Modern Times Beer

Jacquesson & Fils

Cuvée No. 742 Extra Brut Champagne Blend

David T
9.3

Since we can’t leave our house because the air quality is so bad from the fires near us & there is still the whole Covid-19 thing raging in California, we thought we’d open a bottle of Champagne & forget about the real world for awhile. This Jacquesson Cuvée 742 is a welcome break. Like Napoleon, we drink Champagne in good times & bad.

Seems the 2020 Napa vintage is also in more peril of smoke taint than 2017. At least in 2017, most of the fruit was picked. Presently, none or very little is picked. Maybe some Chardonnay is in. Not exactly hearing good news at this point. TBD soon.

The nose reveals slightly more oxidative notes than we prefer in our wheelhouse but, still very nice. Bruised; green & golden apple, Bosc pear. Lime & lemon pulp, overripe pineapple, overripe tropical melons, cream soda, white spices, touch of oyster shell, sea fossils, saline, bread dough, yeasty notes, baguette crust, grey volcanics, light dry herbal notes. limestone/sandstone, root in root beer, spring flowers, yellow florals in mix greens.

The palate is, round, rich, ripe and lively with micro-oxygenation. Bruised; green & golden apple, Bosc pear. Lime & lemon pulp, overripe pineapple, overripe tropical melons, dried apricots, cream soda, cream, white spice with soft heat, touch of oyster shell, sea fossils, saline, bread dough, yeasty notes, baguette crust, excellent, soft, powdery chalkiness, grey volcanics, light dry herbal notes. limestone/sandstone, root in root beer, spring flowers, orange blossoms, yellow florals in mix greens. The acidity is near perfect with nice crispness. The long, gentle finish is; elegant soft, well balanced with excellent polish and persists for days.

This will benefit from another 3-5 years in bottle.

Photos of; Jean Hervé Chiquet who joined Jacquesson family business in 1978, House of Jacquesson, one of their Grand Cru vineyards and cheese platter etc. to get the evening started.
— 2 years ago

Hefy NochimsonJames Christina Champagne
with Hefy, James and 1 other
Paul, Daniel P. and 36 others liked this

Château Poujeaux

Moulis en Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend 2007

David T
9.2

First, let me say the 07 Bordeaux vintage was largely frowned upon by professional critics. When I tasted it upon release, I had some doubts. However, I have said many times, in all difficult vintages anywhere, there are still producers that made good wine. Especially, if you give them time to evolve in bottle. This 07 has blossomed with 10 years in bottle and an absolutely perfect steak wine.

The nose reveals; smoldering ambers, dry crushed rocks, limestone minerals, ripe blackberries, black cherries, black raspberries, baked strawberries, black plum, floral blueberries, dark fruit liqueur, leather, cedar to saddle-wood, dark rich soils, stones, anise, graphite, old cigar with ash, hints of mushroom, steeped tea, fresh & withering red & dark floral bouquet.

The body is beautiful with; rich, round, velvety, smooth, tarry tannins. This 07 Poujeaux is in top form with plenty of life left ahead...another 7-10years easily. The structure, tension, length and balance are nicely knitted together. It glides effortlessly over the palate. A combination of dark currants & cassis. Ripe blackberries, black cherries, black raspberries, bright cherries, baked strawberries, black plum, floral blueberries, dark fruit liqueur, dark chocolate, mocha bar, vanilla, clove, dark spice, leather, cedar to saddle-wood, dark rich soils, stones, smoldering ambers, dry crushed rocks, dry clay, limestone minerals, dry brush, anise, graphite, old cigar with ash, touch of pepper, hints of mushroom, steeped tea, beautifully, fragrant, violets, lavender, fresh & withering red & dark floral bouquet. The acidity is nicely balanced in the wine. The finish without the steak shows dusty, grainy tannins, good balance in fruit & earth, elegant, ripe fruit and persistent on the palate.

Photos of, the unassuming Chateau Poujeaux by Bordeaux standards, the rootstock & soil structure of the Poujeaux terroir, Cellar with concrete tanks & large oak vats and a wide shot of the Estate.

