Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Chateau Lafite Rothschild Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Learn everything about Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, First Growth 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.

We know this because on the 1680 estate manifest, there are six mentions Of their Bordeaux vineyards. Jacques de Segur, earns credit for cultivating the vineyard. 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, Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour were separated.

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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 1855 Classification 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 Pauillac. Owned by the Casteja family for more than a century, Chateau Duhart Milon suffered from neglect and was in a dilapidated condition.

In fact, 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.

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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. In April, 2018, Saskia de Rothschild was named the first female chairwoman of Domaines Barons de Rothschild.

Saskia de Rothschild, who was previously working as a top, investigative journalist, is the daughter of Baron Eric de Rothschild, who has been in charge of the estate since 1974. Saskia de Rothschild is not new to wine, having worked at L’Evangile in Pomerol when she was only 19. She has working at the been involved with the estate on a full time basis starting in 2015.

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.

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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. Part of the problem with those vintages is due to the wines being bottled barrel by barrel until 1970. This created excessive bottle variation. Blending vats were added to the cellars in 1970.

The wines began improving at Lafite Rothschild starting with the 1981 vintage, and took another step up in quality in 1982. Since 1996, Chateau Lafite Rothschild has been producing some of the best wines 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 Rothschild paid for product placement on the number one rated Chinese soap opera on television.

Characters in that television 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.

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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 , 4.5 hectare parcel of vines located in the Saint Estephe appellation, “La Caillava”. The vines in St. Estephe are situated not that far from Cos dEstournel, 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 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.

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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. 9 hectares of vines are farmed using biodynamic farming methods.

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 and graze.

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.

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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: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1990, 1989, 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 Bordeaux 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 joint 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

70 Vintages 799,228 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2018Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)99

The color matches a long obscured ruby jewel. The initial sip shows its sophistication, grace and refinement and there is an extraordinary purity in the fruit. Before taking a second sip for confirmation, you'll find tobacco, lead pencil, cedar, flowers, cherry pipe tobacco and if you dig really deep, you'll discover a subtle essence of orange in the background. On the palate, the wine is supple, silky, long and focused. Precision is an often misunderstood term used by wine writers. 2018 Lafite Rothschild is the poster child for precision in a wine. Never the most powerful of the First Growths, instead here, you find a wine of perfect balance, elegance and harmony with a unified, seemingly endless finish. Produced from a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and .5% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.73. The Grand Vin represents 40% of the harvest, which took place September 17 to September October 4. 98-100 Pts

2,382 Views   Tasted
2018Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)93

A medium-bodied, elegant, black currant-filled wine that is refined, forward, fresh and clean. Silky textures and spicy, red pit fruits in the finish, the wine was made from blending 56.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 5.5% Cabernet Franc. 92-94 Pts

1,237 Views   Tasted
2017Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)97

This most graceful of the First Growths is brimming with luster, tranquility and refined textures. The wine glides in discreetly, slowly building intensity as it expands on your palate while quietly and effortlessly moving from sweet red fruits to darker plums and cherries. There is a flawless ascendancy here with length, purity of fruit and balance. This is a wine of finesse. Produced from a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Merlot and .5% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 12.8% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. The Grand Vin represents 40% of the harvest, which took place September 11 to September 29.

7,220 Views   Tasted
2017Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)90

Sweet cherries and cassis enhanced by brushed tannins and earthy nuances, this is soft, forward, fruity and drinkable upon release. The wine was made from blending 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

2,159 Views   Tasted
2016Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)99

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.

11,658 Views   Tasted
2016Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)92

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.

2,626 Views   Tasted
2015Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)97

Lafite Rothschild is not a wine to imbibe in its youth. As a youngster, all the elements are there, the intense purity of fruit, the impossibly, silky textures, freshness that gives lift without ever feeling acidic. In fact, the qualities and character as it builds in intensity, volume and length. Like all great vintages of Lafite, this is going to take time, at least 15-20 or more years to deliver its experience at its best.

