Château Lafite Rothschild, Carruades De Lafite And Château Duhart Milon


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.