|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac|
Lafite is one of the greatest wines of Bordeaux and particularly popular with Chinese wine buyers. It was one of the four Chateaux originally classed as "First Growths" in 1855 and has been owned by the Rothschild dynasty since 1868. The vineyards are situated in the Northern sector of Pauillac near to Saint Estèphe. Recent changes in mamagement have seen the arrival of Jean-Guillaume Prats - who previously ran Cos d'Estournel so well - and then managed the overseas wine interests of the giant LVMH group. Quality seems to be back to the highest level under wine-maker Eric Kohler who took over in 2015.
One of the greatest wines produced in Bordeaux this year is the 2019 Lafite Rothschild, an impeccably balanced classic of immense charm and grace. Wafting from the glass with arresting aromas of cassis, blackberries and cherries mingled with violets, cigar box and warm spices, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, its velvety attack segueing into a layered, concentrated mid-palate framed by exquisitely powdery tannins and ripe acids, and concluding with a long, perfumed finish. This rivals the 2010 and 2016 as the greatest Lafite of the decade, and of those three vintages, it's clearly the most sensual and demonstrative out of the gates. The blend contains fully 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and attained a modest 13.4% alcohol. Drink Date 2029 - 2065
So much sweet tobacco, Spanish cedar, dried flowers, dark mushrooms and roses. Really aromatic. This is so polished and very powerful, yet ethereal and refined at the same time. The finish goes on for minutes. Tight and harmonious. You want to drink it! So balanced, yet it will age beautifully. It will be this good forever. 94% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 1% petit verdot. Better after 2031.
The 2019 Lafite-Rothschild has a most earthy bouquet with warm gravel and black olive scents percolating through the black fruit. Warm bricks on a hot sunny afternoon. The palate is medium-bodied with gorgeous, saturated yet firm tannins that frame the layers of mineral-laden black fruit. This is a live wire, so tensile and focused towards the finish with a fabulously long aftertaste. Marvelous. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting. Drink 2028-2065.
The 2019 Lafite Rothschild is composed of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it is a little closed and broody, delivering subtle notes of stewed tea, aniseed, and crushed rocks over a core of warm cassis and baked plums. The medium-bodied palate is velvety and concentrated, with loads of black fruit preserves layers and a long, spicy finish.
There is a sense of discretion to this Lafite, full of pencil lead, crayon, chalk-textured minerality, clear grain and grip to the tannins that lets everything unfold slowly and calmly, no drama and yet a slow-building sense of power. Enjoyable precision and chiseling to the spiced cassis and bilberry fruits, this feels supremely Lafite in its balance and finesse. The tight structure relaxes in the glass, adding a layer of creaminess to the blackberry and loganberry fruit. A large majority of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, and it takes up its dominant role with grace. Brilliant quality. Harvest September 19 to October 7. Lafite always takes its time to show its full potential, and this could easily be a 100 point wine at the 10 year-plus window.
Tasted blind. Weaker, more-evolved ruby colour than most. Interesting tobacco-leaf aromas. Sweet, dramatic, concentrated fruit initially, with a little chewiness and masses of freshness. Flattering, lots of detail and quite distinctive. Not as long as some. 13%
The blend is dominated by 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 5% Merlot and a dash of Petit Verdot. The grapes were harvested between 19th September and 7th October. Deep purple colour in the glass. The nose exudes sophisticated, cool cassis, layered with light notes of cedar, camphor and tobacco. The palate is extremely refined, with plentiful, mouthcoating tannins very fine-grained to support the deep dark-fruited core. This is mineral, and savoury, the graphite and cedar tones refreshed into blackcurrant and a slight smokiness by refreshing acidity. This is all about precision, taming any warmth or ripeness with structure and well-judged oak. This leaves an impression of cool blackcurrant, pencil shavings and just a hint of sweet spice on a penetrating, long, harmonious finish. All about elegance and depth.
94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Barrel sample.
