Chateau Lafite Rothschild Wins the Readers' Choice Award for Best International Red Wine
With a history dating back centuries and a claim to the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, Chateau Lafite Rothschild is a fitting winner for the Luxist Awards' Readers' Choice Award in the best international red wine category.
In 1787, scarcely ten years after some ambitious colonists declared a new country across the Atlantic, a small French winery called Chateau Lafite produced a very special bottle. Little did the resident oenologist know that nearly 200 years later, the bottle would sell for 105,000 pounds – roughly $160,000 – setting the mark for price that has stood since 1985.
When Baron James de Rothschild, a patriarch of the famous European banking family, purchased Chateau Lafite in 1868, it was perhaps a sign of a good investment recognized. But the Baron never saw his purchase bear fruit – he passed away just three months later, leaving the renamed Chateau Lafite-Rothschild estate to his three sons.
Gallery: Chateau Lafite Rothschild
Over a century later, Chateau Lafite Rothschild remains one of the world's most esteemed wine estates, producing some 35,000 cases per year. Much like the record-setting bottle from 1787, even the most recent vintages continue to rapidly appreciate in value – the 2008 Lafite Rothschild was valued at 1,500 pounds upon its release, but bottle prices more than doubled within two weeks. Baron James would be proud.