Chateau Lafite with lake, cellars, and offices - pictured in April 2016
Lafite Rothschild is one of Bordeaux's five 1. Crus and situated most south of all three 1. Crus in Haut Medoc, just before the border of Pauillac and Saint-Estephe. It's on the left side of the road a few hundred meters after you pass the lieu-dit Le Pouyalet in the outskirts of Pauillac, and you notice a little lake in front of cellars and chateau seen from the road.
The vineyard consists of the hillsides around the property, the Carruades plateau to the west, and 4.5 hectares in neighboring Saint Estèphe. There are 112 hectares with soil composed of fine, deep gravel mixed with sand on a limestone subsoil. The grape varieties planted are Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%). The average age of vines used for Grand Vin is around 45 years old, and the oldest plot originates from 1886.
Every plot is vinified in separate vats, and alcoholic fermentation takes place in wooden and stainless steel vats, and malolactic fermentation in vats. Then Grand Vin is kept in 100% new oak for 18 to 20 months.
Lafite Rothschild is a magnificent wine with an incredibly flavored nose when it gains some age. Cabernet Sauvignon rules here so that this wine can taste very backward and tannic when young, but you find incredible richness, depth, and awesome length in this wine with some age.
In January 2016, Charles Chevallier, Lafite's technical manager, retired, and his assistant, Eric Kohler, took over for many years.
Eric Kohler conducts a tasting of 2016s. April 2019
Lafite Rothschild 2022 (barrel sample) 99-100p
Tasted in April 2023. 94% C. Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% P. Verdot. 13.7% alcohol. This wine had, as always, wildly many layers to rely on. Everything was stunning, from a deeply intense nose of perfectly aromatic black fruit and flowers to an excellently structured palate covered with cashmere and full of luscious fruit and silky tannin, seamless, fabulous midpalate, and a mega-long finish lasting more than one minute. A legend in the making!
Lafite Rothschild 2021 (barrel sample) 96-98p
Tasted in April 2022. 96% C. Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 1% P. Verdot. 12.6% alcohol. This wine had understandably many layers to rely on. Everything was great, from an aromatic nose of great intensity to an excellently structured palate with cashmere-like fruit and tannin, a splendid midpalate, and a long finish with excellent persistency. Tremendous effort!
Lafite Rothschild 2019 99-100p
Tasted in November 2021. 94% C. Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, and 1% P. Verdot, 13% alcohol. Very classy blackcurrant nose, intense and refined. Awesome structure and length. The feel was like drinking liquid cashmere. It was so aristocratic and sophisticated on the palate, with fantastic complexity and length. Eternal stuff! 99-100p.
Lafite Rothschild 2018 100p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2021. Consistent notes. 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot. Please note one thing here - the alcohol level stops at 13.6%! It was a monster of a wine, powerful and elegant, incredibly aromatic on the nose, thick, dense, fat fruit, tannin, great structure and complexity, mega long finish. Ballerina moves. It is undoubtedly one of the legendary wines in the 2018 vintage!
Lafite Rothschild 2017 (barrel sample) 98+p
Tasted in April 2018. 96% Cabernet Sauvignon + 3.5% Merlot + 0.5% Petit Verdot. This property made a dense and polished wine with its trademark elegance and finesse, spiced up with richness and sophisticated touch. It's fantastic stuff and one of the very best wines of the vintage.
Lafite Rothschild 2016 99-100p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2019. Consistent notes. 91% Cabernet Sauvignon + 8.5% Merlot + 0.5% Petit Verdot. Incredibly precise, refined, sophisticated, rich, complex, fabulous structure and length. Awesome effort. You'll not be able to find Lafite's striking elegance and finesse many places in Bordeaux! For sure, a legend is in the making!
Lafite Rothschild 2015 98-99p
Tasted twice - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. 91% C. Sauvignon + 9% Merlot, 12.5% alcohol. Simply a fabulous nose of red berries and graphite, mesmerizing on the palate with captivating intensity, complexity, and depth. Multilayered and sophisticated. Silky fruit and grained tannin. Long lingering finish. Fantastic wine.
Lafite Rothschild 2014 (barrel sample) 95+p
Tasted in April 2015 (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc). Closed and oaky, but there are enough ingredients to turn this wine into a staggering one.
Lafite Rothschild 2013 (barrel sample) 94p
Tasted in April 2014. A significant graphite flavor (minerality), fine acidity, splendid structure and complexity, richness, and great harmony between fruit and tannin. A gentle dose of new oak this time!
