*1985*- 90 points
The 1985 Lafite is revealing more class and complexity than I predicted. A moderately intense, cedary, woody, herb and berry-scented bouquet is attractive. The wine is open-knit and ripe, with fine tannins, sweet, medium-bodied, mineral, and cassis-scented flavors, fine depth, and a graceful, harmonious feel. It is beginning to blossom and appears to possess more depth and character than I had thought. Anticipated maturity: 1995-2010. Last tasted, 6/93.
*1999*- 95 points
The 1999 Lafite Rothschild sports an engraved "1999" on the bottle along with an eclipse to mark that significant historical event of August, 1999. It is a quintessential offering from Lafite Rothschild. This prodigious wine is both elegant and intensely flavored, and almost diaphanous in its layers that unfold with no heaviness. An opaque ruby/purple color is accompanied by a complex bouquet of lead pencil, graphite, cedar, creme de cassis, toast, and vanilla. It is medium-bodied, with extravagant layers of richness yet little weight, and a finish that is all sweetness, ripeness, and harmony. This extraordinary Lafite increasingly appears to be a modern day clone of the majestic 1953. A mere one-third of the crop made it into the grand vin! Anticipated maturity: 2007-2030.
*2000*- 100 points
Well, well, well - Lafite Rothschild does it again. Ever since manager Charles Chevalier was transferred from his beloved Sauternes property of Rieussec (also owned by the Rothschilds) to Lafite in 1994, there has been a succession of profound wines to emerge from this noble estate. The 2000 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 93.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.7% Merlot (only 36% of the crop made the grade) has an opaque ruby/purple color, followed by an extraordinary aromatic expression of liquid minerals/stones interwoven with the tell-tale graphite notes, mulberry, black currants, caramel, and tobacco. In the mouth, it is remarkably light on its feet, but somehow seems to pack intense flavors into layer upon layer of fruit and richness that cascade over the palate. A compelling wine, with extraordinary precision, great intensity, and a seamlessness in spite of what are obviously elevated levels of tannin, this wine was provocatively open and beautiful when tasted in January and February, but I am sure it will soon close down. The finish lasted a whopping 72 seconds! This is utterly fascinating stuff. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2050.
*2005*- 96 points
Having tasted the 2005 Château Lafite-Rothschild several times both blind and non-blind, it comes across as a First Growth politely requesting more time to "settle". Here, from an ex-château bottle tasted in Bordeaux, it delivers that graphite, pencil-box bouquet that unfurls gradually in the glass, biding its time, graceful but not intense. Parallel to some of its fellow 2005s, it is developing a little more spice, namely thyme and sage, than I recall. The palate is medium-bodied and beautifully balanced, to wit, a sophisticated Pauillac that priorities elegance and poise over intensity of fruit—in keeping with Lafite Rothschild's style. You come away with the sense that it will take its time and decline, giving away a great deal in its primacy, even if it is still more approachable than the 2005 Latour for example. Therefore, I would be inclined to set this aside for several more years. Tasted November 2014.
*2008*- 98 points
A candidate for the -wine of the vintage,- the 2008 should have been purchased before it began to soar in value because of the significance of the number 8 in the Chinese culture (denoting good luck). Representing 40% of the production, this blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc offers aromas of high quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, earth, cedar and asphalt. Full, rich and stunningly concentrated, I doubt it is inferior to the 2010, just more classic as well as slightly more forward and a degree weaker in alcoholic potency (12.5% versus 13.5%). The 2008 should be relatively drinkable in 6-10 years as it is already showing remarkable complexity and breed, and will last for 30-35 years...at the minimum.