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Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Bordeaux Wine

pin it button Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Bordeaux Wine

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Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, First Growth, Bordeaux wine producer profile, with wine tasting notes, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Lafite Rothschild is known for producing what many people think is the best Bordeaux wine in the appellation. It’s also thought of as one of the most famous, as well as expensive wines in the world. Lafite Rothschild has a long and interesting history dating back to 1234! Even though the property was not in the Bordeaux wine business at that time. it is thought that vines were already planted on their unique terroir. The owner of the estate at the time, Gombaud de Lafite left his mark. Almost 1,000 years after he owned it, the chateau is still named after him!

As we mentioned, while vines were probably in existence at Lafite, it was not until around 1680, that the majority of the vineyards of what we know of as Lafite Rothschild today were created. Jacques de Segur planted the vineyard at that time. We know this because on the 1680 estate manifest, there are six mentions to the properties Bordeaux wine vineyards.

In the 17th century, the property of Château Lafite was purchased by the Sé=egur family, including the historic chateau that was built in the 16th century. In 1695, Alexandre de Segur married Marie-Therese de Clauzel, heiress to Chateau Latour. So, within a generation, the Segur family married into two of the greatest Bordeaux wine vineyards, Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour! When their son, Nicolas-Alexandre passed away, the domains of Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour were separated.  Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States favored the wine of Chateau Lafite and purchased multiple cases of the wine while he was in France.

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In 1797, Chateau Lafite was sold again. In the deed of sale, Chateau Lafite was described as Premier cru of Medoc. This is one of the earliest mentions of what we know of today as Lafite Rothschild producing wines of what would later be classified as a First Growth. At the time, the affairs of Lafite were managed by the Goudal family. Thanks to the arrival of Goudal, wine loving historians are able to read accurate records and details of the viticulture and marketing plans for Chateau Lafite in the estates formative years.

The start of the famous Rothschild family begins in 1744, with the birth of Amschel Meyer. Amschel Meyer began creating his fortune while working as a merchant at “zum Roten Schild,” which eventually became the family name of Rothschild. In 1798 his sons were sent to various cities to create their fortunes as well. Needless to say, his sons all prospered as did their children in turn. This eventually led to their desire to own a chateau in Bordeaux. In 1853, Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, an English member of the Rothschild family, purchased Chateau Brane-Mouton. As was the custom of the day, the new owner renamed it using his name and Chateau Mouton Rothschild was born. This was followed in 1868, when James Rothschild, another member of the family purchased Chateau Lafite.

On 8 August 1868, Baron James d’Rothschild purchased Chateau Lafite, which was sold at a public auction as part of the Ignace-Joseph Vanlerberghe succession. The auction was held in Paris in 1868. At this time, Chateau Lafite was seen as the Premier of the Premiers crus! In those days, the vineyard took up 135 hectares, of which 74 were under vines. Production was much smaller than it is today as it hovered between 4,000 and 5,000 cases per vintage. Just 3 months after the purchase, Baron James d’Rothschild passed away and Chateau Lafite Rothschild became the joint property of his three sons: Alphonse, Gustave and Edmond Rothschild. Since 1868, Chateau Lafite Rothschild has remained in the hands of the Rothschild family. The new owners renamed the estated Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

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Jumping ahead to the modern age. in 1962, the Rothschild family added to their holdings when they purchased Chateau Duhart Milon, also located in the Pauillac appellation of the Medoc. Owned by the Casteja family for more than a century, Chateau Duhart Milon suffered from neglect and was in a dilapidated condition. By the time Duhart Milon was obtained by the Rothschild family, the vineyard was down to only 17 hectares of vines, which required extensive renovations.

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Baron Eric Rothschild, nephew of Baron Elie, took over the management of Lafite Rothschild in 1974. Baron Eric Rothschild was part of the fifth Rothschild generation to inherit Château Lafite Rothschild Barons David, Edouard, Robert, Nathaniel and Benjamin de Rothschild. In 1984, the Rothschld family added to their holdings with the purchase of Château Rieussec in Sauternes.

1987 was not a strong harvest, but because that was the year Lafite celebrated the inauguration of their Bordeaux wine new cellar, the owners had much to be excited about.

