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Château Lafite-Rothschild, 1er Grand Cru Classe, 2003

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Wild Berry, Liquorice, Opulent, 

Bordaeux / Red / Cabernet Sauvignon,Merlot,Cabernet Franc,Petit Verdot / Sustainable

Farming

Sustainable

Producer

Château Lafite-Rothschild

Grape

Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot

Wine Type

Red

Country

France

Region

Pauillac AOC, Bordeaux

Vintage

2003

Alcohol

13%

Size

75cl

 

2003 will always be a memorable vintage due to the heatwave in the Bordeaux region and in the country generally. A two-week period spell of scorching heat suddenly arrived in August, with temperatures rising above 40°C. Rainfall was very low throughout the vines’ cycle (555 mm between October 2002 and September 2003, compared to an average of 850 mm) but the soil remained relatively cool and the vines did not suffer from a lack of water.

Fortunately, water reserves in the soil and more moderate temperatures from the start of September enabled the ripening process to be completed. weather in 2003 saw an exceptional heat wave in the first half of August with temperatures exceeding 40°C, together with low rainfall throughout the growth cycle.

Notes on the Producer

While the first known reference to Lafite dates to 1234 with a certain Gombaud de Lafite, abbot of the Vertheuil Monastery north of Pauillac, Lafite’s mention as a medieval fief dates to the 14th century. The name Lafite comes from the Gascon language term “la hite”, which means “hillock”. There were probably already vineyards on the property at the time when the Ségur family organised the vineyard in the 17th century, and Lafite began to earn its reputation as a great winemaking estate. Jacques de Ségur was credited with the planting of the Lafite vineyard in the 1670s and in the early 1680s. In 1695, Jacques de Ségur’s heir, Alexandre, married the heiress of Château Latour, who gave birth to Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur. The wine histories of the fiefs of Lafite and Latour were thus joined at the outset. 

The estate today comprises 103 hectares of vines at the northern tip of the Pauillac commune and even a few vines in the commune of St Estèphe. Baron Eric de Rothschild also acquired neighbouring estate, Duhart Milon in 1962. This 4th growth had been in a state of decline for decades; the vineyards had been devastated by phylloxera and oidium, whilst war and depression had hindered any attempts to encourage much needed investment. Now under the Domaine Baron Rothschild banner, Duhart Milon enjoys an elevated position amongst the classified wines on the Medoc, both by association with Lafite and Carruades, but also by a new-found reputation as one of the top performers in Pauillac.

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