One of the most valuable wines in the world
Our most exclusive rarities are decades-old, partly more than 150 year old top wines, which we store with love and care in our cellar. When we are allowed to take one of them out of the cellar for real lovers and send it to them, it is always a very special moment. Recently we experienced such a "magic moment" once again: A Château Lafite Rothschild of the outstanding vintage 1869 left our cellar and changed hands for no less than 12,000 Euros - which caused a mixture of feelings of happiness and pain of parting, pride and melancholy in us.
Château Lafite Rothschild 1869, Pauillac (Médoc), Premier Grand Cru Classé. The authenticity of the bottle was confirmed by the winery. Level: into neck, label slightly soiled and damaged. Corked by the Château in 1953 and 1983, these are the dry facts about this very valuable Premier Grand Cru Classé. But if you take a closer look at this and other great Bordeaux wines from the house of Lafite-Rothschild, sobriety will quickly disappear!
The 1869 vintage is the first vintage produced by the Rothschild family in their chateau winery in the Médoc wine region. Baron James de Rothschild had bought Château Lafite at an auction the year before for almost 5 million francs and renamed it Lafite-Rothschild. He was one of the sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founder of the Rothschild dynasty.
The 1869 is a much sought-after top vintage, which is also confirmed by this fact: The most expensive standard-sized single bottle ever sold is a Château Lafite Rothschild 1869 - in November 2010, three bottles of this vintage came under the hammer at Sotheby's in Hong Kong and were each sold for the fabulous price of the equivalent of around 232,000 US dollars!
The top vineyard Château Lafite-Rothschild - one of the pearls of the Médoc
Château Lafite-Rothschild is located in Pauillac in the most important growing area of the Bordelais, the Médoc, and is one of the most famous wineries in the world. The 103 hectares of the estate, which covers almost 180 hectares, are planted with wine, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, but also Merlot and - in very small proportions - Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The château is situated on a 30 meter high hilltop. Its limestone base is several meters high and covered with gravel from alluvial deposits of the nearby Gironde river. This has created a perfect terroir for the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety that is preferred there: the gravel creates a favorable soil climate and allows the grapes to ripen earlier, while at the same time the plant can drive its roots deep into the soil and make optimal use of the nutrients available at depth. In addition, the winery has very good drainage facilities.
Several crises ultimately survived unscathed
The house Lafite or Lafite-Rothschild has always stood for wines of the absolute top class. In the legendary red wine classification of 1855, it is one of the five top wineries awarded the rank of "Premier Cru Classé". Although Lafite-Rothschild temporarily lost some of its reputation in the 20th century, since the 1980s it has again been producing recognized top wines - the outstanding, still maturing wines from the newer vintages are considered by experts to be "wines for the heirs". Some of the Lafite-Rothschild wines from the 20th and 21st centuries have been awarded a full 100 Parker points, and some 1959 vintages have already been offered at four-digit retail prices. For Lafite vintages before 1875, connoisseurs are even prepared to spend five-digit euro amounts. For from the last third of the 19th century onwards, the estate initially went downhill - the vines were devastated by the dreaded phylloxera and mildew, followed by a scandal of fake wines, until finally World War I and the Great Depression in the 1930s almost destroyed the estate. Although Lafite-Rothschild still produces outstanding vintages from this dark period, such as 1870, 1900 or 1929, it was not until after the end of the Second World War that things started to improve again - but quickly and steeply.
Currently the winery is managed by the dynasty heiress Saskia de Rothschild. The Château Lafite-Rothschild is still undisputedly one of the best and most expensive red wines in the world. Especially because of its consistently high quality over 150 years, this wine always attracts great attention and stormy enthusiasm - even among Bordeaux lovers of Vinox79. An enthusiasm that we are only too happy to share with you, our customers!