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The new cellars built under the supervision of Catalan architect Ricartdo Bofill, is underground and circular, with a vault supported by 16 columns, giving the structure a majestic and airy style. The cellar holds 2,200 barrels. The construction took two years and was completed in 1988.

Domaines Baron Rothschild became one of the first Bordeaux properties to invest in South America when they purchased Vina Los Vascos from a Chilean family. The owners of Lafite Rothschild continued expanding their holdings with the purchase of Château l’Evangile in Pomerol from the Ducasse family, who owned the property for almost 100 years. They also own Chateau Rieussec in Sauternes. Chateau Lafite Rothschild is managed by Charles Chevallier who began his position in 1994.

lafite 3 209x300 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Bordeaux Wine

Lafite Rothschild produces an elegant style of Pauillac. Its qualities show cedar, cassis, tobacco, truffle, and spice along with a freshness and purity of fruit. Perhaps, it’s the most refined of the First Growths. The wine, like all First Growth’s takes decades to mature.  It has remarkable staying powers.  Bottles of 1870 Lafite Rothschild discovered in the Glamis castle remain profound at more than 130 years of age! Although I have yet to see one. Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of the earliest major Bordeaux estates to bottle their own wine. In 1890, they bottled a large portion of the wine and again in 1906. Part of the estate bottling was due to requests from negociants who were willing to pay for Chateau bottled wines. Also, it’s important to note that part of estate bottling was conduced to combat piracy. At the time, it was known that merchants in some countries, like Russia were bottling cheap wine and placing labels from Lafite Rothschild on the bottles.

Lafite Cellars Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Bordeaux Wine

Prior to 1996, the property had its share of ups and downs.The 1960′s and 1970′s was a dismal period for Lafite Rothschild. Unless they can be picked up for a song, wines from those vintages should be avoided.  But since 1996, Lafite Rothschild has not looked back producing some of the best wine in their history.  Sadly, only multi-millionaires can afford to purchase it today, but there is no denying the level of quality. In 2003 Lafite Rothschild produced a wine that is possibly unequaled by the estate at any time in their long history. 2009 is not far behind.

Starting in about 2008, Lafite Rothschild became the most collectible wine from Bordeaux. Prices exploded due to an ever increasing demand from China. Lafite Rothschild became the status symbol of choice. There are multiple theories as to why this happened.  The most widely accepted reason is, Lafite paid for product placement on the number one rated Chinese soap opera on television. Characters in that show were pictured enjoying life with Lafite Rothschild and since that time, prices for Lafite Rothschild have shot up and continue to rise! However, Issac Newton had it right when he declared “What goes up, must come down.” Prices for Lafite Rothschild plummeted after 2011. By 2013, prices were finally starting to hold firm, but many of the vintages that were setting price records on a daily basis had lost close to 50% of their value.

lafite bottles1 300x202 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Bordeaux Wine

Lafite Rothschild is the largest of the First Growth properties with close to 112 hectares under vine. In total, Chateau Lafite Rothschild is closer to 78 hectares, but a large portion of that acreage is taken up by heart stoppingly beautiful landscaping, lakes and parkland. Lafite Rothschild also maintains close to 50 hectares of marshland and greenery where they allow an ancient species of wild cow to live. The breed of cow is nearly extinct, which does not produce milk, nor are they raised as cattle for meat. This division of planted vineyards and open land has not changed much since 1868 and is close to what the property looked like in 1855, when it was deemed to be a First Growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification of the Medoc.  

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Chateau Lafite-Rothschild

One could divide the vineyards of Chateau Lafite Rothschild into three sections. The estate has close to 50 hectares of vines located close to the chateau. They have about 50 hectares vines planted in the Carruades sector and they own a smaller section of vines that are actually located across the street in the St. Estephe appellation! The vines in St. Estephe total close to 4.5 hectares. The vines are located not far from Cos d’Estournel. The powerful Rothchild family lobbied hard to have that land eventually reclassified so as to allow the vines to be used as a part of Pauillac.

