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The 2015 Lafite-Rothschild is more opulent and generous on the nose than its peers, offering layers of black fruit infused with cassis, graphite, Earl Grey tea and discreet menthol scents, all delivered with fine delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, ripe tannin. There is a sweet core of fruit to this quite high-toned, almost iodine-y 2015 that just lacks a bit of detail on the finish. This clearly has some way to go. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting.
The 2015 Lafite Rothschild, which was bottled in May 2017, has a very refined bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, hints of cassis and violets, all beautifully defined. It is initially quite understated but blossoms in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly chalky tannin. The acidity here is perfectly pitched, lending tension and that sense of vibrancy that winemaker Eric Kohler talks about. It just seems to flow nicely along before fanning out toward the precise finish although I still believe that its proximity to Saint-Estèphe that suffered more pre-harvest rain possibly shaved off a little of what could have been. Nevertheless, this is a Lafite that seems to run like clockwork and it will surely give immense pleasure over the next 20 or 30 years. Anticipated maturity: 2022 - 2050.
The 2015 Lafite-Rothschild is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot picked between 17 September and 6 October. Matured in 100% new oak, it has a tightly-wound bouquet with black cherries, cassis, cedar and graphite, though it does not quite possess the depth one would have expected the vintage would have bestowed. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, harmonious on the entry and with the oak neatly integrated. There is a very fine grip towards the finish, which has a tangible spicy edge - white pepper with a touch of bay leaf and enough pencil lead to fill a stationery set. The aftertaste is extremely long here, more than a minute when I timed it on my watch. It is an excellent Lafite-Rothschild in the making and it often "finds its voice" only after bottling, so it could ultimately end with a higher score. Drink 2028-2060
The deep garnet-purple shaded 2015 Lafite Rothschild is blended of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot and was matured for 20 months in new oak barrels from Tonnellerie des Domaines (their own cooperage). It is still sporting a lot of cedar at this nascent stage with a vibrant core of black raspberries, red currants and crushed plums plus touches of cigar boxes, violets and underbrush with a waft of tilled loam. Medium-bodied and elegantly styled with wonderful freshness and depth, it is compellingly earthy/minerally in the mouth with a frame of seductively silky yet very firm tannins and culminating in a very long, racy and pure finish. Boasting spectacular finesse and packed with nuances, clearly, given some of the challenges here in 2015, this is a masterpiece of diligence in the vineyards, careful selection and very clever crafting—bravo! 2024 - 2045
Lead and graphite are complimented by notes of blueberries and blackberries. Blackcurrants, too. Full-bodied and focused with very round and polished tannins. Elegance with power. Very classic nature for Lafite. Try in 2022.
Here is a Lafite with lots of muscle and tone. Very tannic and velvety textured. Full body, fresh acidity and a bright finish. Shows a tenderness at the end. Gorgeous.
Rich, powerful and enveloping, the 2015 Lafite-Rothschild is endowed with serious volume and textural resonance. Super-ripe plum, smoke and spice notes emerge in the glass, but only with great reluctance. Although the aromatics aren't giving much at this point, the palate is much more expressive. The wine's sheer power and authoritative tone result in an unusually dramatic Lafite. The 2015 is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot that spent 20 months in oak, which is a bit more than the norm. 2025 - 2055
A dramatic, ample Lafite, the 2015 is also arrestingly beautiful and vivid. Expressive floral notes give the dark red and black flavors gorgeous aromatic lift. Today, the new oak is a bit pronounced, but otherwise, this is an exceptional wine. Rose petal, lavender, mint and purplish stone fruits add the last shades of detail.
Tasted blind. Slightly weak greyish crimson. Black fruits on the nose and then high acid on the palate. A little low key. Fresh and linear. A refreshing drink in which the tannins are well managed. Slight graininess of texture. Introvert.
Lustrous mid crimson. Lightly spicy nose and very smooth tannins in the Lafite style. Only just enough acidity. Blurry impression. Mild and charming - very restrained and Lafite. It builds on the end in an impressive manner.
Such was the demand from Asia a few years ago that Lafite was selling at much higher prices than the other First Growths. However, we are now back to reality. This year Lafite is made from 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot with all the Cabernet Franc relegated to the Carruades label. Medium-deep purple colour. A nose that defines elegance and purity, with blackcurrant etched and defined, layered with a little toasted almond, sweet vanilla and a little cedar. The palate has a silky smooth entry and remains that way due to very fine, refined and ripe tannins. Pure cassis and a little wood smoke give way to creamy vanilla and an almost aromatic violet note. This is perfumed, understated and perfectly poised. The finish is long and fine. This is very refined, focusing on elegance rather than power.
The grand vin 2015 Lafite-Rothschild checks in as 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot that was brought all in 100% new oak. Director Eric Kohler (who replaced Charles Chevallier in 2015) told me the vintage suffered a touch of dilution but wasn’t a complicated year. The 2015 is an aristocratic, classy example from this estate that offers textbook lead pencil shavings, tobacco, smoked herbs, and graphite as well as a beautiful core of currant and cassis fruit. It’s the most refined and subtle of the first growths, has medium to full-bodied richness, building tannin, and undeniable class and charm. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades. 2023 - 2053
Woodland violets fragrance the nose has charm the start of the palate is fresh. There is depth of fruit in the middle rich flavours velvet smoothness suppleness the fruit underpinned by fine tannins. Under the rich mix of cassis and black cherry bilberry refreshes and lightens the back palate is lifted fragrant ethereal and long.
A wine that has divided opinions in 2015. What some people see as greenness, I regard as
freshness and balance. This is elegant and harmonious, but doesn’t lack stuffing, carrying its
100% new oak with ease. Graphite, blackcurrant and cedar wood are underpinned by chalky
minerality. Drink: 2022-30
With much more power and intensity than the second wine, Carruades, and an awful lot more Cabernet in the blend this
is a darker, swarthier, more pagan Lafite with stunning purity and lift and remarkably forward fruit. The slender chassis
seems to be more upholstered than the alcohol suggests meaning that this wine will evolve very slowly over a very long
time. While not a bombastic style, this is a scintillatingly attractive Lafite, with a slightly wild side hinting at more drama
to come in time.