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Lafite Rothschild 2012

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

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Tasting Notes

The 2012 Lafite Rothschild, representing only 38% of their total production, is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance mostly Merlot. It is a very stylish, elegant, yet concentrated Lafite Rothschild with an opaque ruby/purple color, soft well-integrated tannins, nice integrated oak, acidity and alcohol. Lafites’s 2012 reveals good, opaque, ruby/purple color and plenty of lead pencil and blackcurrant fruit. The wine is medium-bodied and should hit its prime 2020-2035.

Robert Parker, RobertParker.com (218), April 2014

Tasted en primeur at the château. The Grand Vin was picked between 28th September (with the Merlot) and 16th October (with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot) and is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and a pinch of Petit Verdot. It has a fragrant pencil lead bouquet with small dark cherries and brambly blackberry fruit. The definition is very fine with moderate intensity. The palate is more convincing than the aromatics at this point with fully ripe, quite tensile tannins and very good cohesion. Naturally it does not have the weight of a top Lafite vintage, although the focus is impressive. There is a nascent femininity about this Lafite and it might show much better after bottling. Tasted April 2013.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013

Superb structure for the vintage with blackcurrants, cedar, mushroom and sweet tobacco character. Full-bodied yet reserved and tight with an impressive density. Long finish. Better in 2020.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2015

Savoury bilberry, cassis and liquorice, with softer edges of tobacco and brushed leather. This is a take-your-time, unfurl-slowly kind of a wine, with slate tannins and sappy sage herbs giving a drawn-out finish. Ripe without being exuberant, showcasing graceful, sinewy muscles that feel like a signature Lafite, if lighter in style than the greatest vintages. 38% of overall production, 100% new oak. Charles Chevallier technical director, Eric Boissenot consultant.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, March 2022

91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. Very dense and lustrous. Unusually (for Lafite) intense and creamy; it's almost as though Carruades has assumed Lafite character and Lafite is more Moutonish, almost flamboyant! Dry edge but very savoury and rather lords it over us - see how ripe our Cabernets were…! Perhaps the tannins are not the ripest but the fruit certainly is. Classic Pauillac if not exactly classic Lafite. Not quite as 'whole' as Haut-Brion perhaps.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013

Lafite is currently Bordeaux's most fashionable and hotly demanded wine thanks to the Asian market which has devoured almost 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. This year it is made from 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot. A perfumed and intense nose of exotic spices with hints of ripe blackcurrant fruit. On the palate there is sweet cassis, elegance and freshness. This is a good Lafite, set in watercolour rather than oil. Complex, but without the power and warmth of a great vintage. Plenty of finesse and an enduring sweet, silky finish. Elegance abounds here. Will be approachable at an early age. A charming Lafite.

Farr Vintners, March 2013

The nose is rich black fruit dominated and the palate starts with damson plum richness. The mid palate is lighter complex the fresher bramble backed by richer cassis. The tannins give structure but are not too obvious and towards the back there is freshness that brings out hints of spice. The finish has richness yet an elegant charm. 2020-40.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2013

It's in years like 2012 that the talent of a winemaker like Charles Chevalier is most evident.
After a slight dip in 2011, at least by its own high standards, this is a very elegant, even
restrained Lafite, with lots of colour, a leafy, graphite-like perfume, refreshing minerality,
subtle oak and very pure cassis fruit. It's fairly light, but there's concentration there too. A
classic wine that will appeal to lovers of refreshing, understated claret.
Drink: 2022-40

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2013
Read more tasting notes...

The classically styled 2012 exhibits attractive elegance, medium body and outstanding concentration, but not the complexity and depth or prodigious qualities of many other recent Lafites. It is a relatively soft, spicy effort displaying notes of crushed rocks, white chocolate, black currants and graphite. It should be drinkable in 5-8 years and last for two decades.

Charles Chevalier was candid in saying that the tropical heat wave, along with the poor flowering resulted in intense labor in the vineyard and during the harvest where triage was the operative word, and had to be done thoroughly and consistently. The 2012 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot, was the result of a harvest that took place between September 28 and October 9 for the Merlot, October 9-16 for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The small amount of Cabernet Franc included in the Carruades de Lafite was harvested on October 11 - 12. Only 38% of the production made it into the grand vin. If the 2012 fills out completely it could turn out similar to the 1998 Lafite.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013

This is beautiful for the vintage. Full body and very tender with fine tannins and a pretty finish. Attractive currant, cedar, and sweet tobacco character. More delicate than the 2011.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2013
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.