The terroir has soil with a thick layer of gravel over limestone, good elevations and slopes with the access to water making it one of the finest terroirs in the entire Left Bank! The vineyard of Chateau Lafite Rothschild is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. On average, the vines are close to 40 years of age. But Chateau Lafite Rothschild has much older vines. In fact, they have some vines that are more than 100 years of age planted in the La Graviere section. That small parcel of vines dates back to 1888. Less than 1% of the vines are that old. Other vines range from 50 to 90 years of age! At Chateau Lafite Rothschild, between 1% and 1.5% of the vineyard is replanted every year. Chateau Lafite Rothschild has a terroir of gravel, sand and limestone with some clay in the soils. The vineyard of Chateau Lafite Rothschild is planted to a vine density of 7,500 vines per hectare. Only organic fertilizers are used at in the vineyards of Lafite Rothschild. During harvest, the goal is not to pick at the maximum level of ripeness, they are seeking a blend of grapes at differing levels of ripeness which gives the its unique textures nd sensations.

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Vinification of Chateau Lafite Rothschild takes place in 66 vats that are a combination of 29 wood vats, 20 stainless steel tanks and 17 concrete vats that range in size from as small as 45 hectoliters up to 123 hectoliters in the concrete and as large as 270 hectoliters for the wood. These range in size for and materials allows Chateau Lafite Rothschild to vinify depending on the needs of each specific parcel. The Stainless steel tanks and oak vats are used for Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot is vinified in the concrete tanks. Malolactic fermentation occurs in smaller, stainless steel tanks that vary in size from 25 hectoliters up to 60 hectoliters. At this point, Chateau Lafite Rothschild does not yet use gravity to move the fruit and juice in the cellar. My guess is, they will build a new cellar, or at least raise the roof of their vatrom to allow for this in the future. yChateau Lafite Rothschild is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for 18 to 20 months, depending on the vintage. The average annual production of Chateau Lafite Rothschild ranges from 15,000 to 20,000 cases of Bordeaux wine per year. There is a second wine, Carruades de Lafite, which due to the name and association with the Grand Cru, has also become extremely collectible. Carruades takes its name from a section their vineyard, located near Mouton Rothschild. There is also a third wine which is sold as a Pauillac.
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The blend for Chateau Lafite Rothschild changes with each vintage depending on the character and quality of the vintage. Generally speaking, the amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend ranges from 80% to 95%. Merlot is usually 5% to 20%. Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot usually varies from 0 to 5%. Note that there are a few differing cases such as 1994 when the wine was made from almost 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and in 1961, when the blend was 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot. That high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon was most recently used in 2013, which was also close to 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

At one point in time, Chateau Lafite Rothschild produced a dry white, Bordeaux wine that was sold as Vin de Chateau Lafite. The last vintage for the wine was 1960. the was sold as a generic Bordeaux, with a simple, scripted label.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild is the most elegantly styled of the three First Growths from Pauillac.  But do not confuse the term elegant with light.  Lafite is also more often than not, those aromatic is the Pauillac First Growths as well with a perfume that fills the air with cedar, cassis, spice, tobacco, truffle and earthy notes.  In the best vintages, this special Bordeaux wine requires decades to develop to its full potential.

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Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 33 vintages | 299633 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2013 Carruades de Lafite

    1. Light in color with medium body, this sweet, tart wine features cassis and a light finish filled with strawberry and cherry finesse. 87-88 Pts

      87 points - Tasted
      544 Views
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  2. 2013 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Tobacco, cassis and gravel open the perfume, transitioning to a medium-bodied, polished and fresh—but slightly short and light, cherry finish. From a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot, the blend is the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend since 1994. Before that, 1961 was produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. From yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare, the wine represents 33% of the harvest. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
      882 Views
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  3. 2012 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% and .5% Petit Verdot produced a restrained, medium bodied, lighter style of Lafite Rothschild which offers an elegant, refined, red berry profile with polish and freshness. A strict selection and extensive sorting was required for the vintage. In fact, optical sorting was performed for the first time at the estate. 37% percent of harvest was used the grand vin. This is the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon used in the blend since 2000, when it was 94% 92-94 Pts

      93 points - Tasted
      3216 Views
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  4. 2012 Carruades de Lafite

    1. 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot – Light in color, medium bodied, with a short, blackberry and cherry finish. 87-89 Pts

      88 points - Tasted
      1711 Views
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  5. 2011 Carruades de Lafite

