These Are the Best Lafite Wines to Celebrate Bastille Day
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is undeniably one of those wineries that has stood the test of time. It has survived the French Revolution, two World Wars and numerous economic turmoils. Originally called Chateau Lafite, it is situated in the wine-producing village of Pauillac in the Medoc region, which is north-west of Bordeaux. Based on historical records, the estate was originally the property of Gombaud de Lafite as early as 1234.
Chateau Lafite was purchased by the Segur family in 1680 and afterwards became known as the “King’s Wine.” It even earned the lifelong patronage of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who was a known oenophile. The wine later became known as Chateau Lafite Rothschild after the wealthy and influential Rothschild family acquired it in 1868.
Baron James de Rothschild
Baron James Mayer Rothschild bought the winery for over four million francs, which was considered a king’s ransom at the time. However, he died three months later and the estate was bequeathed to his three sons, Alphonse, Gustave and Edmond. Lafite was one of the four wine-producing chateaus of Bordeaux originally awarded First Growth status in the 1855 Classification and has since then been a consistent producer of one of the world's most expensive red wines.
In 1972, Baron Eric de Rothschild, who took the reins of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, further expanded the wine business and the horizon of the estates through new acquisitions in France and abroad. Today, it is a sixth generation Rothschild, Saskia, who is Baron Eric’s daughter, leading the Château Lafite and Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). In 2018, Jean-Guillaume Prats was named president and CEO of DBR (Lafite). Prats served as CEO of luxury group LVMH’s wine division.
Aside from Chateau Lafite Rothschild, the group had quickly expanded since 1962 with successive acquisitions of Chateau Duhart-Milon (Pauillac’s 4th Grand Cru Classé), Chateau Rieussec (Sauternes Premier Grand Cru Classé) and Château L’Evangile (Pomerol). Outside the Bordeaux region, it has acquired Viña Los Vascos (Chile, 1988), Domaine d’Aussières (Languedoc, 1999), Bodegas Caro (Argentina, 1999), and developed a vineyard in China in the Penglai region since 2008. From 1995, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) has produced a range of Bordeaux appellation wines under the brands Légende, Réserve Spéciale and Saga.
Jean-Guillaume Prats and Saskia de Rothschild
Because it is Bastille Day, a day that kicked off the French revolution and is France’s national day, you might consider celebrating with a taste of the Lafite wines. Suprisingly, you can have a Lafite for as low as P1,100 a bottle to P4,290. These wines are produced in Bordeaux: Legende, Reserve Speciale, and Saga.
Legende Medoc 2013
Reserve Speciale Pauillac Paysage 2017
Saga Bordeaux Blanc 2016
Meanwhile, wines made in the Pauillac region of these 3 labels are considered the third wine of Chateau Lafite and all the wine labels also bear the logo and seal of Chateau Lafite. They use the same chief winemaker as well as they want to keep the "Lafite Spirit" in these wines. An old tagline for this range was “A Little Elegance for Every Day,” which fits the accessible nature of these fine French wines.