1855 classification - Premier Grand Cru Classé The long history of Château Lafite includes a period in the 17th and 18th century when it was owned by the Ségur family, who also at the time owned Latour and who's name lives on at Calon-Ségur and Phelan-Ségur. By the time of the 1855 classification which rightly recognised the reputation of Lafite, the estate was under a complicated ownership arrangement which inevitably unravelled, and Lafite was sold to Baron James de Rothschild, largely it would seem to keep uo with his cousin Nathaniel Rothschild who had recently purchased Brane-Mouton (later to become Mouton Rothschild). He died a couple of months later, but his descendents own the estate to this day. Baron Eric, who took control during the 1970's, returned Lafite to its rightful place at the top of the Bordeaux hierarchy with a programme of investment, improvement and modernisation. There are 103ha of land under vine at Lafite, facing Cos d'Estournel across the Jalle du Breuil which marks the border between Pauillac and Saint Estèphe. Indeed, Lafite own a small parcel of vines over the border in Saint Estèphe. Just over 70% is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon with 25% Merlot and smaller portions of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Vines for the grand vin average around 40 years old with none less than 10. Wines are aged in barrels from their own cooperage for aound 18 months. The second wine is Carruades de Lafite which usually features a higher proportion of Merlot in the cuvée.