Learn everything about Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, First Growth, Bordeaux producer with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Lafite Rothschild History, Overview
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is known for producing what some tasters think is the best Bordeaux wine in the appellation. It’s also thought of as one of the most famous, as well as most 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 for over a century, 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 Of their Bordeaux vineyards.
In the 17th century, the property of Chateau Lafite was purchased by the Segur 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 vineyards, Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour! When their son, Nicolas-Alexandre passed away, the domains of Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour were separated.
In 1797, Chateau Lafite was sold again. In the deed of sale, Chateau Lafite was described as a 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 an 1855 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.
Credit goes to the Goudal family for creating the cellar and saving many of the oldest bottles that remain in the cold, dark cellars, including their oldest bottle, the 1797 Lafite! Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States favored the wine of Chateau Lafite and purchased multiple cases of their wine while he was in France, just a few years earlier.
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, which was now a coveted First Growth chateau.
On 8 August, 1868, Baron James d’Rothschild purchased Chateau Lafite, which was sold at a public auction in Paris. It’s a reasonable assumption to look at buying the property as simply a way of one upping his brother, the owner of Mouton Rothschild. After all, Mouton Rothschild was only a Second Growth at the time, and Lafite was a First Growth. But that does not paint the entire picture. You need to go back in time and realize that in those days, the Classification of 1855 had not taken on the importance associated with it that we see today. Plus, buying Lafite was a reasonable investment, as the vineyard sold for about 8 times its earning potential. The actual chateau is one of the older structures in Bordeaux, as part of the building dates back to the later part of the 16th century.
In 1868, the vineyard took up 135 hectares, of which 74 hectares were cultivated with vines. Production was much smaller in those days than it is today as it hovered between 4,000 and 5,000 cases per vintage at the time. 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 Rothschild, Gustave Rothschild and Edmond Rothschild. Since 1868, Chateau Lafite Rothschild has remained in the hands of the Rothschild family. The new owners renamed the estate Chateau Lafite Rothschild.
Jumping ahead to the modern age, in 1962, the Rothschild family added to their holdings when they purchased Chateau Duhart-Milon, the Fourth Growth vineyard 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 at the time of the sale. 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.
Baron Eric Rothschild, nephew of Baron Elie Rothschild, took over the management of Lafite Rothschild in 1974. Baron Eric Rothschild was part of the fifth Rothschild generation to inherit Chateau Lafite Rothschild. In 1984, the Rothschild family added to their holdings in Bordeaux with the purchase of Chateau Rieussec in Sauternes. 1987 was not a strong vintage, but because that was the year Lafite celebrated the inauguration of their wine new cellar, the owners had much to be excited about.
The new cellars built under the supervision of Catalan architect Ricartdo Bofill, is both underground and circular, with a vault supported by 16 columns, giving the structure a majestic, airy architectural style. The cellar holds 2,200 barrels, which is about 55,000 cases of wine. The construction took two years to finish 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 Chateau lEvangile in Pomerol from the Ducasse family, who owned the property for almost 100 years. The wine making at Chateau Lafite Rothschild was managed by Charles Chevallier, who began his position in 1994. Charles Chevallier was replaced by Eric Kohler in January 2016. 2017 saw an even better change at the estate when Jean Guillaume Prats replaced Christopher Salin as the named President of Domaines Baron Rothschild.
Lafite Rothschild produces an elegant style of Pauillac. Its qualities show cedar, cassis, tobacco, truffle, lead pencil, and spice along with a freshness and purity of dark red fruits. 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 140 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 more 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.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild The Modern Age
Prior to 1996, the property had its share of ups and downs.The 1960’s and 1970’s was a dismal period for Chateau 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, price aside, 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, 2010 and 2016 are 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 for millionaire wine collectors. 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! They were also one of the initial First Growths to begin promoting their brand in China.