3,854 Views   Tasted

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

4,760 Views   Tasted 96
2015Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)91

Medium-bodied, forward, fresh, elegant and refined, you can always find secondary development with its tobacco, herb and herbal nuances. The fruits show sweet ripe, red berries with good purity, You can always enjoy this soft, elegant Pauillac.

1,647 Views   Tasted

- 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

1,956 Views   Tasted 90
2014Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)96

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.

3,107 Views   Tasted

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

9,000 Views   Tasted 94
2014Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)91

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.

1,848 Views   Tasted

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

3,229 Views   Tasted 89
2013Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)90

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

7,862 Views   Tasted
2013Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)87

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

3,381 Views   Tasted
2012Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)93

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

12,703 Views   Tasted
2012Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)88

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

5,171 Views   Tasted
2011Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)95

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

8,552 Views   Tasted
2011Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)89

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

6,440 Views   Tasted
2010Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)99

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

26,609 Views   Tasted
2010Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)89

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

14,347 Views   Tasted
2009Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)98

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

20,255 Views   Tasted
2008Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)97

Elegant, refined, pure, focused, vibrant, fresh and classic in its nature, it is easy to discern the cedar, tobacco leaf, lead pencil cassis and blackberry nuances, with just a little effort. On the palate, the wine offers refinement and purity, with a silky, yet energetic, bright edge. Give this 12-15 more years to develop. The wine was made from blending 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc.

3,025 Views   Tasted

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.

5,944 Views   Tasted 96
2007Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)92

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 without the depth you hope to find in a First Growth. Still, this shows good character, freshness and refinement. It is one of the wines of this difficult vintage. The wine was made from a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot.

3,430 Views   Tasted
2006Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)96

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.

8,094 Views   Tasted
2005Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)97

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?

11,410 Views   Tasted
2004Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)95

If you prefer your elegance and refined character-filled wines on the young, buy reaching adolescent side, where the fruit, with its trail of tobacco leaf, cedar, cigar box, lead pencil, and salty rocks is just starting to fold into the secondary stage, you came to the right place. While another 5-10 years will really bring this to center stage, due to its forward style, this is starting to work in your glass.

8,319 Views   Tasted

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.

3,840 Views   Tasted 95

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.

7,429 Views   Tasted 93

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.

10,152 Views   Tasted 96

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.

10,189 Views   Tasted 96
2003Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)98

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!

4,592 Views   Tasted

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.

6,634 Views   Tasted 95

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.

17,704 Views   Tasted 100
2003Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)88

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.

3,504 Views   Tasted
2002Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)95

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.

7,517 Views   Tasted
2001Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)95

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.

5,580 Views   Tasted

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.

9,891 Views   Tasted 94
2000Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)97

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.

5,739 Views   Tasted

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.

4,602 Views   Tasted 97

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.

7,402 Views   Tasted 99

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.

17,337 Views   Tasted 97
2000Carruades de Lafite  (Pauillac)87

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.

4,887 Views   Tasted

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.

8,396 Views   Tasted 90
1999Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)93

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.

5,953 Views   Tasted
1998Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)95

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.

6,263 Views   Tasted

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.

11,961 Views   Tasted 97

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.

6,831 Views   Tasted 96
1996Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)100

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.

6,688 Views   Tasted
1995Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)93

Medium bodied with a strict, tannic edge, the nose is there, but on the palate, the wine falls short for a First Growth that sells for this much money. There is a good purity in the fruit, but the rustic edge to tannins really shows. I'd be a seller not a buyer of this vintage.

5,216 Views   Tasted

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.

7,194 Views   Tasted 95
1994Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)90

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.

4,889 Views   Tasted
1990Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)93

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.

4,506 Views   Tasted

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.

8,493 Views   Tasted 94

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

12,298 Views   Tasted 92

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.

4,318 Views   Tasted 91

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

4,264 Views   Tasted 90
1989Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)93

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.

