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Château Lafite-Rothschild 1961

Estimate: CHF7,000 - CHF9,000
ca. US$7,021 - US$9,028
Price realised:  CHF7,963
ca. US$7,988
Lot number 1, Views: 36

Fine & Rare Wines: The 40 Years Jubilee of Alpina Fine Wines It’s with pride that Christie’s accepted the honor to organize this unique once in a lifetime auction of wines directly from the Alpina reserves, one of the finest collections in Europe. A breathtaking line-up of finest Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Italian and Californian wines. All shipped directly after release from the producer’s cellar to the temperature controlled storage in Buchloe Germany. The collection features many classic great wines such as 1961 Lafite-Rothschild, 1982 Margaux, 2000 Mouton-Rothschild, 1985 La Mission Haut Brion, 2005 Lafleur, 2002 de Vogue Musigny, 1979 Sassicaia and 2006 Masseto, featuring many rare large format bottles. A personal passion of Mr Burkard Bovensiepen. Large format bottles are not just very nice to see and festive on a dinner table or as a present there is a very good reason to keep these big beauties in your cellar. Wine evolves slowly over time in a large format. For long term storage we always advise to stock up in magnum size or bigger as the wines are fresher longer. Comparative tastings of the same 20 year old wine in various sizes will show the bottle size to be most evolved and could even appear tired while the imperial size will still have reserve and fresh fruit. Thus we advise you to stock up on some of the excellent well aged large formats from this collection. They have been stored under perfect conditions. Especially if you want to keep a great wine to celebrate a birthday in 20 to 30 years, this is a unique opportunity to acquire some of these amazing wines in large format. The chateau’s only fill a small number of the larger formats, making them even more exclusive. These different formats are offered in this collection: Magnum: 1,5liter / 2 bottles Double-Magnum: 3 liter / 4 bottles Jeroboam: 5 liter / 6.6 bottles Imperial: 6 liter / 8 bottles Salmanazar: 9 liter / 12 bottles Balthazar: 12 liter/16 bottles Château Lafite-Rothschild What can I add to all the things that have already been written about Lafite? There have been perhaps more books, articles and tasting notes written about this château than any other. Far from me therefore to even try to add anything that has not already been said but maybe just jot down very humbly before such a fabulous estate, a few of my own personal observations and thoughts. First, the style of Lafite. I would absolutely agree with the grandfather of all Bordeaux courtiers, Abraham Lawton, who penned in 1815 that « it has the most elegant and delicate of flavours ». Edmund Penning-Rowsell later said that it is « the acme of fine claret, well-balanced, elegant and supple ». In that sense it is similar in style to Haut-Brion but it has, in most years, a greater underlying power without what Neal Martin calls « the winsome charm of Haut-Brion ». After all it does come from just across the road from the very sturdy-styled Mouton. At the primeur tastings, all this elegance is very apparent in the introverted kind of sophisticated aromas that seem very timid and you can't quite name them. So I always have a tendency to note that the wine is a bit light and then, when the technical director, Charles Chevallier until recently and then Eric Kohler today notices what I am thinking, they force me to go back to the glass and pay attention. It has been a great education in not believing that what you see is what you get. At Lafite, it's often what you can't quite see that is what you are going to get. Of the vintages on offer today, the fabulous '61 needs no introduction, its concentration coming from a vastly reduced yield, especially of the Merlot which failed to flower properly. The '76, the first of Baron Eric's régime and the first to be reduced from three to two years in barrel, bucked the above trend by being lavishly sweet-tasting : it was my favourite first growth en primeur and had changed very little on subsequent tastings. It was considered the first real return to fo

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Fine & Rare Wines: The 40 years Jubilee of ALPINA Fine Wines
Date of the auction: 10 Nov 2019
Address: Christie's