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. Starting with the 2012 vintage, Chateau Lafite Rothschild began instituting anti counterfeiting measures. From 2012 forward, to help fight, rampant counterfeiting, the estate places a seal of authenticity on the capsules of both Lafite Rothschild and Carruades de Lafite. The seal features a unique, numbered code that can be checked on their website, to verify if the wine is real.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 112 hectare vineyard of Chateau Lafite Rothschild is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. This shows a slight change in the vineyard. While the Cabernet Sauvignon has remained at 70%, today, there is slightly more Merlot, less Cabernet Franc and the Petit Verdot has been added since the mid 1990’s.
Located in the far north of the Pauillac appellation, only the small, Jalle de Breuil stream separates the vineyards from the St. Estephe appellation. One could divide the vineyards of Chateau Lafite Rothschild into 3 sections with 100 separate parcels in all. The estate has close to 50 hectares of vines located close to the chateau, on both sides of the D2 highway, which offers gentle rises in elevations of up to 27 meters. They also have about 50 hectares vines planted on the plateau in the Carruades sector, where they have 2 blocks of vines, one of which is inside the vineyard of Chateau Mouton Rothschild. It is interesting to note that even though the parcels in the Carruades sector give their name to the second wine of the estate, those vines are almost always placed in the Grand Vin. There are also vines adjacent to, and interspersed with the vineyards of Chateau Duhart Milon.
The property also consists of a smaller section of vines that are actually located across the street in the Saint Estephe appellation, “La Caillava”. The vines in Saint Estephe total close to 4.5 hectares. The vines in St. Estephe are situated not that far from Cos d’Estournel, which are located on a larger a parcel known as Blanquet. The vines in Saint Estephe are allowed to be placed into the wine of Chateau Lafite Rothschild because those vines were being used to produce Lafite in 1885, at the time of the classification. The vineyards are close to their famous neighbor, as Mouton Rothschild is situated just to the southwest of the estate.
Located just south of the chateau, the best terroir of Lafite Rothschild has a thick layer of gravel with sand, clay, marl and limestone in the soils with rolling, gravel slopes. The gravel can be as deep as 4 meters in some parcels. It is important to note that even though their vineyards are in the far north of Pauillac, most of the soil is pure gravel, rocks and stones. With more than 50% of the soil consisting of gravel, that is a large part of the reason Lafite Rothschild has such elegant, feminine textures and that coveted sensation of minerality.
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 Merlot vines dates back to 1886. Less than 1% of the vines are that old. Additionally, they have a small section of Cabernet Sauvignon that dates back to 1922! Other old vines range from 50 to 90 years of age! They also maintain some of the oldest Petit Verdot vines in the Medoc that was planted in the early 1930’s. At Chateau Lafite Rothschild, between 1% to 1.5% of the vineyard is replanted every year. Vines less than 20 years of age are never included in the Grand Vin.
The vineyard of Chateau Lafite Rothschild is planted to a vine density that ranges from 7,500 to 8,500 vines per hectare. Only organic fertilizers are used in the vineyards of Lafite Rothschild. During harvest, the goal is not to pick at the maximum level of ripeness. Instead, they are seeking a blend of grapes at differing levels of maturity, which gives the wine its unique textures, freshness, aromatic complexities and elegant sensations.
Lafite Rothschild is the largest of the First Growth vineyards with close to 112 hectares of vines. A large portion of the estate is taken up with stunningly, beautiful landscaping, lakes, trees 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. The cows do 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 a First Growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification of the Medoc.
At one point in time, Chateau Lafite Rothschild produced a dry white, Bordeaux wine that was sold as Vin de Chateau Lafite. The wine was produced from a large percentage of Semillon, blended with a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc. The last vintage for their white wine was 1960. The wine was sold as a generic AOC Bordeaux blanc with a simple, scripted label, black and white label.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Winemaking
To produce the wine of Lafite Rothschild, vinification 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. The wide range of vat sizes coupled with different materials allow Chateau Lafite Rothschild to vinify depending on the needs of each specific parcel and grape variety. 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 vat room to allow for this in the future. Chateau Lafite Rothschild is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for 18 to 20 months, depending on the vintage. Many of the barrels are produced at a cooperage located on the property, which has the ability to manufacture up to 2,000 barrels per year.