Producer history and notes...Chateau Poujeaux’s history can be traced back to the 16th Century. At that time, the owner of Chateau Latour, Gaston De L’Isle, owned the estate. Over the centuries, Chateau Poujeaux, like numerous Bordeaux estates has been the property of a multitude of owners.

In fact, the owner of Chateau Beychevelle Marquis François Etienne de Brassier was one of owners. Over the centuries, Chateau Poujeaux was bought, sold, split up and divided. It was not until 1921, when the Theil family became the owners of the property that all the previously divided sections were brought back together again.

The modern era for Chateau Poujeaux began more recently. It started in 2008, when Jean Theil sold Chateau Poujeaux to the Cuvelier family, who were already owners of Clos Fourtet in St. Emilion. Once the Cuvelier family purchased, Mathieu Cuvelier took charge and things changed for the better.

The winemaking facilities were modernized and the farming technique used in the vineyards of Chateau Poujeaux were also changed.

They reduced yields and began picking later, giving them riper fruit. They also moved to an organic vineyard management approach and are looking at biodynamic farming as well. All of this work in the vineyards have helped push the wine quality of the estate. You only need to open and taste some their newer vintages. You’ll notice the improvement in fruit quality and the winemaking practices.

The 68 hectare Moulis vineyard of Chateau Poujeaux is planted to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The terroir is gravel based soils, typical of the area as show in the above photo. The average age of the vines is close to 35 years, although some vines are older.

The debut vintage under the Cuvelier family was the 2008. At Chateau Poujeaux, they are practicing serious vineyard management with the help of Stéphane Derenoncourt, who works with numerous Bordeaux Winemakers on both banks, including the Cuvelier’s property in St. Emilion, Clos Fourtet.

Chateau Poujeaux, fruit is whole berry fermented in a combination of small stainless steel vats, oak barrels and cement tanks with a 25-day cuvaison. Chateau Poujeaux is aged in about 40% new, French oak barrels for an average of 12 months. On average, Chateau Poujeaux produces close to 25,000 cases per year.
— 4 years ago

Mark, Peter and 26 others liked this
Alex Lallos

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Fully underrated chateau. Great note @David T
Alex Lallos

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Ps I tasted this en premieur in march 08... what a surprise
David T

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@Alex Lallos Thanks Alex.

Leah Jørgensen Cellars

Buxton Vineyard Rosé of Cabernet Franc 2017

I’ve been awful at keeping tracking of what we’ve been drinking during COVID times...because it’s mostly been beer. ANYWAY, I’ll be better.

This is better than beer. To start, it’s barely barely pink. Completely gorgeous. It opens with the most incredible lighting acidity that resolves to pretty notes like rose water and a little astringent stemminess that is lovely. Get it if you can find it!
— 2 years ago

The Alchemist

Heady Topper Ale

Heady Topper from The Alchemist is of course one of the great modern American beers, and a pioneer of the juicy style. Grapefruit, orange and mango with malt coming through in the finish. While it is a terrific beer, and quite extraordinary given it has been on the market for over 15 years, I feel it has been left behind by other beers that have innovated to become the current day references. Still, a classic and always a pleasure. — 3 years ago

Stuart, Hugh and 6 others liked this

Sinegal Estate

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2016

David T
9.7

Of the Napa wines I tasted over 4 days on this trip, the 16 Sinegal Reserve & the 13 Seavey Cabernet were my favorites. Both great wines but, stylistically very different. The Seavy big and bold and the Sinegal pure beauty & elegance.

The nose reveals very dark currants. Dark & milk chocolate. Blackberries, creamy black raspberries, black plum & plum, mocha powder, core of anise, beautiful dark spice, soft volcanic soils, some dry brush and lavender, violets and fresh dark red florals.

The body is full. The tannins are really meaty but, exceptionally soft, fine and meaty. Lots of dark spice with plenty of heat. The mouthfeel is gorgeously sexy with feminine elegance. Dark & milk chocolate. Blackberries, creamy black raspberries, black plum & plum, mocha powder, core of anise, beautiful dark spice, big sweet tarry notes, soft volcanic soils, some dry brush, lavender, violets and fresh dark red florals. The acidity is perfect. The finish is well balanced sexy and gorgeous. The structure, tension say this needs to cellar eight to ten years.

