Château Lafon-Rochet

Château Lafon-Rochet

Records show this estate existed as early as the 1500s, although it didn't get its name until it was purchased by the Lafon-Rochet family a century later, and its winemaking history didn't begin until around 1720. The family kept hold of the property for an impressive 200 years, and was present when it was awarded its fourth growth status in the 1855 Classification (one of just five properties in Saint-Estèphe to be named a classed growth), but they sold it in 1897.

It passed through various hands until 1960, when it was bought by Guy Tesseron of the famous Cognac-producing family, who demolished the estate's buildings and rebuilt them from scratch. The future looks promising as it is now run by the intelligent Basile Tesseron who himself is himself married to the talented winemaker at Château Larrivaux, Bérangère Tesseron.

The property has one of the best terroirs in Bordeaux: its one block of 45 hectares is on a gravelly rise not far from Pauillac, and overlooks first growth Lafite Rothschild and second growth Cos d'Estournel, so the pedigree is certainly good. Although not officially certified organic, vineyard management follows many organic principles, and the grapes have been harvested by the same team of pickers for over 20 years.

Although its track record has been inconsistent, which is why we have not bought it on a regular basis, Lafon-Rochet is a property with considerable potential, which in a successful vintage makes an excellent buy. The wine tends to be a blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot and just 3% cabernet franc, which ages for 16 months in oak, half of it new. It is a wine that will benefit from keeping for between seven and 20 years.

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