6,809 Views   Tasted

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.

9,832 Views   Tasted 91

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.

3,272 Views   Tasted 92
1988Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)94

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

21,261 Views   Tasted

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.

21,254 Views   Tasted 93

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.

11,903 Views   Tasted 94
1986Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)98

Power, intensity, waves of ripe, black fruits all backed up by a wall of tannin, this is a stunner. It has everything a wine needs for magnificence. All that is missing is cold cellar and a patient owner because the wine at close to 35 years of age still needs at least another decade to come around. Perhaps the wine will hit its prime time drinking window by its 50th birthday. They do not make the like they used to. Which is a good thing, as I feel sorry for consumers that bought this as a Future for drinking in their lifetime.

3,191 Views   Tasted

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!

5,030 Views   Tasted 98

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.

4,800 Views   Tasted 98

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.

4,721 Views   Tasted 97

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.

8,476 Views   Tasted 98

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

16,169 Views   Tasted 98

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.

11,415 Views   Tasted 97

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!

5,348 Views   Tasted 98

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!

4,911 Views   Tasted 99

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.

4,917 Views   Tasted 99

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.

4,643 Views   Tasted 98

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.

4,703 Views   Tasted 98

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.

4,160 Views   Tasted 96
1985Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)90

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.

7,931 Views   Tasted
1983Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)94

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.

6,394 Views   Tasted

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

3,261 Views   Tasted 95
1982Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)95

The fruit is quite pretty. There is an elegance and purity to the red berries that shows, but the wine is also light for the vintage. Refined, elegant, silky and pure, with cherry, cedar and tobacco notes that carry through, this is drinking where it needs to be. I just wish it showed more depth and intensity, especially considering the vintage, and how well the other First Growths did in this vintage.

5,355 Views   Tasted

Graphite, cigar box, tobacco, spice, cherry pipe tobacco, forest leaf and herbs spring from the glass, even with no decanting. The wine is quite fresh, silky, medium/full bodied and graceful, exchanging finesse for power. The wine should continue improving for another 2 decades without trouble.

3,624 Views   Tasted 96

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.

8,256 Views   Tasted 97

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.

7,700 Views   Tasted 94

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.

9,195 Views   Tasted 96

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.

12,902 Views   Tasted 96

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.

5,553 Views   Tasted 96
1981Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)92

For an off vintage that is edging close to 40 years of age, this is truly quite nice. Medium bodied, the wine is soft, elegant, fresh and bright. The crisp red fruits shine. The finish is not long, but it feels good and gets you interested in experiencing the earthy, tobacco, lead pencil, red fruit and cedar chest nose. There is no reason to hold this any longer, unless you have a birthday or anniversary to celebrate.

4,242 Views   Tasted
1979Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)90

Light in color and fruit, this medium-bodied, elegant, bright, red currant filled wine is more complex and interesting on the tobacco, cedar, rock, forest leaf and earthy nose, than on the bright, soft, refined palate. This is at full maturity and is not a wine for further aging.

2,609 Views   Tasted
1978Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)90

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.

4,106 Views   Tasted
1976Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)91

Looking old for its age, the wine interestingly combines overripe ripe fruits with rustic tannins. The nose, with its earthy forest leaf, tobacco wrapper and lead pencil scents along with bright red fruit aromas are better than what you find on the palate.

4,478 Views   Tasted
1975Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)92

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.

10,337 Views   Tasted
1970Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)90

Fully developed, and a perfect example of classic Bordeaux with its cedar, tobacco, smoke, ash, lead pencil, wet earth and bright, red berry components. Not much weight, but a lot of elegance here. This is not going to get better, but I imagine it is good for up to another decade before it fades.

3,478 Views   Tasted
1966Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)85

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.

3,452 Views   Tasted

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.

10,782 Views   Tasted 86

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.

9,430 Views   Tasted 89
1961Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)92

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.