Photos of; tasting cellar area, modern stainless tanks, outside terrace tasting and or dining area and their grounds and lake.

Producer history and notes...Sinegal Estate was founded in 2013 with wines made from their 30 acre Inglewood estate in St Helena (not to be confused with the Inglenook Estate in Rutherford). This is not a new property, it was part of an original land grant and its more modern day history dates back to 1879 when owner Alton Williams purchased the property and planted the first vines in 1881.

The property has changed owners a number of times over the decades. At one point the Jaegers’ owned the estate, Bill Jaeger and his wife Lila lived here. These Napa Valley pioneers were in part responsible for helping establish Freemark Abbey and Rutherford Hill. Lila was also a gardener and established beautiful gardens on the property.

Owners, David (father)and James (son) Sinegal purchased the property in 2013. James was the co-founder of Costco and once CEO. David worked at Costco for 21 years.

After the purchase, David divided each of their vineyards into smaller blocks, picking selectively (30 times in 2013) rather than all at once, and adding technology to the vineyards so they have up to the date reports on a number of data points including temperatures, soil moisture and various barometric pressures. If they want to selectively water, say vine #67 in row number three, they can do so with their irrigation system. Extremely efficient!

Nine acres of vines are planted to various red varietals including; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. They have some of the older Cabernet Franc vines in the valley that are 30+ years old.

The soils here are diverse and can vary even within small geographic ranges on the property. Some of their vineyards are planted on the valley floor – while their upper vineyards are hillside, on the edges of the Mayacamas Mountains.

Their landscape above the property is interesting and part of the Mayacamas Mountains. Visually, it appears drier than other parts of this mountain range and the vegetation reflects that with grey pine and more open natural vegetation rather than the thicker wooded vegetation more commonly associated with parts of Spring and Diamond Mountains to the north.

After purchasing the property, David created planned and laid out his vision to create a world-class boutique wine making operation. Many wineries in the Napa Valley can take years before they come to fruition, not so here. After only about 10 months, the existing winery was remodeled. 6,500 feet of caves were expanded and drilled into the hillside behind the winery and a new hospitality center was built. The hospitality center ties in very well with the winery. From the small tasting room, large doors open revealing the tanks.

A vegetable garden slightly under an acre grows just south of the winery building. Vegetables from this garden are sold to nearby restaurants.

A skeleton key appears on the labels of their wine and is prominently displayed on the outside of their winery building. This has historical significance. The original key opens the front door to the historic home on site and is displayed in the tasting room. With respect to the history of this property, this one key has already become iconic to the brand.

You only need to look inside of the winery to see that their wine making team is focused on quality. Each of the small lot tanks have built in pumps which can be controlled and programmed to do pump-overs anytime of the day or night. In addition, these tanks have multiple points at which the temperature can be controlled. These tanks do not necessarily handle all their fermentation’s. They also ferment small lots in puncheons and barrels as needed. Control across the board is the key here and it is the control of the details in wine making that is is so integral from when the fruit first arrives through to when it is bottled.

2013 was their inaugural release. The focus is currently on two primary varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc were sourced from the estate but, then it was determined it was growing in an area better suited for red varietals so it was torn up and new plantings were made in the back of the property. While not far from these original plantings, their new home for their Sauvignon Blanc features different soils and is growing in a cooler part of the property.


The wine making team has been experimenting with the style of this varietal since 2013 with subsequent vintages seeing more oak. Especially, using the slightly longer cigar shaped barrels , which have extra surface area for maximizing complexities including textural feel imparted from aging the wine on the lees in these particular barrels. Maceration on the red wines is often 8-10 days and sometimes up to 20 days.