    1. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3.5% Cabernet Franc and 2.5% Petit Verdot produced a wine with scents of forest floor, cassis and black cherry. Medium bodied with cassis, spice, black olive tapenade and bright sensations. 88-90 Pts

      89 points - Tasted
      2245 Views
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  6. 2011 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Produced from a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. Spice, blackberry liqueur, licorice, earth, graphite and gravel scents lead to a full-bodied wine with supple tannins, freshness and good concentration. The wine ends with a bright, elegant cassis-filled finish. 95-96 Pts

      95 points - Tasted
      4332 Views
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  7. 2010 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. 2010 Lafite Rothschild – Produced from a blend of 87.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12.8% Merlot, (which is close to what the estate used in 2005,) the wine opened with cedar, earth, minerality, cassis and forest floor aromatics. In the mouth, the wine is suave, polished and fresh, with layers of pure blackberry and spicy cassis. This is pure refined elegance. While not the most powerful First Growth, it’s the most regal in bearing. According to the Director, Charles Chevalier, part of the reason for the success in 2010 was due to less pumping over than usual. Chevalier added, with the high 13.5% alcohol level, his team spent more time watching over each individual vat during fermentation. 97-99 Pts

      99 points - Tasted
      13208 Views
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  8. 2010 Carruades de Lafite

    1. 2010 Carruades de Lafite With cedar, earth, forest floor scents, this medium bodied wine offers cassis, cranberry and bright spicy flavors. 88-90 Pts

      89 points - Tasted
      4500 Views
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  9. 2009 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. 2009 Lafite has an inky, deep ruby color. Cassis, plums, cedar, lead pencil, fennel, coffee, and cedar pop from the glass. The elegantly textured wine melts in your mouth. Its flavors are intense, pure, and supple. The tannins are ripe and round. The wine finishes with exotic plums and chocolate covered dark cherries. 97-99 Pts

      98 points - Tasted
      13158 Views
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  10. 2004 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. This is dark, almost opaque in color. The aromatics remain primary with cassis, cedar and earthy notes in the lead. The tannins are ripe, soft and round. This incredibly rich, powerful and opulently styled wine is not open, unless you're seeking a science project. The power and finesse of this stylish wine only hint at what consumers will taste in 15 or more years. As a comparison, an 04 La Mission Haut Brion was paired against the 04 Lafite, and the La Mission was eviscerated. The La Mission was light and boring next to the Lafite, none of us paid it much attention! 04 Lafite is a definite contender for wine of the vintage.

      96 points - Tasted
      9156 Views
    2. Inky dark, almost opaque in color. The aromatics remain primary with cassis, cedar and earthy notes in the lead. The tannins are ripe, soft and round. This incredibly rich, powerful and opulently styled wine is not open, unless you're seeking a science project. The power and finesse of this stylish wine only hint at what consumers will taste in 15 or more years.

      96 points - Tasted
      9097 Views
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  11. 2003 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. With the color of a wine that is at least 15-20 years older than its true chronological age, the fully mature wine offers truffle, cigar box, cedar wood, tobacco, earth and dark, roasted berries. The wine is open, silky and sensuous, with an exotic texure on the palate that is sublime. There is no sensation of jammy flavors. But there is not a lot of stuffing here. This is not a wine to age for decades.

      95 points - Tasted
      3608 Views
    2. Off the charts aromatics with its pungent lead pencil, truffle, toffee, earth, cassis, spice and floral aromatics, which explode in your face. This is insanely concentrated with perfectly, pure, ripe juice. Intense, pure and harmonious. The silky, mouth coating finish offers everything you could ask for in a wine. This is seamless! This was probably the hte best wine I tasted on this trip. Anyone who took Parker’s advice early and bought this wine on futures made some serious coin at today's prices.

      100 points - Tasted
      14638 Views
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  12. 2003 Carruades de Lafite

    1. Tobacco and earth in the nose, not much fruit remains. It's past its prime time drinking age, however, it’s still interesting to taste at 10 years of age. Drink up, this is not a wine to hold.

      88 points - Tasted
      1991 Views
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  13. 2002 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Elegant, refined, charming and displaying more ripeness than you'd expect from the vintage, after a 2 hour decant, the wine opened with cassis, cigar box, blackberry, cedar wood, earth, stone and forest floor aromatics. Silky, smooth and round, still youthful, this stylish blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.5% Merlot and 3.5% Cabernet Franc will easily age for decades.