The average annual production of Chateau Lafite Rothschild ranges from 15,000 to 20,000 cases of wine per year, depending on the vintage. 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 de Lafite takes its name from a specific section of their vineyard that is located near Mouton Rothschild. Carruades is actually one of the older second wines in Bordeaux, as it was first produced in the mid 1850’s. About 100 years later during the mid 1960s, the estate reintroduced their second wine naming it Moulin de Carruades. The name was changed again in the 1980’s to Carruades de Lafite. There is also a third wine which is sold as an AOC Pauillac that is produced from declassified fruit from Lafite Rothschild and Duhart-Milon.
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. The vintages with almost all, or 100% Cabernet Sauvignon clearly show the value of blending in Bordeaux wines, as they lack the stylish levels of complexity available in Lafite Rothschild.
The best vintages of Chateau Lafite Rothschild are: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1989, 1990, 1988, 1986, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1959, 1953, 1934, 1929, 1928 and 1900. For ancient vintages, the 1870 Chateau Lafite Rothschild remains, perhaps the most legendary older wine of all time! I’ve tasted a fair amount of older wine, but that wine is at top of my all time dream list.
When to Drink Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is not a wine to drink on the young side. The wine is usually far too tannic, and reserved in its youth. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 3-6 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Lafite Rothschild is usually better with at least 15 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Lafite Rothschild offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 15 and 60 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Chateau Lafite Rothschild with Wine and Food Pairings
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Lafite Rothschild is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Lafite Rothschild is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is the most elegantly styled of the three First Growths from Pauillac. But do not confuse the term elegant with light. Chateau Lafite is perhaps the most aromatic of the First Growths as well, with a perfume that fills the air with cedar, cassis, spice, tobacco, truffle, lead pencil, dark, red berries and earthy notes. In the best vintages, the wine requires decades to develop to its full potential. Trust me on this, it is worth the wait!
Lafite Rothschild is also involved in several diverse wine investments in countries outside of France. Vina Los Vascos in Chile, was their first venture outside of Bordeaux, where they make several red and white wines primarily from Coloagua Chile. In 1999, they join ventured with the Catena family in Mendoza, Argentina to produce Bodegas Caro. Continuing to expand, in 1999, they purchased Domaine d’Aussieres in the Languedoc-Roussillon appellation, located just below the Southern Rhone Valley. Their first move in Asia came in 2011 when they planted vines in the Penglai Peninsula in the Shandong Province in China. The vineyards were planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Since 1995, the DBR group has also produced “The Collection,” which is a serious of generic, low priced wines from various Bordeaux appellations sold under the name of Legende.
Château Lafite Rothschild Wine Tasting Notes
55 Vintages 616389 Views Sort Vintage - Rating
Silky, luscious, refined with profundity and sophistication, the fruit has the concentration, depth, structure and tannins to fill your mouth with flavor, coating your palate with deeply energetic fruits. Balanced between concentrated and fresh, this is regal but not stuck up. There is no attitude here, just pleasure. While intellectual, this does not loft past you. Produced from a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, the wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The Grand Vin represents 45% of the harvest, which took place September 23 to September 28 for the Merlot and September 29 to October 12 for the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Apr 29, 2017points - Tasted 4843 Views
The wine was made from a blend of 49% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.5% Cabernet Franc and 0.2% Petit Verdot, producing a showcase for sweet, ripe fruits, freshness with elegant tannins in a forward style.
Apr 29, 2017points - Tasted 1411 Views
Finesse and elegance are what you hope to find at Lafite, which is exactly what is in the bottle this year. An exotic fragrance of smoke, thyme, cedar, damp earth and the wrapper of a Cuban cigar, this wine is vibrant and juicy, flowing with seasoned cassis, black raspberries, spice box and cherries. This wine combines silk and freshness in the mouth with length and purity. The Merlot harvest took place between September 17 and September 23, the Cabernet Sauvignon was picked between September 23 and October 6. Neither Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot was used in the blend this year. The wine represents 42% of the harvest, reaching 12.8% with a pH of 3.69. 95 - 97 Pts
Apr 18, 2016points - Tasted 2619 Views
- The aroma of licorice, cassis and a sweet, smoky zest is the overture to this medium-bodied, enchantingly fresh, energetic wine. The tannins are soft, closing with a note of pure cherries and cassis. This wine was made from a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. 89 - 91 Pts
Apr 18, 2016points - Tasted 1311 Views
Dark fruits, Cuban cigar wrapper, spice, cedar and wet forest scents open the wine. Elegant, fresh and sweet, the wine has put on weight during its aging time. The tannins are silky, the wine is fresh, pure and clean. The finish has energy, length and purity. For Lafite, this will drink well young, but by young, that means you still need to wait at least 20 years. A difficult vintage because of the various levels of maturity. This resulted in a lot of sorting, which made the effective yields lowers than in most vintages.
