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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.

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