“Lafite has a soul, a beautiful, generous, kindly soul. Lafite turns bare earth into heaven. Lafite is harmony, a harmony between man and nature, because without our magnificent winegrowers, nothing would be accomplished.” - Baron Eric de Rothschild
In 1815, Guillaume Lawton said of Château Lafite, “I consider it to be the the most elegant and delicate, with the finest substance of the three (Premier Crus). The location of its vines is one of the finest in the Médoc”. In 1855 the Château was ranked as a Premier Grand Cru in the famous classification that was prepared for the Universal Exhibition of that year.
AG 98: The 2020 Lafite-Rothschild, which contains the highest proportion of Merlot since the 2016, hit the bull's eye from barrel. Revisiting the wine in the bottle since July, it still bursts from the glass with copious blackberries, touches of blueberry and juniper, pencil lead and a hint of crushed stone. Wonderful delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with finely-chiseled tannins, quite linear and "correct" a quintessential Lafite-Rothschild in many ways. It gently builds in the mouth while keeping a restraint on things, finishing with fine sapidity yet a little more juiciness than you would have found a decade or two earlier. This has the potential to evolve beautifully over several decades. Best After 2028.
WA 97: The 2020 Lafite Rothschild opens in the glass with a deep bouquet of cassis, black truffle, pencil shavings and violets. Full-bodied, fleshy and layered, its broad attack segues into an ample core of fruit framed by supple, melting tannins. Seamless, layered and complete, it's richer and deeper pitched than the 2019, and its notably high pH of 3.94 likely means it will never shut down. It's a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, incorporating just a touch more Merlot from the plateau of Carruades than the 2019.
JS 100: Amazing aromas here with tobacco, crushed stone, cigar box, currants, tar, and lead pencil, as well as spices, iron, and dried ginger. Medium- to full-bodied, with a density and tightness. Very compact and complex. Racy. Delicacy with strength. Orange peel undertones. A wine to contemplate. You must understand it to understand the great Lafites of the past and those of the future. Only 12.8% alcohol. 92% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot and 1% petit verdot. Best after 2030, but drink it if you have the chance taste it.
WA 100: One of the greatest wines produced in Bordeaux this year is the 2019 Lafite Rothschild, an impeccably balanced classic of immense charm and grace. Wafting from the glass with arresting aromas of cassis, blackberries and cherries mingled with violets, cigar box and warm spices, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, its velvety attack segueing into a layered, concentrated mid-palate framed by exquisitely powdery tannins and ripe acids, and concluding with a long, perfumed finish. This rivals the 2010 and 2016 as the greatest Lafite of the decade, and of those three vintages, it's clearly the most sensual and demonstrative out of the gates. The blend contains fully 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and attained a modest 13.4% alcohol.
JS 100: So much sweet tobacco, Spanish cedar, dried flowers, dark mushrooms and roses. Really aromatic. This is so polished and very powerful, yet ethereal and refined at the same time. The finish goes on for minutes. Tight and harmonious. You want to drink it! So balanced, yet it will age beautifully. It will be this good forever. 94% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 1% petit verdot. Better after 2031.
AG 98: The 2019 Lafite-Rothschild has a most earthy bouquet with warm gravel and black olive scents percloating through the black fruit. Warm bricks on a hot sunny afternoon. The palate is medium-bodied with gorgeous, saturated yet firm tannis that frame the layers of mineral-laden black fruit. This is a live wire, so tensile and focused towards the finish with a fabulously long aftertaste. Marvelous. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting.
WA 100: The 2018 Lafite Rothschild is blended of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot and has 13.3% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it needs a fair bit of swirling to unlock intoxicating scents of blackcurrant cordial, baked plums and black cherry compote with an undercurrent of dark chocolate, licorice, cast-iron pan, cedar chest and fertile loam, plus a waft of pencil lead. The delicately crafted, medium-bodied palate is dripping with class, featuring layers of mineral-laced black fruits and exquisitely ripe, singularly Lafite tannins, finishing with epic length and depth. This simply stunning, delicately crafted expression of 2018 with its singularly evocative imprint of Lafite will require a good 7-8 years in bottle, then should continue to inspire awe over the following 40+ years.
JS 99: Wow. The aromas are so intense and refined at the same time, offering gorgeous blackcurrant, lead-pencil and orchid character. Such purity of fruit. Sleek and finely polished with a fine cut to the tannins that provide such grace and glamor. Yet, it’s got the power and structure to age for decades. On and on. Try after 2029.
WA 100: Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Lafite Rothschild is a little mute on the nose at this stage, opening to reveal warm blackcurrants, baked plums and boysenberry scents with hints of chocolate mint, violets, cedar chest and pencil lead. Full-bodied, rich and densely packed with perfumed black fruit layers, it has a rock-solid backbone of fantastically ripe, grainy tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing very long and minerally. Still very youthful!
JS 99: This is shy and not giving its all at the moment. Yet it is full and intense with a tightly intertwined tannic and fruit structure. Ethereal blackberry, currant, cedar, and nutty flavors. Dried flowers too. Cedar jewel box smell comes out with time. Great finish. So, so long and harmonious. Try in 2018.
WA 94: Tasted at BI Wine & Spirits' 10-Years-On tasting, the 2007 Lafite-Rothschild has an elegant cigar box bouquet, with dusky black fruit and a touch of antique bureau—just classic Lafite. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, cedar and tobacco infusing the black fruit, classic in style with a conservative yet focused finish that lingers in the mouth. This is certainly the most subtle First Growth, but one of the most refined too—a sophisticated but understated Lafite-Rothschild that will age with discrete style.
WA 95: Tasted at Bordeaux Index's annual 10-Year On tasting in London and then blind at Farr Vintners tasting. The 2006 Château Lafite-Rothschild offers impressive fruit intensity on the nose, although it does not have the precision of the 2006 Mouton-Rothschild. Red berry fruits intermingle with rose petals and sous-bois scents - very typical Lafite bouquet where less can be more. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and a keen line of acidity. It is certainly very well balanced with graphite-tinged black fruit, but whereas Mouton-Rothschild possesses that peacock's tail, Lafite remains linear. Nevertheless, the sophistication really comes through here. It is a Lafite-Rothschild that may spring a few surprises down the line, one of those wines that keeps drawing you back. Understated class. Tasted April 2016.
JS 95: The aromas of blue fruit, iodine, sweet tobacco and lavender follow through nicely to the palate that’s medium-bodied with fine, firm tannins and a long, cool finish. Still a little tight, but show great finesse and pedigree. Just starting to open now.