Jul 12, 2017points - Tasted 1829 Views
An earthy mélange of cedar and ripe berries on the nose, this wine is smooth, soft and fresh with the aroma of cassis and blackberries. Its refined tannins evoke the silky finesse of a crisp, dark red berry finish. The harvest took place between September 22 and October 10, beginning with the Merlot, followed by the Petit Verdot and representing 38% of the crop. A combination of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 12.7% alcohol. Chateau Lafite Rothschild is often a difficult wine to taste young. This could easily out on weight, improving in bottle and beyond. 94-95 Pts
Apr 14, 2015points - Tasted 8116 Views
Earthy, black cherries, cedar and a bit of smoke on the nose. Medium bodied, there is fresh, spicy juicy cassis sensation with just a hint pyrazines in the otherwise, fruity finish. The wine is surprisingly ready to drink.
Jul 12, 2017points - Tasted 904 Views
Medium-bodied, with freshness and crisp, cassis notes, the wine serves up an easy tasting finish with a whiff of blackberry and cassis. 88-90 Pts
Apr 14, 2015points - Tasted 2522 Views
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
Apr 20, 2014points - Tasted 5987 Views
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
Apr 20, 2014points - Tasted 2592 Views
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
Apr 23, 2013points - Tasted 9989 Views
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
Apr 23, 2013points - Tasted 4169 Views
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
Apr 10, 2012points - Tasted 8312 Views
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
Apr 10, 2012points - Tasted 5116 Views
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
Apr 20, 2011points - Tasted 23205 Views
2010 Carruades de Lafite With cedar, earth, forest floor scents, this medium bodied wine offers cassis, cranberry and bright spicy flavors. 88-90 Pts
Apr 20, 2011points - Tasted 11435 Views
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
Aug 26, 2010points - Tasted 19452 Views
I know, baby killer, right? Well, it wasn't my bottle, and I can promise you, I was happy to taste it. Elegant, fresh, polished and right between medium/full bodied, there is a brightness to the cassis that stands out, especially on the palate. Aromatically, tobacco, cigar box, cassis, blackberry and earthy scents abound. This is a very aromatic wine. On the palate, the wine is light on its feet, bright and fresh. There is clearly good length, but it lacks the levels of density found in subsequent vintages like 2009 and 2010. The wine was made from a blend of representing 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Only 40% of the harvest was placed in the Grand Vin.As far as the market goes, it is hard not to recall that the wine was initially offered at $200 per bottle. Due in part to placing the symbol for 8 in Chinese on the bottle, prices shot up to $1,600 per bottle. Today, 2008 Lafite can purchased for about $650 per bottle. A big jump from $200, but a longer fall from its $1,600 peak.
Sep 16, 2016points - Tasted 4164 Views
Fully mature, this medium bodied, elegant, fresh, bright charmer serves up its tobacco, spicy, green leafy, cedarwood, plum and cherry nose without being asked twiced. Elegant, fresh and refined, there is a sweetness to the fruit, but the depth you hope to find in a First Growth Still, this shows good charcter, freshness and refinement.84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdo
Jun 25, 2017points - Tasted 1618 Views
Tightly knit, as you would expect at only 9 years age, this blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot starts off with an earthy, forest floor, cedar chest, smoke, tobacco and cedar wood nose. Full bodied, structured and showing a crisp, firm, yet, elegant and ripe Cabernet Sauvignon character, with the tannins and concentration to age, this demands 10-20 more years before the fun starts.
