Lafite tweaks 2018 label to celebrate anniversary
The label of Château Lafite’s 2018 vintage has been given a slight tweak to mark the 150th anniversary of the Rothschild family’s acquisition of the Pauillac estate.
The 2018 label includes a hot air balloon drifting by in the space between the château and tree framing the right hand side of the lithograph.
As the estate explained in a press release, the idea was to include something that the two ladies strolling in the foreground might possibly be looking at and, in 1868, that could well have been a hot air balloon.
Saskia de Rothschild, Lafite’s chairwoman, explained: “We thought it would be a good idea to imagine something floating in the sky that the women could be gazing at.
“In 1868, hot air balloons were the absolute symbols of modernity and adventure. In 2018, we still see them fly but they have become the symbol of slowing down, of taking the time to move more steadily. With no rush. Just what we have been doing at Lafite for 150 years: steadily standing the test of time as we head towards the future.”
The bottles will also have the initials ‘CL’ and Roman numerals for ‘150’ engraved on the shoulder.
Early next year the estate will also release 300 limited edition cases with a magnum of the 2018 vintage and a book called ‘The Almanac’ which charts the 150 vintages of Lafite under the Rothschilds, presenting each with various climatic and historical notes from the domain’s archives.
Saskia said: “We built this book to tell the story of Lafite since the Rothschild family has owned it, but also to share more stories about the life of a vintage.
“We hope readers will come out of reading it with a better understanding of how a wine grows, from the soil to the vine to the bottle.”
Incidentally, today (7 October) in 1870, the new French president of the Third Republic, Léon Gambetta, fled Paris in a hot air balloon to establish a government in Tours.
The French capital was being besieged by the Prussians, whose crushing victory at Sedan in September led to the fall of the last French monarchy under Napoleon III.