STIMA VALUE INDEX – Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1950
Lafite’s vineyard has a long, complex history. It was created by Jacques de Ségur at the end of the 17th century, on land that had already been planted with vines, and produced a good quality wine. His son, Alexandre, enlarged the property in 1695 when he married the daughter of the family that owned Château Latour. The marriage resulted in the birth of Nicolas-Alexandre, who, in the early 18th century, developed Lafite’s prestige and reputation, with the wine becoming known at the court in Versailles and across the channel.
On his death, Lafite had a succession of owners, and was sold at auction after the French Revolution, but the quality of the wine remained very high, thanks to the property’s stewards, the Joseph Goudal family. Château Lafite was ranked as premier cru classé in 1855.
Baron James de Rothschild acquired the property at auction in 1868, and since then it has remained in his family. In addition to the exceptional terroir (deep gravelly soil, on a layer of marl with a limestone subsoil) the wines’ quality can be explained by the average age of the vines (over 40 years old), intentionally low yields, and very strict selection. There was a slight dip in quality in the 1960s and 70s, due to less rigorous control of the vineyard and the vinification process.
However, since 1975, this internationally famous château has produced magnificent wines thanks to the dynamic management of Eric de Rothschild. Exuding finesse, they have a fabulous aromatic complexity. Their capacity to age is impressive, and apparently almost unlimited.