Feb 27, 2015points - Tasted 5793 Views
Looking quite young, with only a minor change of color, the wine is slowly starting to develop secondary characteristics, with tobacco, cedar, charcoal, wet earth, forest floor and cassis in the bouquet. The wine has the smoothness of silk, with layers of soft, polished, ripe, sweet cassis in its long finish. Still young, this will be better in 15 years, or is that 30 years?
Jun 28, 2015points - Tasted 7802 Views
Silky, polished and refined, there is a sweet, fresh quality to the wine, as well as a beautiful purity of fruit that even at just 12 years of age is already starting to shine through. Still young, if you like wines at just past their initial, primary stage of development, pop a cork. If you're seeking more secondary character, you'll need to wait a decade. Produced from a blend of 90.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot, this is one of the wines of the vintage.
Dec 9, 2015points - Tasted 3461 Views
Medium bodied, with a nose of cedar, earth, tobacco, fresh, spicy, red and black fruits and cigar box aromas. Soft, elegant and refined, but lacking a depth of flavor and concentration expected from a First Growth in the fresh, mineral driven finish.
Jan 4, 2015points - Tasted 7129 Views
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.
Jan 3, 2013points - Tasted 9909 Views
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.
Jan 4, 2010points - Tasted 9946 Views
This is one of those honey, it's not you, it's me wines. Meaning, I do not always find the greatness in the bottles I've had. Almost for sure, the intense ripeness of the vintage causes bottle variation. At least that's my theory and I'm sticking to it. I've had that same sensation with other 2003 Bordeaux wines as well. On to this bottle, it had it all. It was rich, silky, polished, complex, aromatic, long and deep. OK, it was advanced for its age in color and maturity, but it was truly a stunner!
Feb 27, 2015points - Tasted 4068 Views
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.
Dec 18, 2013points - Tasted 6101 Views
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.
Jun 30, 2009points - Tasted 16855 Views
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.
Dec 18, 2013points - Tasted 3325 Views
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.
Nov 26, 2013points - Tasted 7037 Views
Continuing its march towards maturity, the cassis, cedar chest, tobacco, blackberry and forest floor aromas are right there. Supple, regal, polished, lush and fresh, the elegant charm of this wine is starting to poke through.
Dec 3, 2015points - Tasted 4913 Views
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.
Jul 17, 2013points - Tasted 9331 Views
This is all about the obvious potential, as the wine is young, tight and needs coaxing to bring out much of its charm. Clearly, the fruit is ripe, elegant, fresh and present, the tannins and soft and there is length, but it's not much fun to drink today. Give it another decade and call me in the morning.
Aug 12, 2016points - Tasted 4993 Views
This is very good. Not great, but really fine. The fruit has a regal quality, the tannins are ripe, soft and polished. There is ample concentration, but perhaps not at the same level that the top of wines of the vintage show. My guess is, there is more here than meets the eye at the moment and that with 15 or more years, this could really deliver the goods.
Feb 27, 2015points - Tasted 4078 Views
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.
Aug 29, 2013points - Tasted 6801 Views
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.
Mar 5, 2010points - Tasted 16870 Views
Light, bright, fresh, perhaps a bit too fresh and the wine is showing more acid than fruit. For lovers of crisp, bright red berries, cassis and spice, who enjoy a very fresh style of wine, you might like this more than I did. If I owned this, I'd sell it, or drink it sooner than later.
Feb 18, 2015points - Tasted 4362 Views
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, lighter style of Pauillac.
Dec 1, 2012points - Tasted 7880 Views
Quite young, but fine to drink today, if you enjoy a wine in the middle of the primary stage that is just starting to become secondary. The medium bodied, elegant wine is on the bright, fresh, crisp, red berry side of the style range. Here you find forest leaf, tobacco, cedar, cassis, cherry and spice notes. Softly textured, with fresh, spicy, red fruits, tobacco and herbs in the finish.
Apr 16, 2017points - Tasted 3862 Views
Still young, with a lot of tannin to resolve, the wine seemed tightly hemmed in and took effort to bring out its textbook cedar wood, tobacco, cassis and earthy, spicy nose. Concentrated and deep, with a lot of its ability held tightly in check, this will require at least another decade or more to really begin to gets all it has to offer.