      95 points - Tasted
      4357 Views
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  14. 2001 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. If the criteria for looking at wines took QPR into consideration, this would not score well. It was however, a classy Pauillac with finesse and refined tannins that displayed a wealth of cassis, tobacco, cedar chest and stone. Medium bodied, silky and fresh, but lacking the volume and length to make the wine a great tasting experience, overall it was quite charming. Young but developing secondary characteristics, this should age for at least 20 more years. For my money, it's not worth the time or the coin.

      94 points - Tasted
      5685 Views
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  15. 2000 Carruades de Lafite

    1. Tobacco, licorice, oak, earth and cassis made a complex perfume. The tannins were slightly rustic. The wine ended with a fresh cassis filled finish making for a text-book Pauillac. A few more years will help soften and improve the wine.

      92 points - Tasted
      5473 Views
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  16. 2000 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Normally, Lafite Rothschild is not as expressive as the other First Growths when tasted young. This specific bottle on this single was a completely different tasting experience as it was firing on all 12 cylinders. Text book Pauillac Aromatics with lead pencil, cedar wood, cassis, floral, spice, earth and tobacco notes flooded your nose. And that was not even the high point of the wine! Full bodied, intense, lush and rich in texture, the wine was all about class, elegance and refinement. Do not mistake this positive note that this is mature. It's not. But like all great Bordeaux today, this shows well young, even though it's only a quick peek into the future. Ridiculously expensive, but stunning, if you have a spare million laying around, grab a case, pop a cork 10 years from now and pass the remaining bottles down to your grandchildren.

      99 points - Tasted
      4844 Views
    2. An aromatic display of spice, cedar, graphite, blackberry and cassis. Plush, rich and mouth filling with round tannins, freshness, purity and an intensity of flavors. Another decade or two will add a lot to this wine.

      97 points - Tasted
      15579 Views
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  17. 1998 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. With aromatics filled with tobacco, cassis, earth, minerality and spice, this elegant, regal wine feels great on your palate as the wine offers no hard edges. Supple and refined, another 10 years in the bottle will add a lot of complexity to this vintage of Lafite Rothschild. 1998 was much for successful in Pomerol and St. Emilion. It was a difficult year for Bordeaux in the Medoc. Part of the reason for the quality of Lafite in this vintage is due to the sever selection. Only 34% of the crop was used in the Grand Vin. That level of dedication shows in the quality and style of the wine.

      97 points - Tasted
      10050 Views
    2. This is not yet showing much of its potential. With intense coaxing and swirling, this very tight wine offered hints of cassis, tobacco, cedar, herbs and chocolate. The intense levels of sophisticated, concentrated fruit that flowed over your palate offered glimpses to how great this wine will be for owners with patience. The wine displays incredible class, breed, finesse and elegance, balanced with power. This will turn out to be an amazing Lafite, but it will require 20 more years of bottle age. There is no reason to open this wine today unless you have a case and want to see how it’s developing. It will give a glimpse into its future, but will not deliver much joy.

      96 points - Tasted
      5033 Views
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  18. 1990 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. In a blind tasting, the wine shows well. The texture is silky. The fruit is of quality, with cassis, cedar, earth, cigar box and tobacco in abundance. The finish comes up a bit short. This is just starting to drink well. However, its best days are in the future. I'd give it another 5-10 more years before popping a bottle. On the positive side, the wine has clearly improved over the years. When mature, this could become a much better wine still.

      94 points - Tasted
      5491 Views
    2. A bit of a disappointment. The wine is good. But, at least to me, it's not First Growth in quality. Elegant in style, with its cedar and cassis profile, the fruit is high quality offering a lush mouth feel. But, the finish is moderate and there is not enough concentration to make this really exciting. With another decade, the wine will develop additional complexities, but at least to me, it will never offer a First Growth experience

      92 points - Tasted
      9691 Views
    3. Tight and closed. It was hard to see what this wine will offer in the future. Clearly this needs a decade or two before coming around. But, will it be worth the wait? Scored for potential.

