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. de Lafon with 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, the property was renamed, taking the family name and Chateau Lafon Rochet 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 b uildings were in such bad shape, they could no longer be used. 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 also in poor shape. Much of the land needed to be replanted. Because the wine making facilities had also become dilapidated, Tesseron was forced to build all new wine making facilites. 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. He did it by adding some color to Lafon Rochet. As you can see, the chateau of Lafon Rochet is not a bright, sunny, shade of yellow. It’s more of an artistic statement. At the same time, the labels of Chateau Lafon Rochet were also changed to showcase the new, yellow theme. Chateau Lafon Rochet is still in the Tesseron families hands. Currently the property is managed by Basile Tesseron.

The 45 hectare vineyards of Lafon Rochet are in almost one single, large parcel with three soil types, limestone, marl and clay. Chateau Lafon Rochet has good neighbors. Located no far from Chateau Cos d’Estournel and Chateau Lafite Rothschhild in Pauillac, the St. Estephe Bordeaux wine vineyard of Lafon Rochet is planted to 54% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot with vines that average 40 years of age.  However, the estate has old vines. Their oldest parcels have Merlot vines that were planted in 1938. The vines are planted to a density of 9,800 vines per hectare on 40 separate parcels. Lafon Rochet continues to experiment with organic and biodynamic farming techniques. At least 10% of their vineyards are farmed using these techniques with more to follow. At Chateau Lafon rochet, they take advantage of optical sorting techniques.

2011 Lafon Rochet harvest 1 300x224 Chateau Lafon Rochet St. Estephe Bordeaux Wine

Bordeaux Harvest at Lafon Rochet Harvest in St. Estephe

To match the 40 parcels, the estate has a total of 40 stainless steel, temperature controlled vats to allow for parcel by parcel vinification. Malolactic fermetation takes place in a combination of new oak barrels and vat. The wine of Lafon Rochet is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for 9 months before it is moved to one year old barrels where it remains for an additional 9 months.  In 2012, in an 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 winemaking. 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.

On average, close to 10,000 cases of Lafon Rochet are produced each vintage. There is a second wine, Les Pelerins de Lafon Rochet.

Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 11 vintages | 37525 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2013 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. 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
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  2. 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
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  3. 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
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  4. 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
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  5. 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
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  6. 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
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  7. 2006 Château Lafon-Rochet

    1. Spice, earth, truffle, cranberry and cassis aromas pair well the medium bodied, soft, forward, wine that drinks well early.

      88 points - Tasted
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  8. 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
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  9. 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
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  10. 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
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  11. 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
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