DBR Lafite Introduces Anseillan

DBR Lafite Introduces Anseillan

Anseillan is not a new wine from the Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite stable. Anseillan has always been an integral part of Lafite yet is a completely separate wine in its own right. Not a château, Anseillan is a wine, named for a ‘lieu-dit’ - a named locality - within the Château Lafite Rothschild estate, and was released this year with the 2018 vintage. 

From the windows of the château in this Pauillac hamlet, Anseillan comes into view on the horizon to the east, at the summit of a gravel outcrop, on the edge of marshlands, forests and fields of grazing cows. The hamlet comprises an assortment of dainty, Medoc stone houses, and dates back to the 16th century. “It became part of the Chateau Lafite estate in 1970, largely thanks to my uncle, Baron Elie de Rothschild,” said Saskia de Rothschild, Executive Chairwoman. “It originally housed Lafite’s agricultural workers, farmers and vignerons. Still today, for those from Lafite, it is a place to stay, live and raise children, just across the road from the Château.”

Anseillan is a blend of meticulously selected vineyard plots, born of many years of intense scrutiny, research and trials at the hands of Château Lafite’s technical teams. Located at the very heart of the hamlet, they have been defined precisely within the AOC Pauillac. The initiation of the project dates back to 2014, during a blending session for the Lafite team. It started out slowly, at first making just a few hundred magnums every year. “We waited to see how these bottles evolved,” explains Saskia de Rothschild. “In 2021, we tasted all the trials we had produced for every past vintage and found there was something there.” That’s when the team decided to release this wine with the vintage 2018.

The plots of vines around the hamlet of Anseillan are currently undergoing intense overhaul, and serve to test new growing techniques, observe nature at play and attempt to unlock the connections between vines and biodiversity. Here, the living world is treated responsibly, sustainably, and with the utmost respect. “The Anseillan vineyard is an incredible playground in terms of terroir as they are 3 different soils: gravelly, clay and clay-limestone” explains Louis Caillard, Director of Viticulture for Lafite. “Today, we are responsible for restructuring it for the fifty or hundred years to come.”Produced in the capable hands of the Lafite teams with a varying production depending on the vintage, Anseillan is aged in the Lafite cellars in barrels produced at the Tonnellerie des Domaines. 

Deep and dark in colour, Anseillan 2018 is almost black but with a pleasant brightness. Before aeration, the nose is already intense; a sign of the start of opening. After aeration, it becomes even more expressive with notes of cherries. We can still distinguish some smoky notes of the barrel ageing, then spices from the Petit-Verdot which makes up 13% of this blend.

Well-balanced on the palate, with lots of volume thanks to the Merlot, and a great structure and freshness brought by the Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives the length that is characteristic of Pauillac. Still young but already very accessible, this wine will be at its peak between 2023 and 2028. 48 % Merlot 39 % Cabernet Sauvignon 13 % Petit Verdot Aged 16-18 months in barrel.

Back to blog