Archive for the
‘2023 Campaign’


Château Lafite-Rothschild enjoys an exceptional location close to the Gironde estuary. With a surface area of 112 hectares divided into three main zones, the vineyards of this benchmark among the great wines of Pauillac stretch from the slopes surrounding the château to the Carruades plateau to the west, as well as a parcel in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Estèphe. Classified Premier Crus Classé in 1855, it produces some of the best wines in Pauillac.


The History of the estate:
Known as a wine producer in the 13th century, the history of the estate began in the 17th century under the impetus of Jacques de Ségur, who launched the planting of the Château Lafite vineyard in the 1670s and early 1680s. In 1784, Alexandre de Ségur, son of Jacques, was forced to sell the estate. One of his relatives, Nicolas Pierre de Pichard, then First President of the Bordeaux Parliament, bought the estate. The property remained in the de Segur family until 1794, when Nicolas Pierre de Pichard was executed during the French Revolution.
Château Lafite was acquired on 8 August 1868 by Baron James de Rothschild. Following his death 3 months later, the estate, which then comprised 74 hectares of vines, was run by his three sons: Alphonse, Gustave and Edmond.
Within the years, the DBR Lafite family has expanded with new châteaux in the region. The family acquired the Plateau des Carruades in 1845. Initially known as Moulin des Carruades, it was not until 1980 that the name was changed to Carruade de Lafite. A neighbouring property of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Duhart-Milon was acquired by Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite in 1962. The 1855 classification made Château Duhart-Milon the only 4th Grand Cru Classé in the commune of Pauillac. Over the last sixty years, the DBR Lafite family has grown with new châteaux in the region, a wine in the Corbières valley, a collection of Bordeaux wines, and has expanded around the world to Chile, Argentina and China.



The terroir of Lafite-Rothschild:

Situated close to the Gironde estuary, Château Lafite-Rothschild watches over an exceptional 112-hectare vineyard within the Pauillac appellation. This exceptional vineyard is planted on deep, fine gravel soils. Although sand is predominant on the surface, the limestone subsoil ensures optimum drainage. Because of its geographical position, the Pauillac appellation enjoys a temperate oceanic climate, characterised by mild, wet winters and relatively cool summers. The Château Lafite-Rothschild vineyards are on average forty years old, the grapes from the young vines, which are around 10 years old, are not included in the Grand Vin blend.


Since 1962, a joint team has been dedicated to the vineyards of Château Lafite-Rothschild and Château Duhart-Milon. Duhart-Milon lies to the west of Lafite, on the Milon hillside and its 76 hectares are planted with 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot. Made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the vineyards are run in the traditional way, limiting chemical inputs and favouring low yields.

Carruades de Lafite also has its own personality, linked to the higher proportion of Merlot in its composition and to plots that are now clearly identified as producing Carruades. The grape varieties used in the wine are 50-70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30-50% Merlot and a variation of 0-5% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. In order to bring out the identity and expression of each terroir, the grapes are harvested and vinified on a parcel-by-parcel basis.


The wines:


With its freshness, aromatic richness and density, Château Lafite-Rothschild elegantly expresses the identity of the greatest terroirs on Bordeaux’s Left Bank. Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, depending on the vintage, this great Pauillac wine is matured for 18 to 20 months exclusively in new oak barrels.



Carruades de Lafite:

Carruades de Lafite is a wine of seductive aromatic purity and delicacy. This second wine is matured for 16 to 20 months, 80% in barrels (10% new). On tasting, it has a very supple, round attack. Carruades de Lafite then displays youthful, lively tannins of fine quality, which time will reveal to perfection. A harmonious, complex nectar, a worthy successor to the Grand Vin.

Château Duhart-Milon is known for its structured, classic wines, but above all for their ageing potential. The vines, next door to the prestigious Lafite-Rothschild Premier Cru, are tended by the same teams. The critics have hailed the revival of Duhart-Milon over the last ten years. The wine is aged in an average of 50% new, French oak barrels for 14 to 16 months, depending on the vintage.

Pontet-Canet is one of the most iconic estates of Bordeaux. It is one of the pioneers of environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture in Bordeaux. A philosophy that advocates the free expression of the terroir and the transcription of its character to the wines. It is a 5th Grand Crus Classé, representing 81 hectares of some of the best terroir in AOC Pauillac. The vineyard is planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot.

History of the Estate

In 1757, Jean-François De Pontet, Governor of the Médoc, acquired land in Pauillac and in the area known as Canet. As was customary, he gave his name to the Château: Château Pontet-Canet. Henri Herman Cruse, an established wine merchant in Bordeaux, bought the estate in 1865. He revolutionised the château and built up the reputation of its wines. In 1975, the estate was bought by Guy Tesseron, a Cognac winemaker and merchant who also owned Château Lafon Rochet in Saint-Estephe. His son, Alfred Tesseron, took over in 1994. Straight away, in 1995, the first steps were taken towards organic farming and a rethink of production methods.

In 2004, Château Pontet-Canet made a long-term commitment to convert its entire vineyard to biodynamic viticulture – the first of the Médoc Grand Cru Classé.

A few years later, in 2010, the Château’s wines were certified organic and biodynamic. Becoming the first Grand Cru Classé in the Médoc to obtain double certification for its entire vineyard.

The Terroir

The heart of the Pontet-Canet terroir, the ‘Plateau’, is a ridge of Günz gravel from the Garonne (dating from the first ice age of the Quaternary era between -1.3 and -1.1 million years ago), resting on a limestone bedrock. This fine, well-draining soil is reputed to suit the character of the great Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which account for over 60% of the grand vin.

The other part of the vineyard is located near the river, not far from the village of Pouyalet, an area that is clearly more chalky. In some plots, the limestone is more present, while in others the clay rises to the surface.

These cooler, richer soils are ideal for Merlot, producing more structured, fleshy wines. To reconnect with the past, four plots on the edge of the vineyard have been planted with Petit Verdot, which brings spicy aromas to the great wine of Pontet-Canet.

The Vineyard

In order to avoid the soil being compacted by heavy tractors and to preserve the old vines, the estate decided to use draught horses in 2008. Today, a dozen or so Percheron horses work half the vineyard‘95% of our work takes place in the vineyards.’ – Mathieu Bessonnet, Technical Director

In keeping with the desire to regulate the soil naturally and remain true to the essence of the terroir, a room has been set up to produce all the biodynamic preparations, herbal teas, decoctions, washes and sulphur- and copper-based sprays.

The Wine

Vinification takes place in the Château’s three vats: the historic wooden vat dating back to the 19th century, the concrete vats inaugurated in 2005 and the latest amphora vats, which was completed in 2017 and is the only one of its kind, designed without electricity.

Around half the production is matured in new barrels, 10-15% in ‘one-wine’ barrels and, since 2012, 30-40% in Dolia (concrete amphorae). The ageing period varies from 16 to 18 months, depending on the type of wine.