Most of their sales are direct to visitors or through their mailing list. However, they do have some distribution outside California in Florida, New York and Washington. Primarily to restaurants.
— 4 years ago

Peggy, Severn and 16 others liked this
Ron R

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@David T, excellent notes, again. I love their regular cab. Now I must try the reserve, as I rarely see this pts score from you.
David T

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@Ron R The 16 Reserve is well worth seeking out. It was perhaps the best wine I had in 8 producer visits. Very close with the 13 Seavey though. Two very different wines. The 13 Seavy was big & bold. The 16 Reserve was elegance & beauty, not that it didn’t show good structure and tannins. They were round and soft and nicely tucked under all that beauty & elegance.

Château d'Aiguilhe Querre

Comtes von Neipperg Côtes de Castillon Red Bordeaux Blend 2016

Alex Lallos
9.2

Excellent. Ripe and modern with dark red fruits, dried earth and spice. I’ve said it a million times but under $30 this is one of the best world class wines on the market. It competes with $50-100 st emilions. Better than anything you can find in California under $50 — 3 years ago

Josh, David and 6 others liked this

Modern Times Beer

Fruitlands Sour Tropical Fruit Gose

Fruity and tart but smooth, hint of salt and lots of guava, one of the more delicious sours I've had. — 3 years ago

Sharon liked this
Sharon B

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Love the color!

Bright Ideas Brewing

Hefeweizen

A beautiful wheat beer for the late afternoon sun, wheat-y, citrus-y and oh soo local, brewed about 300 feet from where we're currently standing. Wilco Solid Sound Festival 2019.

Bright Ideas Brewing, Hefeweizen.

We really love the musical diversity of this weekend, the Wilco crew really curates an excellent 3-day weekend of artists. We're listening to some outstanding, yet modernized Taureg guitar, heavily electrified to my satisfaction... Where else can you hear Wilco and a band from Agadez, Niger in the same afternoon? Plus we've seen Nels Cline mingling in the audiences multiple times today already. Rock 🌟
— 3 years ago

P, David and 12 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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@David T Yes! Plus it's colder than wine.
Anthony De Blasi

Anthony De Blasi

I saw Wilco on 06.12 in Brussels!😁

Pilsner Urquell

Tschechoslowakei Pilsner

Sometimes a barrel aged sour lambic made with peanut butter and smoked sausage is exactly what you might want. At other times (all other) a real beer is what you want. A beer that tastes like childhood (figuratively). This is it. A classic euro Pilsner. Refreshing, food friendly, not ridiculous alcohol or flavors. The way a lager/pils style beer should be. — 4 years ago

Trixie, GV and 5 others liked this

Château Lafite Rothschild

Carruades de Lafite Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 2003

David T
9.1

On the nose, ripe; blackberries, sweet & sour dark cherries, cooked cherries & strawberries & hues of blueberries. Black tea, cola, soft baking spices; vanilla, light clove & cinnamon. Crushed rocks, stones, limestone, turned, moist black earth, tobacco leaf, saddle-wood, soft leather, dry & fresh dark red florals.

The body is medium edging toward full. The tannins pretty well resolved. The ripe fruits show the hot, ripe vintage. Blackberries, sweet & sour dark cherries, cooked cherries & strawberries & hues of blueberries black tea, cola, soft baking spices; vanilla, light clove & cinnamon. Crushed rocks, stones, limestone, tobacco with ash, some graphite, soft medium dark spice, turned, forest floor, powdery but edgy minerals, saddle-wood, soft leather, dry & fresh dark red florals with some violets on the finish.

This showed better with Ribeye. The Ribeye brought out a fuller, richer wine with even more complexity. 9.35-9.4 with the Ribeye. It just missed 9.2 on its own. It’s big brother the 03 “Lafite” is 💯 point Parker wine.

Photos of; Chateau Lafite, their oak vat fermenters, Estate wine and their magnificent barrel room.

Interesting history and producers notes...Lafite Rothschild has a long and interesting history dating back to 1234, even though the property was not in the Bordeaux wine business at that time.

