Lafon Rochet 2018

SubregionSt Estephe

Recent vintages here at this classed growth St Estephe have been amongst the best ever with the latest generation of the family - Basile Tesseron - now in charge of the property. The new consultant is the legendary Jean-Claude Berrouet of Chateau Petrus - his first job on the left bank. This striking property, with its yellow walls, is just along the road from Cos d'Estournel and overlooks the vineyards of Lafite. En primeur prices remain reasonable. The 40 hectare vineyard is planted 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot with a little Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The 2018 is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc and weighs in at 14.5 degrees.


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Tasting Notes

Deep ruby in colour with an inky, ripe nose of cassis and light toast. The palate is chalky and rich in tannin, with crunchy red and black fruits. This is fine and firm, a classic St Estephe in style. There are licks of spice and savoury cedar on the finish, complementing the pure cherries. Compact and dense, this will need 5-10 years in bottle to integrate and soften.

Score: 15.5+Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

The 2018 Lafon-Rochet was picked from 24 September to 13 October, matured in concrete and stainless steel vats and reaching 14.50% alcohol. It has a complex bouquet, a mélange of red and black fruit mixed with a little aniseed. It is pretty and winsome. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chalky tannin, a fine bead of acidity and perhaps what distinguishes this vintage for myself is the precision on the silky-smooth finish. Even compared to the previous vintage, this shows a little more tension and pixelation, a fine sapidity that comes through on the aftertaste. Good potential. Drink 2021-2040.

Score: 92/94Neal Martin,, November 2019

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Lafon-Rochet is scented of cassis, blackberries, herbs and soil with tar and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is firm and grainy with herb sparks and an earthy finish.

Score: 90/92+Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

A firm and silky red with blackberries and hints of chocolate and hazelnut character. Medium to full body. Beautiful, fresh finish.

Score: 93/94James Suckling,, April 2019

A wine of lovely finesse the 2018 Lafon-Rochet offers a striking combination of fruit density and nuance, all in an understated style that is quite appealing. Dark cherry, sweet tobacco, menthol, dried flowers and mint all run through this silky, supple Saint-Estèphe. As always, Lafon-Rochet is one of the more laid back, elegant wines of the appellation. Even so, the 2018 has lovely mid-palate sweetness and silky tannins, both of which add to its considerable appeal. The blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Yields were a healthy 50 hectoliters per hectare, higher than the average, which is closer to 42-45. Tasted three times.

Score: 92/95Antonio Galloni,, May 2019

Barrel sample. Deepest crimson core with wide purple rim. Unusual nose: wild black fruits, vibrant fruit. Intense too, a bit like a blackcurrant pastille. Really expressive on the nose. Chocolate flavour and texture on the palate, not as vibrant as I expected from the nose, perhaps just all curled up inside the oak. The freshness on the finish is lovely. And the finish very long. Very good. (JH)
Drink 2028-2038

Score: 17Julia Harding MW,, April 2019

I presume Basile Tesseron is feeling pretty relieved that he decided not to continue with organics in February 2018, as the ability to be more flexible with treatments proved pretty important during the rest of the season. The result is very good, full of juice and life, with crunchy blackberry and cassis fruits that are up there in expression with the 2016. It has clear quality, but is also pretty austere, with good slate minerality and touches of hedgerow. It feels like a wine with good life ahead and something to say. 4% Cabernet Franc makes up the blend. Harvested 24 September to 11 October. 3.7pH.

Drinking Window 2026 - 2038

Score: 94Jane Anson,, April 2019

(64 Cabernet Sauvignon, 26 Merlot, 6 Petit Verdot, 4 Cabernet Franc) | 42% new oak | 14.5% alc This is a super-succulent Lafon-Rochet with fleshy Cabernet fruit which is nicely weighted with just the right amount of oak and spice. The nose is beautiful and there are mulberry notes overlaying the cassis core. A lip-smacking wine, which adds crisp tannins and bright acidity to its ingredients, this is undoubtedly another Saint-Estèphe winner in 2018.

Score: 17.5+Matthew Jukes,, April 2019

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.