The 1982 Lafite Rothschild is at the peak of its powers today, and the two bottles I drank this year were both exceptional. Wafting from the glass with aromas of sweet red berries and blackcurrants mingled with notions of cedar chest, cigar box, camphor and dried flowers, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and seamless, with an effortlessly elegant, harmonious profile and a long, fragrant finish. While this is far from being the most powerful Médoc of the vintage, it is among the most pleasurable.
This is a denser version of the 1990 that stylistically reminds me of what the young 1959 probably tasted like. Still backward with a deep ruby/plum color revealing only a touch of lightening at the edge, the wine offers up an extraordinary nose of caramelized herbs, smoke, cedar, pen ink, black currants, and earth. The gorgeous aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, plump, rich, fleshy wine with low acidity. With 6-8 hours decanting in a closed decanter, it will offer beautiful drinking, but it needs another 5-8 years to reach full maturity. It is capable of lasting 50-60 years. This classic Lafite is not as fat and concentrated as the 1982 Latour, nor as complex or concentrated as the 1982 Mouton Rothschild, but it is a winner all the same.
Still a little crimson though slowly fading. Light nose but great nobility and race on the palate. Dry finish but really together and spirited. Very fine indeed. Appetisingly dry, as opposed to sweet, finish but not drying out uncomfortably. Lovely life. Seriously vibrant, clean and refreshing.Drink 2000-2025.Date tasted 15th Aug 07.
All three 1982 first-growth Pauillacs have turned out to be wines of extraordinary complexity, richness, and aging potential. To no one's surprise, they are all different. The two most backward wines are Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton-Rothschild. The 1982 Lafite possesses a dark, dense ruby/purple colour with only a subtle lightening at the rim. Spectacular aromatics offer jammy cherry and black fruits intertwined with lead pencil, mineral, and smoky wood scents. Powerful for a Lafite, this wine unfolds to reveal extraordinary richness, purity, and overall symmetry in addition to stunning flavour, depth and persistence. The finish lasts for nearly a minute. Plenty of tannin remains, and the wine displays a vibrancy and youthfulness that belie its 18 years of age. The modern day equivalent of Lafite-Rothschild's immortal 1959, the 1982 will enjoy another 30-70 years of life! An amazing achievement! Anticipated maturity: 2007-2070.
Still extraordinarily backward and youthful, this large-scaled wine should prove to be the greatest Lafite made after the 1953 and 1959. It continues to offer an exceptionally intense, compelling bouquet of herbs, black currants, vanilla, lead pencil, and cedar. The wine reveals considerable tannin as well as amazing, atypical power and concentration for Lafite. The hallmark elegance of this wine has not been compromised because of the vintage's tendency to turn out powerful and unctuously textured , thick, juicy wines. Rich, full, and still youthful and unyielding, this should prove to be a fabulous Lafite-Rothschild, but only for those prepared to wait until 2003-2005. It should easily last through decades of the next century.