Chateau Lafon Rochet St. Estephe Bordeaux Wine

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Chateau Lafon Rochet St. Estephe Bordeaux Fourth Growth , 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 Bordeaux wine producers: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Lafon Rochet in St. Estephe dates back to the middle of the 17th century. The estate was founded In 1650, when Antoinette de Guillemotte, brought the land of Rochette as her dowry to her husband, Pierre de Lafon. Pierre de Lafon was well-known in the region as he was a member of the Bordeaux Parliament. Shortly after they were married, following the custom of the day, taking the family name the property was renamed, Chateau Lafon Rochet and a new estate was born.

While many Bordeaux vineyards were confiscated during the French Revolution, that did not happen to Lafon Rochet. In fact, the Left Bank estate remained the property of the same family for more than two centuries. In 1880, Madame Lafon de Camarsac died. Her death caused Lafon Rochet to fall into disrepair. That all changed in 1959 when the Tesseron family purchased the estate and completely renovated Lafon Rochet from top to bottom. This was something that had to be done as most of the original buildings were in such bad shape, they could no longer be used. The vineyard also needed extensive replanting. At the time of the purchase, the vineyard was only 17 hectares. Through replanting and subsequent purchases, the estate has more than doubled in size since the Tesseron family took control of the property. That marked the start of the modern era for Chateau Lafon Rochet.

Tesseron had his work cut out for him at his Medoc property. The vineyards were as we mentioned in poor shape. Much of the land needed to be replanted in part, but the grape varieties were planted in the wrong types of soils. That is still slowly being corrected today, although currently, almost everything is as it should be. Because the wine making facilities had also become dilapidated, Tesseron was forced to build all new wine making facilities. Even the Chateau had to be replaced! In fact, Chateau Lafon Rochet is the only 1855 Classified growth with a new chateau that was constructed in the 20th century!

Lafon Rochet Cow 300x225 Chateau Lafon Rochet St. Estephe Bordeaux Wine

In 1999, after being in the Bordeaux wine trade for more than four decades, Michel Tesseron, took over the property and decided to change the classic style of the 18th century design that was created for the chateau. Michel Tesseron did it by adding some color to Lafon Rochet. As you can see, the chateau of Lafon Rochet is now a bright, sunny, shade of yellow. It’s more of an artistic statement according to Michel Tesseron. At the same time, the labels of Chateau Lafon Rochet were also changed to showcase the new, artistic, yellow theme. Chateau Lafon Rochet is still in the Tesseron family hands. Currently the property is managed by the son of Michel Terreron, Basile Tesseron.

The 45 hectare vineyard of Lafon Rochet is in almost one single, large parcel, which is unusual for the region. Their terroir is limestone, marl and clay soils. Chateau Lafon Rochet has good neighbors. They are ideally placed not far from Chateau Cos d’Estournel and Chateau Lafite Rothschild in Pauillac . The St. Estephe vineyard of Lafon Rochet is planted to 55% Cabernet Sauvignon , 38% Merlot , 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc . On average, the vines are kept at 35 years of age. However, the estate has old vines. Their oldest parcels have Merlot vines that were planted all the way back in 1938. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 9,000 vines per hectare on 40 separate blocks. Lafon Rochet continues to experiment with organic and biodynamic farming techniques. At least 10% of their vineyards are farmed using these techniques with more of their vineyards to follow if they like the results. At Chateau Lafon Rochet, they take advantage of optical sorting techniques.

In 2015, Lafon Rochet completed a renovation and renovation of their cellars and vat rooms. This was a much needed improvement, as the cellars were more than 35 years old. The biggest change was to bring in all new, stainless steel tanks and concrete vats. The design and concrete vats were created by the same architect that designed the new cellars at Cheval Blanc , Christian de Portzamparc. Where previously, the wine was vinified in all stainless steel, today, that takes place in stainless steel and cement. The new cement tanks at Lafon Rochet are stunningly beautiful and they are incredibly smooth to touch.

To more precisely vinify the 40 parcels, the estate now has a total of 42 vats that are a combination of 18 gleaming stainless steel tanks that range in size from 50 hectoliters up to 100 hectoliters and 24 concrete vats in a wide myriad of different shapes and sizes that go from as small as 50 hectoliters up to 190 hectoliters. Malolactic fermentation takes place in a combination of 50% in new oak barrels and the remaining 50% sees malolactic fermentation in tanks or vats. The wine of Lafon Rochet is then aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for 9 months before the wine is moved to one year old barrels, where it remains for an additional 9 months of aging before bottling

In 2012, in an continuing effort to make even better wine, Lafon Rochet made two significant moves. First, they hired the well known consultant Jean-Claude Berrouet, who is best for his work at Petrus to help with the wine making. They also used optical sorting technology for the first time. Speaking of first’s, Lafon Rochet became the first Bordeaux chateau to take part in the Google Street View Program, which allows online viewers the chance to see the entire estate in 3D. However, that is not only first for the estate. At Chateau Lafon Rochet, they maintain an unusual practice during the late winter months combining wine with health. From November until March, the owner, Michel Tesseron joins members of his team twice a week for 20 minutes of Tai Chi in their cellars.

