Chateau Raymond Lafon Sauternes Bordeaux, Complete Guide


Learn everything about Chateau Raymond Lafon Sauternes with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Raymond Lafon History, Overview

Chateau Raymond Lafon is a young vineyard, by Sauternes standards. It was founded in 1850 by Raymond Lafon, who left his mark on the estate that still bears his name. The estate passed to Louis Pontallier, a nephew of Lafon’s.

If the Pontallier family name sounds familiar, Louis Pontallier was the grandfather of Paul Pontallier, who was the director of Chateau Margaux for almost 30 years! Louis Pontallier sold the chateau and vineyards in 1952 to the Bourdier family.

20 years after that sale, the property was sold to the current owner, Pierre Meslier. Pierre Meslier was the managing director of Chateau dYquem, so that was the perfect fit.

This small Bordeaux vineyard of Raymond Lafon is located next door to the vineyards of Chateau d’Yquem and very close to Chateau Suduiraut. Due to the fact that the owner was the manager of Chateau d’Yquem, it should not come as a surprise that Raymond Lafon is produced in the exact same fashion that is used at Chateau d’Yquem.

The same blends are used at both properties as well. The yields are similar as well, at close to 8 hectoliters per hectare. With the responsibility of running his own winery, it was not long until Pierre Meslier departed from Chateau d’Yquem to concentrate all his efforts on producing and marketing the wines of Chateau Raymond Lafon. Today, the estate is managed by the three children of Meslier.

Chateau Raymond Lafon Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 20-hectare vineyard of Raymond Lafon is planted to 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc with vines that average 35 years of age. They are planted to 6,666 plants per hectare, which is the same density that you see at Chateau de Fargues.

During harvest, the vineyard can be picked grape by grape if needed. The harvest is conducted in successive pickings that can take as few as 3 tries to as many as 10 passes until the harvest is completed.

To produce the wine of Chateau Raymond Lafon, after the grapes were pressed in a vertical press, vinification takes place in 100% new, French oak barrels. The wine spends 3 years in 100% new, French oak barrels before bottling.

The best vintages of Chateau Raymond Lafon are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1997, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1986 and 1983. Older vintages can be risky.

Chateau Raymond Lafon has an annual production that averages less than 3,000 cases of wine per year. There is a second wine that was recently renamed, Jeunes Pousses de Raymond Lafon.

When to Drink Chateau Raymond Lafon, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Raymond Lafon can be enjoyed on the young side with no decanting. In fact, it is delicious and quite a treat young, even on release! However, like all great wines, Chateau Raymond Lafon is much better with age and does not reach full maturity until it’s between 10-30 years of age, or in some years, perhaps even longer in the best vintages!

That is when the magic happens! But that is unrealistic for 99% of the world’s wine drinkers. So, enjoy it on any special occasion that calls for it.

Of course, the wine is sweet, but there is so much, incredible, racy acidity, the wine always feels fresh, and never cloying, which makes it quite fun to enjoy young. With Chateau Raymond Lafon and frankly, all Sauternes, the temperature is more important than decanting.

Serving Chateau Raymond Lafon with Wine and Food Pairings

Chateau Raymond Lafon is best served at 14 degrees Celsius, 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. The wine will naturally warm in the glass, while it develops more aromatic complexities and fleshes out.

Chateau Raymond Lafon can be served with seafood dishes, especially shellfish, lobster, crab, and oysters on the half shell. Foie gras is a perfect pairing with its natural sweet, salty and savory characteristics. Chateau Raymond Lafon can also be paired with roasted chicken, veal, and pork dishes that are either spicy or prepared with a touch of sweetness.

Spicy Asian cuisine, raw fish, like sushi or sashimi, and cheese, both hard and soft also make great pairings with Chateau Raymond Lafon.

Château Raymond-Lafon Wine Tasting Notes

21 Vintages 72,912 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2020 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 93

Apricots, mango, roasted nuts, vanilla, pineapple and Christmas spice show up in the perfume with little effort. Rich, lush, sweet, fresh and packed with honey-slathered, buttery apricots and candied orange rind, the wine strikes the right balance between honeyed sweetness and racy acidity. 92-94 Pts

1,593 Views   Tasted
2019 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 94

Closer to the orange side of the style range, than yellow, yet there is so much to like here with all of its honeyed mango, candied orange rind, apricot, white peach, vanilla and honey character. Rich, sweet, lush and most importantly, fresh, this exciting sweet treat hits everything in all the right places. Drink from 2022-2045. 94 Points

845 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 92

Medium-bodied, sweet, pure, fresh, juicy pineapples, candied lemon, mango and roasted orange with a nice dollop of honey and apple jam slathered on top. This is a nice combination of sweetness meshed with lift. 92 Points

1,085 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 93

Layers of lusciously textured, ripe and overripe, tropical fruits, honeysuckle, candied orange and honey paired with ripping acidity giving you lift and sweet treats galore. 93 Points

1,670 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 92

Over ripe pineapple, apricot, mango and candied orange rind with loads of sweet honey and macadamia nuts make an appearance. Delicious, sweet, fresh and honey coated, this is going to be tasty young and get even better as it ages. . 92 Points

2,932 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 92

With loads of candied citrus, pineapple, mango, apricot and orange rind, there is a the perfect amount of honey dripping all over everything, paired with freshness and acidity so that the wine retains it freshness. 91 - 93 Pts

2,692 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 91

Early days here as the wine is just entering its youthful drinking window. Lacking the density of a top vintage, the candied orange, white peach, apricot, pineapple and honey notes come through loud and clear. The balance between lift and sweetness is in perfect portion, I just wish there was more weight and concentration. 91 Points

1,546 Views   Tasted
2013 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 93

