The 2010 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot (a 3% difference from the barrel sample shown two years ago), achieved relatively high alcohol of 13.32%, according to administrator Charles Chevalier. The wine is very impressive, not as fleshy, flamboyant and massive as the 2009, but nevertheless, a big, rich, full-throttle Lafite-Rothschild meant to age a half century or more. Deep purple, with notes of white chocolate, mocha, cedar and charcoal as well as hints of vanillin and creme de cassis, the wine is full-bodied yet has that ethereal lightness that makes it a Lafite. Rich, with good acidity, precision and freshness, this is a slightly zestier version of the 2009 as well as more restrained and structured than that particular vintage. It will need at least 10-12 years of cellaring and keep for 50+ years.
Lafite has a soul, a beautiful, generous, kindly soul. Lafite turns bare earth into heaven. Lafite is harmony, a harmony between man and nature, because without our magnificent winegrowers, nothing would be accomplished.
Baron Eric de Rothschild
In 1815, Guillaume Lawton said of Château Lafite, I consider it to be the the most elegant and delicate, with the finest substance of the three (Premier Crus). The location of its vines is one of the finest in the Médoc. In 1855 the Château was ranked as a Premier Grand Cru in the famous classification that was prepared for the Universal Exhibition of that year.
Grape varieties 80 to 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 to 20% Merlot, 0 to 5% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Note that there are some exceptional cases such as the 1994 vintage (99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot) or the 1961 vintage (100% Cabernet Sauvignon).
ageing in oak barrels 18 to 20 months in 100% new barrels.
Average annual production 16,000 cases.