The best vintages of Chateau Lafon Rochet are 2014, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2003 and 2000.

On average, close to 10,000 cases of Lafon Rochet are produced each vintage. There are 2 second wines, Les Pelerins de Lafon Rochet and Les Secrets de Lafon Rochet, which is produced exclusively for export.

Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 16 vintages | 56363 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2015 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Dusty tannins, red and black fruit with a touch of herbs, cherries and thyme in the finish. This wine was made from a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.3% with a pH of 3.66. This is the first vintage made in their new cellars. The vats are stunning. They are worth the look if you are in the area. 88 - 90 Pts

      90 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price:  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  2. 2014 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Polished and lush with black raspberries and dark chocolate covered cherries in the nose, this wine has round tannins, ample concentration, sweetness and freshness. The wine was made from a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc, reaching 13.5% alcohol. 91-93 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($39.37)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  3. 2013 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Medium bodied, forward, with a fresh, light, red fruit and oaky personality that is already quite easy to drink.

      87 points - Tasted
    2. Smoke, earth and dusty blackberry aromas, along with a light plum on the palate and an oaky finish, this will be best in its youth. 87-89 Pts

      87 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($44.65)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  4. 2012 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. With forest, tobacco and leaf aromas, along with scents of mocha, the palate offers cherry and cranberry sensations, but the finish is a bit too dry. 87-89 Pts

      88 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($48.87)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  5. 2011 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Deep in color with coffee, smoke and black cherry scents. Ripe tannins and sweet, ripe black cherry and plums are found in the round finish. 88-90 Pts

      89 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($54.35)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  6. 2010 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Smoke, licorice, jammy blackberry, espresso and earthy notes create the perfume. On the palate, the blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot offers true depth of flavors, a lot of tannin, acidity, sweet and tart fruits and the structure to age.

      91 points - Tasted
    2. Deeply colored, the perfume offers black and blue fruits, gravel, smoke and tobacco scents. Full bodied, rich and tannic, this powerful sweet wine, ends with a melange of spicy black fruits with hints of fresh blueberries. 90-93 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($73.77)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  7. 2009 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Deep in color, with cedar wood, spice, blackberry and gravel scents, this medium/full bodied, tannic, masculine wine requires time before the ample tannins soften and everything comes together.

      90 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($77.65)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  8. 2008 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. The firm tannins soften with 2 hours air, opening to a nose of tobacco, earth, blackberry and crushed rocks. One the palate, blackberries and cassis are aided by crisp freshness in the finish. The past few years of bottle age have added a lot to the wine.

      90 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($60.18)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  9. 2006 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Showing some maturity in the color, the wine offers cedar, tobacco, minerality and red fruits. The wine is developed, offering fine drinking today, with its fresh, sweet, medium bodied, red fruit character. The wine was produced from a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

      91 points - Tasted
    2. Spice, earth, truffle, cranberry and cassis aromas pair well the medium bodied, soft, forward, wine that drinks well early.

      88 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($62.12)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  10. 2005 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. This wine remains stubbornly tannic. With a few hours in the decanter, the wine offered black fruits, tobacco, cassis and gravel, but the tannins were intrusive and hard. This wine seems like it was cut from the same cloth as a 1986 Bordeaux. It's still young. It might soften in a decade. But it will always be a very tannic wine. 2009 and 2010 are both better vintages for this St. Estephe chateau.

      89 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($83.47)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  11. 2004 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Medium bodied with sweet and tart red fruits, soft textures and some green notes in the crisp finish.

      87 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($77.65)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  12. 2003 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Starting to lose its fruit, the wine has taken on more of a tart, sweet and sour, red berry character on the palate. I’d opt for drinking this sooner than later.

      88 points - Tasted
    2. 2003 is such a great vintage for St. Estephe! Almost every producer from top to bottom made great wine and Lafon Rochet is no exception. With its nose of stone, tobacco, roasted dark berries, licorice and earth, this medium/full bodied Bordeaux wine is already giving pleasure. The wine ends with a round, fleshy textured black and red fruit filled finish.

      91 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($79.59)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  13. 2001 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Fully mature, medium bodied wine that is more interesting on the tobacco, plum and earthy nose, than on the palate, with its sweet and tart berries and austere, crisp, cranberry and cassis finish.

      87 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price:  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  14. 2000 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. A bargain when it was first offered, the wine attracts your attention with its earthy, tobacco, plum, forest and spicy black cherry nose. Good concentration and a long, fresh, blackberry finish are the hallmarks of this wine. It's just starting to open, soften and come together. This should drink well for at least another 12 to 15 years.

      91 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($110.65)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  15. 1996 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Fully mature, with an attractive, tobacco, cedar chest, spice and cherry tobacco nose. Medium bodied, and better on the palate than with its stern character, this is ready for prime time consumption and will probably be at its best over the next 3-5 years.

      89 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($99)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  16. 1990 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Fully mature, with a complex, secondary nose of tobacco, stone, cigar box, black cherry, earth and spice. Medium bodied, with some rusticity in the tannins, this is at peak, or slightly past showing its best.

      89 points - Tasted
    Average Selling Price: ($110.65)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher