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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! Drink 2025-2080.
The 2010 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot (a 3% difference from the barrel sample shown two years ago), achieved relatively high alcohol of 13.32%, according to administrator Charles Chevalier. The wine is very impressive, not as fleshy, flamboyant and massive as the 2009, but nevertheless, a big, rich, full-throttle Lafite-Rothschild meant to age a half century or more. Deep purple, with notes of white chocolate, mocha, cedar and charcoal as well as hints of vanillin and creme de cassis, the wine is full-bodied yet has that ethereal lightness that makes it a Lafite. Rich, with good acidity, precision and freshness, this is a slightly zestier version of the 2009 as well as more restrained and structured than that particular vintage. It will need at least 10-12 years of cellaring and keep for 50+ years.
This exceptionally rich, thick Lafite came in with the highest level of natural alcohol (13.5%) ever achieved at Lafite Rothschild. To put that in its proper context, the 2009 and 2005 were 13.3% and in the hottest Bordeaux summer ever recorded in over 200 years, the 2003 achieved 12.8%. A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot, all harvested between October 9 and 14, the 2010 exhibits an extraordinarily dense color, an unctuous texture and sweet black currant fruit intermixed with graphite, charcoal and truffle notes. A director Charles Chevalier told me, between July and the October harvest, Bordeaux had its driest weather since 1949, but it never got excessively hot. Hence the tiny berries, freshness and extraordinary precision of Lafite Rothschild. This superb effort will undoubtedly shut down slightly once it is bottled despite a pH of 3.8. It needs no building up because much of Lafite Rothschild has now become an obsession with the wealthy Chinese and most of it will undoubtedly be consumed before it ever hits its prime. Ideally, it should be cellared for 10-15 years and drunk over the following 50+ years.
The 2010 Lafite-Rothschild has more vivacious bouquet than expected with veins of blue fruit and iodine tincturing the black fruit. It is well defined if just missing the audacity of the Latour. The palate is approachable on the entry with fine grain tannins. It feels a touch more mature than the other First Growths, though the pliant and poised finish has a sensuality uncommon in Lafite. Superb. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal. Drink 2026-2055.
The Lafite-Rothschild 2010 has a more exotic but no less compelling bouquet compared to its peers, with scents of macerated red cherries, crème de cassis, crushed violets and cedar wood. It has wonderful definition and generosity, though blind I was erring towards Mouton rather than Lafite! The palate is medium-bodied with a sensual, caressing entry that just flows across the mouth. There is good extraction here, not over-extraction with a vivacious finish: white pepper sprinkled over red and black fruit with amazing tension. It is extraordinarily long and persistent in the mouth. Tasted January 2014.
The Lafite-Rothschild 2010 is a blend of 87.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot. It has a very sophisticated bouquet that demands a little more encouragement compared to the Mouton-Rothschild tasted earlier on this day. But it is worth the effort as it reveals wonderful graphite infused black fruit that boast bewitching focus and delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy, firm tannins that encase some fabulous, exuberant Cabernet Sauvignon: blackberry, a touch of fresh date, Christmas cake and kirsch. It is extremely well focused, less flamboyant than the 2009, but utterly harmonious and "complete". This is a future legend that will vie with the 2009 Lafite. Spellbinding! Tasted November 2012.
The 2010 is a blend of 87.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12.8% Merlot, cropped between 24th September until 13th October, delivering 13.48% alcohol at pH 3.82. Whereas the 2009 Lafite was an immediate "wow", this is far more introspective and broody, particular coming directly after Latour. Deep, dusky dark berried fruit, a touch of cedar and pencil box. Good definition but not as expressive or as vigorous as I was expected. The palate is medium-bodied, very well balanced with fine but structure tannins, masculine in style, understated compared to Latour. I take a little sip (pourquoi pas?) and there is another annexe of dark cherry and a touch of boysenberry. Hints of cedar and spice towards the dry, tannic finish. This is a Lafite that will grow during its élevage. Drink 2020- Tasted March 2011.
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
Believe the hype. Lafite is perfect in 2010. The nose is amazing with sweet tobacco, dark chocolate and currants. It is amazing. It?s like gazing into the blue sky in wonder after tasting this young wine. Full and powerful with amazing minerals, currants and bitter chocolate. It starts off slowly and then finishes with a bang. This is really layered and wonderful. It goes on and on. Stunning
Some evolution at the rim. Light, low-key nose. Tight and taut and decidedly undramatic. Just a bit dead on the palate though one can admire the restraint. Perhaps it will all blossom and come right but for the moment it doesn’t seem to be up there. 13%
Drink 2022 – 2040
19 Drink 2025-2050
87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot. Now, will this be the only time I ever get to see this wine, before it all migrates east? Very intense dark blackish crimson. Lovely Lafite scent - recognisable member of the family with a hint of oyster shells. But some extra breadth, even fat, this year. Hugely ambitious. Dense and quite dry on the end. But with Lafite breed and race. Somehow manages to have real roundness, covering the notable acidity and doubtless tannins which are very difficult to discern. Already a marvel and a pleasure to taste. Lovely, lovely balance.
Lafite is currently Bordeaux's most fashionable and hotly demanded wine thanks to the Asian market which has devoured every physically available vintage. Situated at the northern limit of Pauillac, some of the vines are actually in St Estephe bordering Cos d'Estournel and Lafon Rochet. The 2010 Lafite is a classic Cabernet with 87.2% in the blend and 12.8% Merlot. All of the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot as well as most of the Merlot was relegated to the Carruades. There is a black, glass-staining colour and a soaring nose of creme de cassis, spice, tar and woodsmoke. The palate is multi-layered and packed full of plump ripe black berry fruits. Wonderfully decadent with a sexy cloak of cashmere . Although tannic at the finish everything is in perfect balance. This really is a "tour de force" and a great Pauillac that remains pure and classic despite being incredibly opulent and decadent.
There is a lovely depth of fruit on the nose with lots of black cherry to the fore. The brightness of bilberry refreshes the mid palate but the richness sweetness of the fruit comes through fleshing out the back palate. Although there is lots of power the freshness gives elegance.
Fabulous nose of wild violets, wonderful lissom texture backed by aristocratic firmness, a totally captivating wine for the long term. Drink 2020-50.