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A Chance to Buy Direct from the Cellar of Chateau Lafite Rothschild



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          <span class= Chateau Lafite Rothschild, with bottles from 1914, 1949, and 1982.

Courtesy of Zachys
          

Collectors accustomed to buying Bordeaux straight from the producer's only "en premier," or as futures, ahead of their release into the market, revel in the chance to buy aged bottles that never left the chateau's cellar.

Château Lafite Rothschild, perhaps the most celebrated of the Bordeaux first growth producers, is offering an extensive live auction of 692 lots, all from the Lafite and other properties by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) , The New York wine retailer and auction house Zachy's is on sale on March 30 at Le Bernardin Privé in New York.

Baron James Mayer de Rothschild's purchase of the property in France 150 years ago, is a bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild 1868, produced that same year. The offering, which includes a dinner for four at the Chateau, is estimated at between US $ 13,000 and US $ 20,000. Bordeaux's château from first to fifth growths was established.

The eventual buyer of the 1868 wants to acquire "an exceptional piece of history," says Jean-Guillaume Prats, Lafite's president and CEO.

 A bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 1868, Paulliac, produced in the year Baron James Mayer de Rothschild purchased the famed Winery in Bordeaux, France.
      

A bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 1868, Paulliac, produced in the year Baron James Mayer de Rothschild purchased the famed winery in Bordeaux, France.

Courtesy of Zachys
          

That's because of the 1868 vintage-of which Lafite has left only five bottles-what among the great vintage of Bordeaux. At Lafite, these wines, which are clearly old, complex, and velvety, "taste like a fairly young wine," Prats says-almost as if it was still 1868.

The sale also includes Château Lafite Rothschild 1870, so considered This is an estimate of $ 12,000 and $ 18,000, as well as nine other bottles from the 19th century. Lafite properties, including Château Duhart-Milon, considered "the small brother of Lafite," which is popular in Europe, and Château L'evangile, a small property on the right bank of Bordeaux, that is popular with North American collectors, Prats says.

Baron Eric de Rothschild and his daughter, Saskia de Rothschild, who has been chair of Domaines Barons, said he was offered, too, and had several imperials (equal in volume to eight bottles) de Rothschild (Lafite) since last year.

All the bottles were labeled for being put in custom-made wooden boxes.

Lafite sold bottles from his cellars 10 years ago at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong. This auction, although available to bidders globally, is deliberately centered in the U.S.. because "we wanted to send a signal to the market that we do not want to forget the American wine collectors," Prats says.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, or DRC, from the cellar of Robert Drouhin at Sotheby's in New York.

Burgundy, today, is dominating fine wine market sales in the US $ 558,000. To Prats, Burgessy's quality and the French Appellation's tiny production levels. But Burgundy requires a special collector, one who prefers to educate about the region's producers, many of whom make the same storied vineyards.

"Bordeaux has a substantial advantage," Prats says.

"Château Lafite has the same mystical reputation as Romanée-Conti and a few others, but he says.

Burgundy, Bordeaux remains the cornerstone of the fine wine market, says Charles Antin, a senior international specialist at Zachys, and the auctioneer for the Lafite sale. Lafite is from Burgundy or Bordeaux, or Italy's Piedmont for that matter.

"These are works of art," he says. 1870 Lafite, most considered the greatest Bordeaux of all time. My experience is it's kind or jewelry or wine, that sort of provenance and rarity transcends the market, especially on a global level. "


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