It is has been largely believed that vines were already planted on their terroir. The owner of the estate at the time, Gombaud de Lafite left his mark, his name. Almost 1,000 years after he owned it, the Chateau is still named after him! The vines were probably in existence at Lafite for over a century, it was not until around 1680, the majority of vineyards of what we know of as Lafite Rothschild today were created. This is because on the 1680 estate manifest, there are six mentions of their Bordeaux vineyards. Jacques de Segur, earns credit for cultivating the vineyard as I wrote in my Colon Segur post last weekend. In 1695, Alexandre de Segur married Marie-Therese de Clauzel, heiress to Chateau Latour. So to dovetail that write up, within a generation, the Segur family married into two of the greatest Bordeaux vineyards, Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour! When their son, Nicolas-Alexandre passed away, Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour were separated.

In 1797, Chateau Lafite was sold again. In the deed of sale, Chateau Lafite was described as a Premier Cru of Medoc. This is one of the earliest mentions of what we know of today as Lafite Rothschild producing wines of what would later be classified as an 1855 First Growth.

At that time, of Lafite were managed by the Goudal family. The Goudal family were wine historians and were able to read accurate records and details of the viticulture and marketing plans for Chateau Lafite in the estates formative years. The Goudal family gets the credit for creating the cellar and saving many of the oldest bottles that remain in the cold, dark cellars, including their oldest bottle, the 1797 Lafite!

The start of the famous Rothschild family begins in 1744, with the birth of Amschel Meyer. Amschel Meyer began creating his fortune while working as a merchant at “Zum Roten Schild,” which eventually became the family name of Rothschild.

In 1798 his sons were sent to various cities to create their fortunes. Needless to say, his sons all prospered as did their children in turn. This eventually led to them wanting to own a Chateau in Bordeaux. So in 1853, Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, an English member of the Rothschild family, purchased Chateau Brane-Mouton. As was the custom of the day, the new owner renamed it using his name and Chateau Mouton Rothschild was born.

This was followed in 1868, when James Rothschild, another member of the family purchased Chateau Lafite, which was now a coveted First Growth.

On 8 August, 1868, Baron James d’Rothschild purchased Chateau Lafite, which was sold at a public auction in Paris. It’s assumed, he bought the property for family competitive reasons looking to one up his brother, the owner of Mouton Rothschild. At that time, Mouton Rothschild was only a Second Growth at the time. But, that does not paint the entire picture. The 1855 Classification had not taken on the importance associated with it the we see it today. Plus, buying Lafite was a reasonable investment as the vineyard sold for about 8 times its earning potential.

The actual Chateau is one of the older structures in Bordeaux, as part of the building dates back to the later part of the 16th century. In 1868, the vineyard took up 135 hectares, of which 74 hectares were cultivated with vines. Production was much smaller in those days than it is today as it was between 4,000 and 5,000 cases.

Just three months after the purchase, Baron James d’Rothschild passed away and Chateau Lafite Rothschild became the joint property of his three sons; Alphonse Rothschild, Gustave Rothschild & Edmond Rothschild. Since 1868, Chateau Lafite Rothschild has remained in the hands of the of Rothschild family. The new owners renamed the estate Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

Jumping ahead to the modern age, in 1962, the Rothschild family added to their holdings when they purchased Chateau Duhart-Milon, a Fourth Growth vineyard also located in Pauillac. It was owned by the Casteja family for more than a century, Chateau Duhart Milon suffered from neglect and was in a awful condition. By the time Duhart Milon was obtained by the Rothschild family, the vineyard was down to only 17 hectare which required extensive renovations.

Baron Eric Rothschild, nephew of Baron Elie Rothschild, took over the management of Lafite Rothschild in 1974. Baron Eric Rothschild was part of the fifth Rothschild generation to inherit Chateau Lafite Rothschild. In 1984, the Rothschild family added to their holdings in Bordeaux with the purchase of Chateau Rieussec in Sauternes.

1987 was a difficult vintage, but because that was the year Lafite celebrated the inauguration of their wine new cellar, they had a lot to be excited about.

The new cellars were built under the supervision of Catalan architect Ricartdo Bofill, is both underground and circular, with a vault supported by 16 columns, giving the structure a majestic architectural style. The cellar holds 2,200 barrels, which is about 55,000 cases of wine. The construction took two years to finish and was completed in 1988.

Domaines Baron Rothschild became one of the first Bordeaux properties to invest in South America when they purchased Vina Los Vascos from a Chilean family. The owners of Lafite Rothschild continued expanding their holdings with the purchase of Chateau lEvangile in Pomerol from the Ducasse family, who owned the property for almost 100 years.