I just love young Sauternes. OK, they are more interesting as they age, but they are so tasty in their youth, it is hard to keep my paws off a bottle or two, in the name of science of course. This was no exception, with its blast of juicy, ripe, and overripe pineapple, apricot, vanilla bean, spring flowers and honey, everything seemed good to go. On the palate, things got even better as the play between sweet, ripe, tropical fruits, coated in honey, and bracing acidity kept everything balanced, on a high note. Elegance, sweetness, intensity of flavor and lift, that's a blend I can get behind. 93 Points

2,264 Views   Tasted
2011 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 91

Young, but still charming, with ample notes of pineapple, apricot, marzipan, flowers, candied orange rind, honey and vanilla. Combining freshness with a lot of honeyed sweetness, this should be even better with age. 91 Points

3,505 Views   Tasted
2010 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 92

With loads of candied citrus, pineapple, mango, apricot and orange rind, there is a the perfect amount of honey dripping all over everything, paired with freshness and acidity so that the wine retains it freshness. 92 Points

4,740 Views   Tasted

Young, but oh so good, with its sweet, tropical fruit, honey, apricot and vanilla charms. Sweet, juicy, fat and fresh, drink now, if you like your sweet treats young, or wait 5-10 years for more complexity. 92 Points

2,791 Views   Tasted
2009 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 93

Fresh, bright, sweet and lush, with a nose of vanilla custard, honey drenched pineapple, apricot, nuts and nectarines with hints of over ripe citrus, this classy wine leaves a long, sweet, tropical impression on the palate. 93 Points

4,087 Views   Tasted
2007 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 92

Tropical fruit, honeysuckle, orange rind, vanilla, lemon and honey scents are discovered with little effort. Medium/full bodied with the right combination of sweet and acidity, but lacking the richness and depth of flavor found in the better wines from this vintage. 92 Points

4,800 Views   Tasted
2006 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 93

Luscious, sweet, honeyed, tropical fruits, vibrant acidity, vanilla and floral notes, with a racy, orange, pineapple and honeyed finish. What's not to like? 93 Points

2,193 Views   Tasted
2003 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 92

Fat, sweet, lush and rich, quite high in sugar levels, with a white peach, apricot and orange, honey-coated parfait personality, this is a dessert in a glass. 92 Points

3,960 Views   Tasted
2001 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 92

With an inviting perfume packed with honey coated peaches, pineapple, apricot, orange blossom, vanilla and caramel, this classic, Sauternes delivers a delicious mouthful of ripe, sweet, tropical fruit and honey with the perfect amount of lift and freshness. Drink this now and for at least another 15 to 20 years. 92 Points

3,346 Views   Tasted
1990 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 92

Fully mature, with a nice showing of pineapple, apricot, butter and butterscotch and honey. The wine shows quite well today, with its natural balance of sweetness, acidity and honeyed, tropical fruits. But it ends a bit short, which stops my note from scoring higher. 92 Points

2,172 Views   Tasted

It's possible this wine is slowly beginning to drop its fruit. The sweet, lush textures and honey drenched, yellow tropical fruits are not as apparent today. Instead, you'll find more caramel, butterscotch and candied orange rind. There is not real hurry to polish off your bottles, but there is clearly no advantage to aging this wine any longer. 92 Points

3,216 Views   Tasted

Ready to go, with its honeyed tropical, apricot, vanilla and orange marmalade nose, Sweet, lush, and satisfying, the honey enriched pineapple, apricot, white peach and grilled not finish was the perfect end to a great night. 93 Points

3,092 Views   Tasted

This is filled with honey drenched pineapples, pears, apricots and nectarines. Perfectly balanced with good lift, it's like a baby Yquem. 94 Points

3,133 Views   Tasted
1989 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 91

Medium-bodied, fresh and leaning to the orange side of the fruit range, there is still ample honeyed tropical fruit, creme de caramel and butterscotch, paired with vivacious acidity to keep everything interesting. 91 Points

3,000 Views   Tasted
1988 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 93

There is no need to age this sweet treat from this point forward. The candied orange, honeysuckle, apricot, vanilla, lemon chiffon and honey characteristics are shining. 93 Points

2,287 Views   Tasted

Fully mature, with a floral, apricot, earthy, vanilla, pineapple and orange aromatic profile. Silky, sweet, fresh and lush, there is a sense of minerality in honey drenched finish that adds even more complexity. 93 Points

2,471 Views   Tasted
1986 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 90

Honey tinted, with notes of vanilla, custard, tropical fruit and caramel. A little light on the palate. This might be at full maturity. I'll finish mine over the next few years. 90 Points

2,330 Views   Tasted
1983 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 92

Orange, copper in color the wine merges sweet, honeyed tropical fruits with creme brulee, custard, butterscotch, and caramel. On the border between sweet and racy, with the acidity starting to edge the fruit out, this is probably slightly past its peak drinking window. Still, it was easy to finish the glass for all its honeyed, orange tropical fruits and caramel. If you are sitting on any, do not hesitate to drink this now before more of the sweet fruit slowly fades. 92 Points

2,260 Views   Tasted

This golden, copper, hued wine is at the peak of maturity. Ripe, sweet, honey coated fruit tickle your nose and your palate gets to bathe in it as well. This is fully mature and will probably not improve from here. Drink it over the next few years to enjoy the sweet, ripe fruit. 94 Points

2,475 Views   Tasted
1975 Château Raymond-Lafon  (Sauternes) 88

Deep gold hue with scents of apricots, nectarines, caramel, peaches and vanilla. Better on the nose than the palate where it lacked ample sweetness and depth. The wine finished with caramel, light oranges and apricot, but was clearly starting to dry out. 88 Points

2,427 Views   Tasted