      91 points - Tasted
      1721 Views
    4. Although very closed , with much coaxing, it served up scents of lead pencil, minerals, oak and fruit. Aside from being closed down, the elements did not integrate for me. It seemed disjointed and was light, even by Lafite standards. The wine improved in the glass, but it was not First Growth quality

      90 points - Tasted
      1684 Views
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  19. 1989 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Still young, another decade will help the wine add to its cedar, spice box, spearmint, tobacco, cassis, earth, cigar ash and cherry nose. Medium bodied, tight and needed more air than a pop a pour, the wine is high toned and elegant in style.

      93 points - Tasted
      4472 Views
    2. Ample cassis and cedar accented by hints of over ripe black fruit and spice are found in the perfume. This medium/full bodied wine fills your mouth with its ripe fruit profile, but remains tight and does not offer much complexity at this stage. The tannins are round, but the wine is still young and requires more time.

      91 points - Tasted
      8059 Views
    3. With decanting and much coaxing, cherries, lead pencil, smoke and cigar box aromas were pleasant. But from Lafite, I don’t want pleasant. I want to be blown away. Bright fruit and light black fruit along with ample on the palate and in the finish.

      92 points - Tasted
      1529 Views
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  20. 1988 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Cassis, cedar, tobacco, graphite, earth and spice on the nose. The wine is full bodied, concentrated and still tannic. The fruit is best described at noble. You can sense its good breeding. But there is an austerity and a hint of under ripeness in the finish that takes away from the wine. The long, rich, cassis and rhubarb filled finish is joy, but the sense of under ripeness takes away from the pleasure. Fans of older, more traditional, less ripe wines will like this more than I did

      94 points - Tasted
      10533 Views
    2. With spicy cassis, cigar box, and earthy scents, this full bodied, concentrated wine remains tannic. The style combines regal fruit with some lean qualities. The long blackberry and cassis finish shows a touch of green. Give it another 5 years.

      93 points - Tasted
      10621 Views
    3. Rich, big, ripe, bold, sophisticated, Cabernet fruit with smoky cassis, tobacco and spice tones. This concentrated, full bodied wine fills your palate with dark ripe berries and tannins. This has class and breed, but the finish shows signs of not being fully ripe with hints of green in the ending notes.

      94 points - Tasted
      10502 Views
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  21. 1986 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Finally, a bottle that was not about potential, but pleasure. At close to 30 years of age, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With a few hours of air, the wine delivered that special, aged Bordeaux character in all its cassis, gravel, earth, lead pencil, smoke, tobacco, truffle and cedar chest glory. The tannins felt nice in the long finish. Not quite at the level of the sublime 1986 Mouton Rothschild, but this is a very, very good wine.

      98 points - Tasted
      3727 Views
    2. Deep ruby in color. Initially, the nose required coaxing before a cornucopia of scents grew from the glass. Spice, soy, leather, Cuban tobacco, smoke, minerals, truffle, cassis and blackberry were easy to find. At 2 hours, the wine felt hard and austere in the mouth. The tannins were obtrusive. But one hour later, the magic happened. The tannins fell off and a wave of deep, plush fruit enveloped my palate. This wine is intensely concentrated, powerful and opulent. Yet the finesse of the fruit is what you sense. The finish lingers on your palate for almost 60 seconds! Still young, another 10 years will allow additional levels of complexity to build

      98 points - Tasted
      13583 Views
    3. Decanted for 6 hours, the wine showed tobacco, cassis, smoke, lead pencil, spice, forest floor and ash in the perfume. This is a structured, powerful, concentrated Pauillac with a refined masculine personaltiy.Think Cary Grant. There is still tannin that needs to be resolved. The spicy cassis and blackberry filled finish remains for over one minute. This will be a rock star when fully mature, but it's going to take another decade before that happens.

      97 points - Tasted
      9085 Views
    4. Decanted at 9am and served after 9pm, the wine remains young. Still tannin, but the tannins are round as well as held in check by gobs of ripe, rich, Cabernet. Very concentrated and intense, combining cassis, cedar, tobacco, truffle, spice, earth and dark cherry, pipe tobacco. This is a serious, structured wine that sits between old school style and modern charm. IMO, it's better than the 82 Lafite and sells for less than half the price. However this will not mature until at least 2020!