Feb 27, 2015points - Tasted 5667 Views
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.
Jun 18, 2011points - Tasted 11392 Views
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.
Oct 13, 2008points - Tasted 6256 Views
I'm hearing Etta James with "At Last." I've wanted to taste this wine for years. And finally, or should I say, at last, you're here in my glass, and I can say without reservation, where that wine went next. Right where it was supposed to be!If you're looking for the wine of the vintage, stop your search. I am thinking we have a winner, and that says a lot for 1996 Left Bank Bordeaux! The intense powerful, complex nose with its attention grabbing forest floor, earth, some, cassis, Cuban tobacco and cedar wood is off the hook. And that's just the start of the party. The wine has this beautiful purity of fruit, velvet textures and lushness to it, that makes impossible not to want to take another sip. The finish lingers, expands and gains in complexity for well over 60 seconds!Yes, this is more than expensive. But if you have the money, or very wealthy friends, this is real deal.
Feb 27, 2015points - Tasted 5534 Views
Overcoming many of the issues having to do with severe tannins found in several wines from 1995, the nose offers its cassis, tobacco, cedar chest, spice and earthy aromatics with only a short decanting. More air is needed for the wine to soften and deliver its elegant, refined, fresh, mineral driven, bright, earthy, spicy red fruit charm. At 22 years of age this is still youthful, but it has entered its secondary phase. The wine was made from a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. A large part of the reason this wine was so successful is due to the severe sorting that took place, as only 30% of the harvest was used in the Grand Vin.
Jan 3, 2017points - Tasted 5619 Views
Medium bodied, lean and with a definite, crunchy crisp, bright, red berry character, the nose with its cedar, tobacco, earth and red fruit leanings is better than the classical palate, which shows the green peppery side of the vintage. The wine will continue to age, but frankly, it is not worth the money in this vintage.
Aug 17, 2017points - Tasted 1785 Views
This is a fine wine. But for a First Growth selling for the money it does, it falls short. Everything is there, the nose, palate and finish, but where is the excitement and energy needed for this much money? There are selling wines, and drinking wines. This is more of the first, and less of the last.
Feb 27, 2015points - Tasted 3781 Views
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.
Jul 21, 2013points - Tasted 7775 Views
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
Sep 10, 2010points - Tasted 11600 Views
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.
Nov 15, 2009points - Tasted 3618 Views
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
Apr 25, 2007points - Tasted 3571 Views
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.
Aug 15, 2013points - Tasted 6238 Views
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.
Nov 15, 2009points - Tasted 9303 Views
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.
Oct 5, 2004points - Tasted 2749 Views
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
Jan 4, 2010points - Tasted 20867 Views
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.
Aug 9, 2008points - Tasted 20862 Views
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.
Aug 15, 2007points - Tasted 11512 Views
Time has been kind here. Yes, there is a bit of a strict presence, but the wine is also refined, elegant and complex. It's not flashy or powerful, but it is aromatic, with grace, a regal quality to the fruit, length and charm. My guess is the wine will be even better in 10-20 or more years, and it's quite good today!
May 30, 2017points - Tasted 4052 Views
OK, so it took 30 years to come around, which is not going to work for today's consumers, but it was worth the wait. Double decanted 5 hours, give or take, the wine showed elegance, classy fruit, vibrancy, energy and and layers of sweet, ripe, refined, pure, red fruits, spice, tobacco, earth and cedar wood. The long finish stuck with you. If you're sitting on well stored bottles, there is no hurry to pop a cork as this is easily a 100 year wine. On the other hand, if you have a bottle and want to check it, it's a good time to see what this is made of.
Jul 28, 2016points - Tasted 3829 Views
Firm, structured, tannic and concentrated, the wine is still young as it approaches its 30th birthday. 4 hours of helped open the nose, but as you might expect, there was a bit of hardness to the tannins and a sensation of rusticity on the palate in the finish. Another 5 years or more are needed for this to come around. This must have been similar to what tasters experienced with the 1928 in its day. I wonder how many collectors gave up in frustration.
