I had some bottle variation with this blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The 2010 from Lafon Rochet seemed slightly restrained and closed down on the three occasions I tasted it in Bordeaux. Dense black/ruby, it displays sweet tannin, excellent purity, fresh fruit and a very primary, almost grapy style with lots of fruit, but at the same time, a somewhat monolithic character. It should turn out fine, but it certainly needs a good 7-8 years of cellaring and should drink well for up to two decades.
The property is owned by the Tesseron family and run by the newest generation, son Basile, who is converting the estate to biodynamic farming a la his uncle, Alfred Tesseron at Pontet Canet.
|Score: 90+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (204), March 2013|
Proprietor Basile Tesseron may have produced his finest Lafon Rochet to date. The 2010's inky/blue/purple color is followed by a distinctive bouquet of spring flowers, blueberry pie, blackberry liqueur and crushed rocks. Although a classified growth, this wine is an undeniable sleeper of the vintage as its price remains reasonable. The wine possesses terrific structure, ripe tannins and a voluminous, broad, deep impression on the palate. The fruit intensity, purity and richness suggest 4-5 years of cellaring will be required and the wine will last for 20+ years.
|Score: 92/94||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011|
Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. Wow - this Saint Estèphe appears to be just getting into its stride. This seems reticent on the nose at first, but modest coaxing reveals scents of blackberry mixed with gravel and incense. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle grip, firm tannins and a pleasant salty tang on the finish. Masculine and structured, with good persistency and a lovely austere personality, Basile Tesseron and his team have overseen an aloof but engaging Lafon-Rochet that could be the dark horse of the appellation. Tasted January 2014.
|Score: 94||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2014|
The Lafon Rochet has fine delineation and focus on the nose with crisp blackberry, cedar and graphite aromas. The oak is nicely folded into the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with strong earthy graphite notes - a quintessential, slightly aloof but delicious Saint Estephe. Bon bloody vin - as they say. Tasted November 2012.
|Score: 92||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2013|
Tasted twice at the UGC and the Château, the Lafon-Rochet has a very lifted, pure bouquet with tarry blackberry, cassis and dark plum, all very well defined although needing time to coalesce. The palate has a tarry, graphite tinged entry, firm, slightly coarse tannins but very good definition on the fresh finish. Again, just a little disjointed at the moment, but the foundations are here for a great wine. Tasted April 2011.
|Score: 92/94||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2011|
Just a little sweet and made up. Lots of flattering pleasure at first but rather awkward astringency on the finish.
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2011|
Recent vintages here at this classed growth St Estephe have been amongst the best ever and now the latest generation of the family - Basile Tesseron - has become involved with the management. Consultant oenologist and a professor of Bordeaux university, Denis Dubourdieu has been brought in to consult on vineyard management and wine-making. 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 percentage of Merlot in the vineyard here must be the highest in St Estephe - 50%, with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. However there are changes in 2010 from new technical director Lucas Leclercq (formerly at DRC and Cheval Blanc). 10 hectares are beinng farmed bio-dynamically and the blend for this vintage is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon (the highest ever), 27% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. Much of the Merlot will now be in the second label. Basile Tesseron is convinced that this is the best Lafon Rochet ever! A deep black colour. Smoky nose with dense black cherry, cassis and all spice. There are further notes of black pepper and licorice. This is a big, mouth-coating , opulent wine of great power. Thick, juicy fruit with strong tannins. Very impressive indeed for this estate.
|Score: 16+||Farr Vintners, April 2011|
The nose is a bit tight and the tannic structure holds back fruit richness on the start of the palate. There is a riper feel towards the back with lots of sweet cassis. The tannins are very much in evidence on the finish holding back full expression.
|Score: 87/91||Derek Smedley MW, April 2011|
|Score: 93||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2011|
Superbly ripe Cabernet fruit and lush yet firm flavours and perfect tannins make this an explosively good wine for the medium and long term. Drink 2017-30.
|Score: 17.5||Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2011|