      98 points - Tasted
      2756 Views
    5. With a high neck filland a spinning capsule, I double decanted the wine at noon and we began tasting it at 9:30. From the first moment the wine hits your glass, you know you’re in the presence of greatness. Intense levels of black fruit, tobacco, cedar and cassis leap from the glass. The wine fills every nook and cranny of your palate senses. There is a serious backbone and structure to the wine. But, the tannins are not obtrusive. The finish seems endless and lasts well over a minute! I kept some in my glass and worked on it until the end of the night… about 1:30am. It continued expanding and improving in the glass. At this point, I prefer it to the more expensive and exalted 82 Lafite. It reminds me of 86 Mouton as far as levels of concentration. But, it currently offers more pleasure. This is truly a great wine. Not yet mature, it will need at least another 10 years before it really shows all its charms. It will probably keep evolving at least another 50 years after that!

      99 points - Tasted
      2159 Views
    6. This opaque, inky colored wine offered a show boat perfume of cedar, soy, leather, cassis and smoke. Huge, hulking concentrated, dense and complex. This massive wine reminds me of a perfectly balanced elephant on a tight rope! Amazingly young and tannic, this is the Lafite to buy.

      99 points - Tasted
      2178 Views
    7. Backwards and in need of air and additional bottle age, this powerful, cassis and cedar filled wine offers great potential for people with patience. Amazing purity of fruit, but oh so tannic. This should come around by 2016.

      98 points - Tasted
      2089 Views
    8. The color is still almost opaque with barley any lightening around the edges. Cassis, wood, lead pencil, truffle, smoke and spices make a beautiful perfume. The wine has an enormous mouth feel. But it’s so well balanced, it’s well, perfect. This is still very tannic and demands at least 10-15 more years before it’s mature. This is a big, brawny style of Bordeaux that is also refined. Amazing in its own way.

      98 points - Tasted
      2152 Views
    9. 86 Lafite shared many similarities with the 86 Mouton. While not quite as black in color, or as concentrated, it was close. Even with double decanting for hours it remained tight. Cassis, minerals, tobacco and truffle came out with coaxing. While concentrated with ripe, elegant fruit, this tannic wine requires time before strutting its ample stuff.

      96 points - Tasted
      1857 Views
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  22. 1983 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. With the prices Chateau Lafite Rothschild fetches these days, it's a wine I seldom see at tastings anymore. This is a beautiful example of a 30 year old Lafite, with its cedar chest, tobacco, stone, cassis and cranberry filled nose. Medium bodied, with a finesse to the tannins and silky texture to the fruit, this is what Pauillac is all about.

      94 points - Tasted
      4112 Views
    2. Deep ruby in color with an explosive perfume made from cedar wood, lead pencil, black fruit, olives, herbs and smoke. Full bodied with a great mouth feel. Elegant layers of ripe, rich, black and red fruits bathe your palate and please your senses. This is probably close to full maturity. However while it can be enjoyed today, there is no hurry to open it as it will easily last another 15 or more years

      95 points - Tasted
      1559 Views
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  23. 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. This is a wine I seldom see anymore, due to the high prices. So it was a treat when I saw the bottle being popped. The nose, with its complex array of scents featuring flowers, cassis, cedar chest, cherry blossom, earth and tobacco was a treat. Elegant and classy in style, the wine is light on its feet, fresh and lively, ending with silky layers of ripe, dark red berries. Still young, I imagine this will only get better in time.

      96 points - Tasted
      4665 Views
    2. 1982 Lafite Rothschild showed better than expected, considering that this wine has never lived up to its potential, based on the early raves from critics. Still not fully mature, the cassis, cedar wood, cigar box, earth and gravel scents were right where they should be, but fireworks never exploded. Should rockets have gone off? For this much money, that is the least that should take place. Instead, you enjoy a quality, slowly maturing Pauillac with an understated character. There is no hurry to drink the wine as there is ample structure and ripe tannins to allow for decades more of evolution.

      96 points - Tasted
      9026 Views
    3. Perfume of cedar, lead pencil, cassis and possibly floral notes made for a haunting perfume. On the palate, this very deeply colored, dense, concentrated wine is packed with layers of ripe black and red fruits. I’m shocked at how young this wine showed.