Dec 28, 2015points - Tasted 4044 Views
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.
Dec 21, 2013points - Tasted 7775 Views
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
Jan 3, 2010points - Tasted 15489 Views
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.
Mar 12, 2009points - Tasted 10772 Views
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!
Dec 10, 2008points - Tasted 4672 Views
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!
Jun 6, 2007points - Tasted 4181 Views
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.
Mar 14, 2006points - Tasted 4186 Views
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.
Nov 7, 2004points - Tasted 3966 Views
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.
Nov 7, 2003points - Tasted 4028 Views
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.
Dec 5, 2002points - Tasted 3514 Views
Medium bodied, and almost bordering on light, this is elegant, refined, or perhaps, delicate is the best way to put. Fully mature, your focus should be on the tobacco, cigar box, lead pencil, cedar, cherry and forest floor aromatics, than on the still fresh, light, soft, graceful, but petite, light cherry and cranberry finish. This is not a candidate for further evolution.
Apr 22, 2017points - Tasted 3568 Views
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.
Aug 15, 2013points - Tasted 5955 Views
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
Dec 3, 2004points - Tasted 2866 Views
The best bottle of this stunning wine I recall ever tasting. Purity and elegance, refinement and character sum this up quite well. There is a beautiful purity of fruit, ripeness in the tannins and a long, fresh, silky, fruit filled finish that lets you know you’re tasting something truly majestic.
Jan 14, 2016points - Tasted 7501 Views
More interesting on the nose than the palate, with its complex array of cedar, tobacco, cassis, smoke, thyme and cigar wrapper scents. On the palate, the earthy, cherry and cassis sensation were marred by some dryness and slightly, rustic tannins. There are vintages when I love Lafite and covet the wine. Those are the years to buy. But there are other vintages that should be sold. 1982 is a year to sell. Its a good wine, but it does not even begin to deliver the level of quality to justify the selling price.
Jun 5, 2015points - Tasted 7003 Views
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.
Dec 17, 2013points - Tasted 8501 Views
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.
Oct 28, 2012points - Tasted 12243 Views
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.
Nov 12, 2006points - Tasted 4894 Views
Fully mature, this lighter, medium bodied wine offers more complexities and character on the nose, with its blend of tobacco, cigar wrapper, earth, crushed rock, cranberry and cherry. There is a bit of austerity in the fruit on the palate, with tangy, red berries and tobacco leaf in the finish. This is a fine example of old school, classic Bordeaux. This is not a wine to hold for further development.
Nov 16, 2017points - Tasted 371 Views
Much better than I would have thought. The wine is on the rustic side, but it's difficult not to enjoy the cedar, tobacco, wet earth, cigar box, forest floor, red cherry and pipe tobacco nose. A bit green on the palate, there is a nice, spicy quality to the earthy red fruits in the rustic finish.
Sep 3, 2017points - Tasted 3099 Views
Light in weight and color, with serious bricking, the wine requires drinking. What you should find is a pleasant, elegant, spicy, red cherry charmer that is nice enough, but it's well below First Growth quality. Drink up as there is no future here.
Jul 28, 2016points - Tasted 3001 Views
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.
Jul 29, 2010points - Tasted 10511 Views
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.
Jul 10, 2004points - Tasted 9155 Views
This was the best bottle of this wine I've ever tasted. Light in color, the floral, cherry blossom, tobacco, cedar, spice and earthy nose was perfectly paired with the medium bodied, silky smooth, fresh, red berry finish. This was all about the elegance and not the power possible from the vintage.
Oct 15, 2015points - Tasted 4183 Views
Fully mature, it’s easy to find the scents of tobacco, cedar chest, red berries and earth in the nose. Medium bodied without much depth or complexity, the wine ends with light, cranberry and cassis with some tartness in the finish. This is an incredibly weak wine when you consider the wine and the vintage.