4,609 Views   Tasted

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.

4,567 Views   Tasted 85
1959Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)99

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!

4,522 Views   Tasted

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.

4,652 Views   Tasted 98

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.

5,979 Views   Tasted 97
1957Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)80

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.

2,652 Views   Tasted
1955Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)89

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.

2,947 Views   Tasted

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.

4,011 Views   Tasted 95
1950Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)90

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.

1,606 Views   Tasted

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.

5,890 Views   Tasted 91
1949Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)93

Medium-bodied, with a pale ruby hue, the nose offered up its blend of tobacco, cedar, leather, cherry pipe smoke and spice box array with little effort. Elegant, regal and finesse driven, the sweetness in the bright red fruits paired with a touch of flint showed nicely on the palate and in the endnote.

593 Views   Tasted
1945Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)93

Another vintage of Lafite Rothschild I am not likely to see again. Served blind, the color mixed amber and red tea. On the nose, oyster shell, tobacco leaf, cedarwood, ash, smoke, bright red fruits and forest leaf aromatics. Medium bodied, elegant and refined, with all its tannins melted away ago the finish, with its bright red berries, tobacco and earthy nuances. I liked the wine, but from such an exalted vintage, I was thinking it should have been better. Still, it's not lost on me that this vintage of Lafite Rothschild came from the year celebrating the end of World War 2.

3,808 Views   Tasted
1943Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)88

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.

2,511 Views   Tasted
1941Moulin des Carruades  (Pauillac)77

It is always fascinating to taste a war years wine, especially when it is related to a First Growth. But here, the history behind the wine and the beautiful label outclassed the wine, which was quite light and more acidic and secondary than fun to taste. Still, to think about what was taking place that harvest boggles the mind, making history come alive.

2,213 Views   Tasted
1935Vin de Château Lafite Blanc  (Bordeaux)93

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!

1,291 Views   Tasted
1934Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)93

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.

1,930 Views   Tasted

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!

5,342 Views   Tasted 95
1928Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)83

A strange wine indeed. Served double blind there was no doubt this was a very old Bordeaux. The color of strong tea, little fruit remained, most of what there was by this point was buried under all the cedar, tobacco, old wood, cigar wrapper and citrus. The texture was a step up, with its softness and polish, leaving with more leafy, earthy, tangy citrus notes in the very bright finish. I am sure what made this wine so odd was that the 1928 Lafite, due to a flaw that took place during the vinification was pasteurized. The chateau ended up taking back a large production of the wine from unhappy clients due to a court order.

2,832 Views   Tasted
1924Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)90

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.

3,766 Views   Tasted
1908Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)94

Served blind, there was no way anyone guessed it was 110 years old. Tea colored, with a complex set of aromatics including tobacco, cherry blossom, tobacco leaf, cigar wrapper, tobacco, ash, cigar box, cedar and lead pencil, this was heavenly to nose. On the palate, the wine is light, soft, delicate and feminine with a clean, fresh, cherry pipe tobacco finish.

1,969 Views   Tasted
1907Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)90

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.

3,966 Views   Tasted
1905Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)82

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)

4,443 Views   Tasted
1904Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)89

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.

5,170 Views   Tasted
1901Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)92

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.

4,594 Views   Tasted
1900Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)94

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.

3,294 Views   Tasted
1899Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)91

Recorked and topped off with a younger vintage, so I am missing the experience on this legendary vintage. Still, the elegance, softness, purity of light, red fruit and strong tobacco nuances with that graphite note was hard to resist.

1,896 Views   Tasted
1874Château Lafite Rothschild  (Pauillac)87

Sold and relabeled by Christies, this was recorked at some point in time and heavily topped off with a younger vintage. So, some of this was drinking bottled history. Still, it's what's in the bottle that counts, and this a pleasant, older, not distinct, elegant, tobacco and cassis focused wine that I am never going to taste again.

1,781 Views   Tasted