The wine making at Chateau Lafite Rothschild was managed by Charles Chevallier, who began his position in 1994. Charles Chevallier was replaced by Eric Kohler in January 2016. 2017 saw another change at the estate when Jean Guillaume Prats replaced Christopher Salin as the President of Domaines Baron Rothschild.

Perhaps, it’s the most refined of the First Growth. The wine, like all First Growth’s takes decades to mature. It has remarkable staying powers. Bottles of 1870 Lafite Rothschild discovered in the Glamis castle remain profound at more than 140 years of age! It is consider by many Master Sommeliers to be the best wine in the world.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of the earliest major Bordeaux estates to bottle their own wine. In 1890, they bottled a large portion of the wine and again in 1906. Part of the estate bottling was due to requests from Negociants who were willing to pay more for Chateau bottled wines. Also, bottling was primarily done to combat piracy. At the time, it was known that merchants in some countries, like Russia were bottling cheap wine and placing labels from Lafite Rothschild on the bottles. The Koch’s famous Jefferson bottles were not the first attempt at counterfeiting.

Prior to 1996, some would say the property had its share of ups and downs. The 1960’s and 1970’s were not great for Chateau Lafite Rothschild. But since 1996, Lafite Rothschild has been producing some of the best wine in their history!

Sadly, only the wealthy can afford to purchase it. Price aside, there is no denying the level of quality. In 2003 Lafite Rothschild produced a wine that is possibly unequaled by the estate at any time in their long history. Hence, my purchase of their 03 second wine. 2009, 2010 and 2016 are not far behind.

Starting in about 2008, Lafite Rothschild became the most collectible wine from Bordeaux. Prices exploded due to demand from China as Chinese businessmen bought them as gifts or bribes depending on you look at it.

The reason this started was Lafite Rothschild paid for product placement on the number one rated Chinese soap opera on television. Characters in that show were pictured enjoying life with Lafite Rothschild and since then demand went through the roof as did priced.

However, Issac Newton had it right when he declared “What goes up, must come down.” Prices for Lafite Rothschild plummeted after 2011. By the difficult 2013, prices were finally starting to hold firm, but many of the vintages that were setting price records on a daily basis had lost close to 50% of their value.

Starting with the 2012 vintage, Chateau Lafite Rothschild began instituting anti-counterfeiting measures. From 2012 forward, to help fight, rampant counterfeiting, the estate places a seal of authenticity on the capsules of both Lafite Rothschild and Carruades de Lafite. The seal features a unique, numbered code that can be checked on their website, to verify if the wine is real.

The 112 hectare vineyard of Chateau Lafite Rothschild is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. This shows a slight change in the vineyard.

While Cabernet Sauvignon remained at 70%, today there is slightly more Merlot, less Cabernet Franc and the Petit Verdot has been added since the mid 1990’s.

Located in the far north of the Pauillac appellation, only the small, Jalle de Breuil stream separates the vineyards from St. Estephe. You could divide the vineyards of Chateau Lafite Rothschild into three sections with 100 separate parcels in all. The estate has close to 50 hectares of vines located close to the Chateau, on both sides of the D2, which offers gentle rises in elevations of up to 27 meters. They also have about 50 hectares vines planted on the plateau in the Carruades sector, where they have two blocks of vines, one of which is inside the vineyard of Chateau Mouton Rothschild. It is interesting to note that even though the parcels in the Carruades sector give their name to the second wine of the estate, those vines are almost always placed in the Grand Vin.

There are also vines adjacent to, and interspersed with the vineyards of Chateau Duhart Milon. The property also consists of a smaller, 4.5 hectare parcel of vines located in the Saint Estephe appellation, “La Caillava”. The vines in St. Estephe are situated not that far from Cos d Estournel, which are located on a larger a parcel known as Blanquet. The vines in Saint Estephe are allowed to be placed into the wine of Chateau Lafite Rothschild because those vines were used to produce Lafite in 1885, at the time of the classification. The vineyards are close to their famous neighbor Mouton Rothschild.

