grand Vin.

Vinification

For Lafite's terroir to produce its magic, the vinification process must be carried out with extreme precision. The distribution of the grapes between wooden, stainless steel and concrete vats is determined on the basis of the characteristics of each plot and the grapes’ degree of maturity. Alcoholic fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature with regular pumping over to gently extract all the phenolic compounds. The maceration period is around 22 days. After malolactic fermentation, the wines are transferred to French oak barrels. Lafite has its own cooperage in Pauillac, the Tonnellerie des Domaines, a factor that contributes to its unique style. Every barrel is tasted and only the best are selected for the final blend. The wine is then aged in new oak barrels for 15 months.

Grapes

92 %
Cabernet sauvignon
7 %
Merlot
1 %
Petit verdot

Tasting

Deep black color.
The nose offers a broad palette of intense and well-defined aromas, with spicy black fruits like blackberries and black cherries on a background of subtle notes of cocoa and tobacco that accentuates the aromatic richness of this wine. On the palate, the attack is frontal, dense, and velvety, accompanied by fleshy and powerful tannins that result in a very complex, long, and extremely tasty structure. A wine of superb balance and subtlety that embodies this vintage at best.

More about the domain

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Lafite.com

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Château Lafite Rothschild