Dec 9, 2014points - Tasted 4175 Views
As unbelievable as it sounds, from 2 different sources, the first in magnum and then again in bottle, I was able to taste and compare my memories of this wine, as they were served only 2 weeks apart! The bottle, due to better storage was in much better shape. Incredibly silky in texture, there was a beautiful purity to the fresh, sweet cherry fruit that paired perfectly with the cigar box, earth, smoke, tobacco, cedar wood and cigar aromatics. Smooth as silk from start to finish, this was an incredible treat!
Nov 6, 2015points - Tasted 4047 Views
Not the best fill, but perhaps because it was a magnum, this showed much better than expected. Powerful, yet silky, lush and polished, with Cuban Cigar scents, cedar, lead pencil, truffle, smoke and wet forest floor aromas, it was hard to put the glass down. The texture perfectly displayed concentration, velvet tannins, opulence and grace that come with time and great terroir.
Oct 15, 2015points - Tasted 4271 Views
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.
Nov 24, 2013points - Tasted 5682 Views
Acidic, sharp, and overly bright on the medium bodied palate, the wine was much better on the cassis, leaf, tobacco, cedar and earthy nose, than on the light, red berry palate. Father time has not been kind here.
Nov 10, 2017points - Tasted 398 Views
Looking like a murky, red tea, the wine offered a perfume filled with tobacco, mint, leaf, forest floor, cedar and bright, red red fruits. Medium bodied, with a light, sweet and tart, spicy, red fruit finish. At this age, each bottle is different, but there is reason to age this wine any longer. If you have a bottle, pop the cork.
May 5, 2016points - Tasted 2662 Views
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.
Jun 18, 2009points - Tasted 3715 Views
Light, and still completely charming, the elegant textures, refined palate presence and sweet, red, spicy fruits in the finish complimented the earthy, tobacco and cedar nose. Past its peak, it was still a treat to taste.
Apr 30, 2017points - Tasted 870 Views
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.
Nov 19, 2007points - Tasted 5217 Views
Mostly secondary notes of cedar, tobacco, cigar box, smoke and earth, with a little cassis tossed in for good measure. Light, with freshness, elegant textures and a clean, red berry finish.
Apr 13, 2017points - Tasted 1380 Views
It's had to imagine that a white Bordeaux wine close to 80 years of age could be good. Rest assured, served double blind, it was that good. Golden, amber in color, the wine was better on the nose, with its butterscotch, butter, apricot, orange marmalade, honey and nut aromas, than on the palate, which came up a bit shy. But so would, or will you at 80 years of age. The fragrance remained in full force for hours, but the semi sweet fruit dried up after 30 minutes in the glass. The easiest way to think of the wine, is to imagine a cross between an old, dry Sauternes and an even older vintage of white, Pessac Leognan. I know I'll never see another bottle, but the memory is going to linger for years!
Apr 14, 2015points - Tasted 843 Views
Looking like a glass of rose hip tea, picture walking into a cedar closet, smoking an Cuban cigar with rocks and rose bushes and fresh cherries on the floor and you get the idea of how this smells. Youthful, spicy and packed with cassis and cherries, there was a touch of rusticity to the tannins, but it was not at all intrusive. I know I've been blessed, as I've tasted this 3 times now. Just when you think you're never going to taste it again, out comes another bottle.
Apr 28, 2015points - Tasted 1741 Views
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!
Nov 1, 2009points - Tasted 5157 Views
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.
May 8, 2014points - Tasted 3057 Views
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.
Dec 7, 2009points - Tasted 3469 Views
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)
Dec 7, 2009points - Tasted 3895 Views
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.
Dec 7, 2009points - Tasted 4250 Views
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.
Dec 7, 2009points - Tasted 4154 Views
Served double blind, in my wildest dreams I never though the wine was this old. My guess placed it in the 1940's. The nose showed off with the array of scents ranging from truffle, autumn leafs, forest floor, 5 spice, cigar box, lead pencil and cedar chest. A whisper of fruit popped in, but the secondary aromatics were all mattered here. Elegant, light on its feet and still offering spicy cassis flavors in the mouth, the silky tannins, freshness and extreme patina of age got even better in the glass! What a great experience! This is a wine I am not going to forget tasting. Speechless is all I can say.
Apr 16, 2016points - Tasted 1808 Views