Located just south of the Chateau, the best terroir of Lafite Rothschild has a thick layer of gravel with sand, clay, marl and limestone in the soils with rolling, gravel slopes. The gravel can be as deep as 4 meters in some parcels.
It is important to note that even though their vineyards are in the far north of Pauillac, most of the soil is pure gravel, rocks and stones. With more than 50% of the soil consisting of gravel, that is a large part of the reason Lafite Rothschild has such elegant, feminine textures and that coveted sensation of minerality.

On average, the vines are close to 40 years of age. However, Chateau Lafite Rothschild has much older vines. In fact, they have some vines that are more than 100 years of age planted in the La Graviere section. That small parcel of Merlot vines dates back to 1886. Less than 1% of the vines are that old.
Additionally, they have a small section of Cabernet Sauvignon that dates back to 1922! Other old vines range from 50 to 90 years of age! They also maintain some of the oldest Petit Verdot vines in the Medoc that was planted in the early 1930’s.

At Chateau Lafite Rothschild, between 1% to 1.5% of the vineyard is replanted every year. Vines less than 20 years of age are never included in the Grand Vin.

The vineyard of Chateau Lafite Rothschild is planted to a vine density that ranges from 7,500 to 8,500 vines per hectare. Only organic fertilizers are used in the vineyards of Lafite Rothschild.

During harvest, the goal is not to pick at the maximum level of ripeness. Instead, they are seeking a blend of grapes at differing levels of maturity, which gives the wine its unique textures, freshness, aromatic complexities and elegant sensations.

Lafite Rothschild is the largest of the First Growth vineyards with close to 112 hectares of vines. A large portion of the estate is taken up with stunningly, beautiful landscaping, lakes, trees and parkland.

At one point in time, Chateau Lafite Rothschild produced a dry white, Bordeaux wine that was sold as Vin de Chateau Lafite. The wine was produced from a large percentage of Semillon, blended with a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc. The last vintage for their white wine was 1960. The wine was sold as a generic AOC Bordeaux blanc with a simple, scripted label, black and white label.

Lafite vinification takes place in 66 vats that are a combination of 29 wood vats, 20 stainless steel tanks and 17 concrete vats that range in size from as small as 45 hectoliters up to 123 hectoliters in the concrete and as large as 270 hectoliters for the wood. The wide range of vat sizes coupled with different materials allow Chateau Lafite Rothschild to vinify depending on the needs of each specific parcel and grape variety. The stainless steel tanks and oak vats are used for Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot is vinified in the concrete tanks. Malolactic fermentation occurs in smaller, stainless steel tanks that vary in size from 25 hectoliters up to 60 hectoliters. At this point, Chateau Lafite Rothschild does not yet use gravity to move the fruit and juice in the cellar. It’s a good bet that a remodel is coming soon.

The average annual production of Chateau Lafite Rothschild ranges from 15,000 to 20,000 cases of wine per year, depending on the vintage. They of course make this second wine, Carruades de Lafite, which due to the name and association with the Grand Cru, has also become extremely collectible. Carruades de Lafite takes its name from a specific section of their vineyard that is located near Mouton Rothschild. Carruades is actually one of the older second wines in Bordeaux, as it was first produced in the mid 1850’s. About 100 years later during the mid 1960s, the estate reintroduced their second wine naming it Moulin de Carruades. The name was changed again in the 1980’s to Carruades de Lafite.

There is also a third wine which is sold as an AOC Pauillac that is produced from declassified fruit from Lafite Rothschild and Duhart-Milon.

The blend for Chateau Lafite Rothschild changes with each vintage depending on the character and quality of the vintage. Generally speaking, the amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend ranges from 80% to 95%. Merlot is usually 5% to 20%. Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot usually varies from 0 to 5%.

— 4 years ago

Jason, Shay and 22 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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Nice notes, my scrolling finger needs some rest now.
James Forsyth

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Fabulous note and information.
David T

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@James Forsyth Thank you James. I appreciate your note. As much as I love Bordeaux, I love their history. As well, producers who put everything into making great wine for those of us that love it.