Carruades De Lafite 2005
Carruades De Lafite 2005, Chateau Lafite Rothschild’s second wine, Carruades de Lafite presents similar characteristics to the Grand Vin, but with its own personality linked to a higher proportion of Merlot and to specific plots that are used to produce Carruades. The name comes from the Carruades plateau, a group of plots acquired in 1845 just next to the vines on the Château hilltop.
After a fairly mild winter, there were two nights of severe frost in the spring, on 26 and 27 April, which inflicted major damage on Bordeaux’s vineyards. Miraculously, Lafite came out unscathed. Conditions then became excellent, with higher than usual temperatures, and balanced, well-spaced rainfall. Flowering was early, and by mid-June the fruit had set almost two weeks earlier than usual.
After some heavy rain at the end of June, temperatures remained lower than normal throughout the summer, without ever becoming cold. This enabled the vines’ slightly premature development to be rebalanced, and ripening took place slowly in ideal conditions until mid-September, when the harvests began. A rainy spell, from 10 to 20 September disrupted the otherwise perfect weather, causing more concern than actual damage. Over the course of a conventional 20-day fermentation and maceration period, the wines quickly confirmed their potential and fairly traditional character.
While the first known reference to Lafite dates to 1234 with a certain Gombaud de Lafite, abbot of the Vertheuil Monastery north of Pauillac, Lafite’s mention as a medieval fief dates to the 14th century. The name Lafite comes from the Gascon language term “la hite”, which means “hillock”. There were probably already vineyards on the property at the time when the Ségur family organised the vineyard in the 17th century, and Lafite began to earn its reputation as a great winemaking estate. Jacques de Ségur was credited with the planting of the Lafite vineyard in the 1670s and in the early 1680s. In 1695, Jacques de Ségur’s heir, Alexandre, married the heiress of Château Latour, who gave birth to Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur. The wine histories of the fiefs of Lafite and Latour were thus joined at the outset.