Investing in Carruades de Lafite

Chateau Lafite-RothschildCarruades de Lafite set a high record for the year when seventy-two bottles of the 2012 vintage were purchased for 1,040 pounds. This sale brought the price for the wine up 3pc from its trading price in September and 5pc up from its May price. That sale caught the attention of serious wine investors, and for good reason. As a second wine from the prestigious Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Carruades de Lafite is an excellent choice for wine investors who are looking for something other than first growths. Compared to the main wine being produced at Lafite, it is about one-third less in price.

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild

The Lafite-Rothschild estate is situated on the Gironde’s left bank in the region of Pauillac and is known to produce some of the highest priced wines of the area. Baron James de Rothschild, who was responsible for the family’s French branch, bought Chateau Lafite in August 1868. A short three months later he passed away, leaving the Lafite estate joint property of his three sons. At that time, the estate consisted of 74 hectares of vineyards. Today the vineyards are owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and are controlled by the Rothschild family.

Best Practices in Wine Production

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild now has in excess of 100 hectares that are all planted with the red grape vines. From 80-95pc of the estate’s main wine consists of Cabernet Sauvignon followed by 5-20pc of Merlot. Smaller portions of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc are also used. Besides the excellent wine, the chateau has made a name for itself by adhering to its own two philosophies. The first one is humbleness in learning. They understand that fine wine is the result of many years of hard work to make excellent soil. The second point is setting the highest quality standards and living up to them. While using only the best proven practices, they are constantly looking for areas to improve.

Characteristics of Carruades de Lafite

The name originates from the Carruades plateau, which were plots near the best vineyards and were bought by the chateau in 1945. Although the characteristics of Carruades is typical of any fine wine, it gains its own personality through the composition that includes more Merlot. Annual production ranges from 20,000 to 30,000 cases.

Learning to Rate Your Wine

wine tastingInvestment in fine wine purchased strictly for investment might be best handled by an experienced wine merchant, but even so it is important to understand the market and the varieties. A good place to begin learning to appreciate the different types of wine is by learning and tasting. You will not only discover your own palate, or what you like best, but you will understand the qualities to look for in investment wines. While you may not have been born with this talent, you can certainly learn it.

Start with a Sniff

Wine professionals are experienced in sniffing the wine to discern the subtle threads woven into the complex aroma. Your nose is the key here. Just try to hold your nose when swallowing some wine and you’ll notice how muted the flavors are. So how to begin? Begin by stopping everything you’re doing or saying. Shut out any distraction and focus on how the wine looks, how it smells, its

flavor and its finish. It doesn’t take long to make all those notes, but it does require a degree of concentration. In your tasting, choose the wine’s main flavor and the scent in each of the wines. Begin with the basic characteristics, which should include the varietal grapes, and go on to learning to distinguish wines coming from the best wine producing areas of the world. Before long you will be able to tell the good wine from the less desirable.

Wine Regions of the World

After you’ve rated your wine, find out if it is New World or Old World. New World wines comes from one of the newer areas of wine production, including America, Chile and Australia. Old World wines come from areas of the world known for their long histories of producing wine, such as along the Mediterranean or Europe, including Italy, France and Germany.

Whatever you sip, take a minute to learn its history and appreciate its heritage. Whether you are buying to enjoy or for investment, it is worthwhile to pay attention to its complexity and characteristics while savoring the moment.