Supreme elegance in the Lafite mould. Fresh and fragrant on the nose with mineral, cedar and dark-fruit notes. Poise and precision on the palate, the attack clean and direct, the tannins long and linear but enrobed in ripe fruit. Dense but with a reined-in discretion. Silky texture and overall great freshness. Just edges the 2018 for freshness and finesse. (JL)
Drink 2030 – 2050
The 2019 Lafite-Rothschild screams Cabernet Sauvignon on the nose of intense black fruit, graphite and subtle minty aromas, supremely well-defined and revealing a hint of star anise with aeration. The medium-bodied palate is beautifully balanced, offering sappy black fruit, black pepper, graphite and just a touch of spice. This has more body, maybe even a touch more sinew than recent vintages, perhaps because of the reconfiguration of the Merlot parcels (see my note en primeur). Very persistent and almost uncharacteristically grippy on the finish, this is a gifted Lafite-Rothschild that will last 50+ years. It will certainly surpass the 2018 with continued bottle age. 2029 - 2070
The 2019 Lafite-Rothschild was picked from 19 September with the Merlots, pausing during a rainy spell and then picked through to 7 October. The blend includes what Eric Kohler calls "outsider" parcels that met the grade, including some of the Merlot on more clayey soils (see introduction) as well as 13.5% vin de presse. Alcohol here is some half a degree lower than many of its peers at around 13.4%. It has a very sensual bouquet, not a common feature in this First Growth, with generous black fruit infused with pencil box, sous-bois and discrete white pepper aromas. The oak is beautifully subsumed by the fruit already. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, rounded tannins that lend this Lafite its creamy femme fatale texture and disguise its backbone. More powerful than expected, this builds in the mouth towards an atypically corpulent, dense finish that seems to "flow" across the senses. There is not a single hair out of place. I can envisage this firming up during its élevage and deserving more bottle age than seemingly appropriate at this juncture. Whatever its drinking plateau turns out to be, it is certainly a wonderful Lafite-Rothschild that pips the 2018 and revels in the growing season. 2029 - 2070
Complex aromas of blackcurrants and lead pencil. Incredible. Graphite and tar. Stunning. It’s full-bodied, yet shows such harmony and polish. Elegance and complexity with finesse. The tannins are so integrated and endless. It goes on for minutes. 94% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 1% petit verdot.
The 2019 Lafite Rothschild is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep purple-black in color, it needs a lot of swirling to start to unravel notes of black cherries, boysenberries, and crushed blackcurrants, followed by nuances of fragrant earth, iron ore, tree bark, and cumin seed with a waft of cloves. Medium-bodied, very elegant, restrained, and refined, the palate quivers with tension and shimmers with energy, with delicate fruit framed by firm tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long. This is one for the long haul.
The 2019 Lafite Rothschild is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 7th of October. Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls effortlessly out of the glass with compelling notions of baked black cherries, ripe blackberries and crème de cassis followed by hints of mocha, licorice, smoked meats and Sichuan pepper with a waft of eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate is at once ethereally graceful and powerfully intense, featuring layer upon layer of profound smoky, savory flavors and decadently ripe fruit, framed by exquisite, silt-like tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with epic length. In terms of flavor profile, this is a surprisingly (atypically) hedonic, forward expression, with notably lower acidity/higher pH (the pH is 3.9). The alcohol is 13.4%, just a tick higher than the 2018 (13.3%). And yet, the tannins here are unmistakably Lafite, featuring all the tannic grace, finesse and densely pixilated poise fans will expect. What an exciting paradox for the palate—bravo!
Performs the trick of being immediately succulent and mouthwatering while simultaneously revving up and building power through the palate. You're getting sapidity and savoury black fruits that are both elegant and full of power. The spicy rosemary and black pepper, with slate-textured minerality, is almost unnoticeable until it closes in on the final stretch, helping to stretch things out, beat by beat, adding energy and lift. One half of the 5% Merlot in this blend is from plots that have never before been used in Lafite's 1st wine, because their drone and satellite research discovered three tiny areas that were similar in character and could be vinified together. They have worked on this for the past three years, successfully so for first time in 2019. It just holds on tight, with a creaminess that you don't always find in Lafite at this early stage. A brilliant wine, one that could be upscored from this when in bottle. Harvest September 19 to October 7. Drinking Window 2029 - 2048