Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Première Cru Classé, is revered throughout the wine-drinking world: a modern-day phenomenon, a super-brand, probably the most recognisable brand from Bordeaux. And lest we forget, maker of some of the most distinguished, impressive, classic wines, anywhere on the planet.
Lafite was well-loved in the British market throughout the 17th century and a favourite amongst many notable dignitaries including Robert Walpole. Through this time the estate belonged to the Ségur family, who also owned Calon Ségur, Phelan Ségur and for a short time Mouton. With such a wine-making dynasty at the helm it is no surprise that the reputation of the estate grew.
By the time of the revolution, the estate was in the hands of a Ségur descendant, Nicolas Pierre de Pichard; however, the guillotine cut short his reign and ended the family's involvement. A string of owners followed, and at the time of the 1855 Classification, Lafite was owned by a Dutch family and under the management an English bank. The Vanlerberghe descendants elected to sell their holding in 1866 to a rather more famous banking empire, the Rothschilds, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Baron Éric de Rothschild stepped down in 2021 after almost 40 years at Lafite. He was succeeded by his daughter, Saskia, who is ably assisted by technical director, Eric Kohler and Jean-Sébastien Philippe. Their wines are outstanding, and rightly lauded for their precision, complexity, and effortless grace. Modern day examples blend classical Pauillac flavours with cutting-edge winemaking technology – the results are sensational.