      96 points - Tasted
      1928 Views
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  24. 1966 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. The wine was light in color and in body. But the aromatics were complex. The aromatics were the best part of the experience. Spice, cherry pipe tobacco, cedar, cassis, herbs and minerals led into a soft, light, elegant strawberry, cherry tinted finish. This was better 10-15 years ago. The fruit is slowly fading.

      86 points - Tasted
      9505 Views
    2. The color was a light ruby with rust tinted edges. The nose offered cedar, mushrooms, leather, forests and eucalyptus scents. Full bodied and fully mature, the chocolate covered, cherry and blackberry tasting fruit, displayed that displayed the patina of age was only marred by the short finish and the fact that wine faded in the glass after 20 minutes.

      89 points - Tasted
      8327 Views
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  25. 1959 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Perhaps some of the vintages of Lafite Rothschild that have left me unmoved were just not aged enough because this wine was superb. The cedar, tobacco, cigar box, smoke, cassis and fresh herb nose was close to off the charts. The palate was treated to a perfect blend of sweet and tart, black and red fruits, silky, elegant textures, ending with a long cassis note.

      97 points - Tasted
      3196 Views
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  26. 1955 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Cedar, tobacco, spice, wet earth filled the glass and your senses. On the palate, layers of silkly, velvety, thick, ripe Cabernet draped over your mouth. Opulent and very sexy on the palate, the wine improved in the glass. At over 50 years old, a wine that improves in the glass is the hallmark of a great wine from a top vintage.

      95 points - Tasted
      3152 Views
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  27. 1950 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Tobacco, cigar ash, cedar, forest floor, earth, spice, leather, old wood and scents of dried leaves were easy to find. Fully mature, with an elegant palate feel, this was an interesting wine to taste. The wine finished with a spice and light cassis sensation.

      91 points - Tasted
      2802 Views
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  28. 1934 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. From a high, almost top shoulder fill bottle with an original cork was deeply colored for its age with an appearance of cola colored wine. Notes of Cuban cigars, truffles, Asian spice, tar, leather, earth, lead pencil, black fruit and tiny hints of orange flowers filled your nose with pleasure. In the mouth, the wine expressed the patina of age with soft, black fruit and spice. The long, finish lingered with notes of elegant plums and dark berries. The mouth feel is pure elegance and silk. This feels very regal. 95 Pts... Although, drinking Lafite from my father's birth year with my dad was a solid 100 Pt experience neither of us will ever forget!

      95 points - Tasted
      3812 Views
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  29. 1924 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Light, light, light, but the fruit had a beautiful, sweetness, purity and elegance, coupled with the complex patina of age in the nose, it was a special treat I am not likely to experience again.

      90 points - Tasted
      681 Views
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  30. 1907 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Light, tea/rose colored hue to the wine. Spices, cedar, herbs, earth, tobacco, truffles, forest and leather aromatics emanated from the glass with a slight swirl. In the mouth, light black cherry with hints of steel fell over your palate buttressed by velvety soft textures.

      90 points - Tasted
      2333 Views
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  31. 1905 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Not the vinous equivalent of its centennial brother, the 2005. Red fruit, spice, truffle were easy to find, but in the mouth, the wine displayed sharp, tart, decaying flavors. The wine was not dead, it was closer to simple and light as some pleasure could be found. But like any of us at 105 years old, getting to 105 was the accomplishment. At that age, it ain’t getting better. :-0)

      82 points - Tasted
      2435 Views
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  32. 1904 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. Asian spices, root beer, vanilla, cassis, tobacco and earthy notes were easy to find. On the palate, there was good weight and density. The finish was not quite as enjoyable as the aromatics and the length was shorter than what we found in the 1901. That being said, at over 100 years old, this was a once in a life time experience.

      89 points - Tasted
      2352 Views
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  33. 1901 Château Lafite Rothschild

    1. This resembled tea and bricks in the color. Aromatics of chocolate, caramel, gingerbread, Cuban cigars, cedar, minerals, chocolate and brown sugar were easy to find. This was still concentrated with an array of black and red fruit complicated by spice and kirsch that filled your palate with sensations. The wine was opulent and lush in the finish. The wine remained at full force for at least 90 minutes before gently slipping away.

      92 points - Tasted
      2552 Views
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