Lafite Rothschild 2012 95p
Tasted twice - last time in November 2015. Not consistent notes. Not impressive from the barrel when tasted in April 2013, painfully oaky, low-keyed, and with a relatively short finish. I wondered if it would improve dramatically after aging in oak and after bottling. It certainly did! Incredibly seductive wine! It had an intense, flavored nose, sheer power, and stunning length.
Lafite Rothschild 2011 95+p
Tasted twice - last time in November 2014. Consistent notes. Excellently flavored nose with dark cherries and grated chocolate, sophisticated with finesse and elegance. It was lighter than usual but remarkably complex, refined, and long. Seductive stuff.
Lafite Rothschild 2010 97-99p
Tasted twice - last time in January 2020. This wine was intense, extraordinarily tannic, and concentrated, with an iron rock structure and mega-long aftertaste. One of the best wines of the vintage. In January 2020 - 87% Cabernet Sauvignon + 13% Merlot. It has a very aromatically scented nose with a heavy dose of sophisticated touch. It is distinguished and incredibly complex; it sticks fast to the tongue, meaning it can be sliced, incredibly structured, and with an excellent long finish. Amazing stuff.
Lafite Rothschild 2009 99p
Tasted twice - last time in January 2017. Consistent notes. Tasted during the tasting of 9 wines in 2009 vintage from a case from Duclot negociant (owns Petrus), Bordeaux Collection. Double decanted, served app. 5.5 hours later, he had a different style than his closest rival, Mouton Rothschild. Remarkable finesse and elegance in this 1. Growth is famous for adding the flavors of roasted bacon, cedarwood, and tobacco leaves, extremely delicate, refined, and extended aftertaste. A perfectly composed wine that undoubtedly will reach a perfect score in the coming years!
Lafite Rothschild 2008 (barrel sample) 95-96p
I tasted it in March 2009. Relatively backward and tannic, but extremely promising, with Excellent concentration and length. It needs time to reveal its secrets.
Lafite Rothschild 2007 (barrel sample) 93-94p
I tasted it in April 2008. It is an elegant style, lighter than usual, which is understandable because of the history of the vintage. Silky fruit and tannin, well-balanced, and quite a long finish. To drink before the big vintages are ready.
Lafite Rothschild 2006 (barrel sample) 94-95p
I tasted it in April 2007. It was an incredibly well-balanced wine with silky blackcurrants and silky tannin. It is refined and sophisticated with many nuances. It's totally different from the super-concentrated 2005 version, but we still have a high class here.
Lafite Rothschild 2005 100p
Tasted twice - last time in May 2008. Dark red. This wine was immense. The first thing I noticed was a simply fantastic nose of perfectly ripe blackcurrants with incredibly aromatic fireworks. It showed an enormous power, length, aftertaste and was silky everywhere. There was pure elegance and a pure sophisticated touch, too. True and majestic 1. Growth par excellence!!
Lafite Rothschild 2004 (barrel sample) 96+p
Tasted in April 2005. This was a real thrill. Sublime everywhere, with a velvety texture, silky tannins, exquisite depth and structure, and great length. Racy and sophisticated. For sure, it can last for 20-25 years.
Lafite Rothschild 2003 100p
Tasted in September 2023. 86% C. Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% C. Franc and 2% P. Verdot. 12.5% alcohol. The harvest took place between the 8th and 24th of September. Despite outrageous temperatures in the first half of August (over 40 degrees C), Lafite vines didn't suffer. 2003 here is considered one of the best vintages this property has ever made, and my first "meeting" with this wine was just a confirmation of its quality and pure joy. Sublime on the nose, sublime on the palate, cashmere, silky, vibrant, fabulous midpalate, a long aftertaste that refused to go away, etc. Eternal wine!
Lafite Rothschild 2002 96p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2022. Not consistent notes. What an extensive range of nuances and a fantastic aroma of leather, dark cherries, and blueberries. It is extremely sophisticated and with stunning depth. This wine is a knock-out! These notes are from April 2003. In April 2022, 19 years later, this wine completely closed down, and we have to wait and see if it opens again. In 5 or 10 years?
Lafite Rothschild 2000 100p
Tasted four times - last time in January 2020. Consistent notes. A legend and perfectionism at the phantom level. Here, one's senses worked at the highest gear to captivate all these fireworks of nuances this wine possesses. This wine is the true essence of Bordeaux – it's unique and not imitable. In full blossom in December 2016 - my bottle was purchased en primeur. Closed the "doors" entirely in January 2020 (ex-chateau bottle).
Lafite Rothschild 1999 92p
Tasted in September 2002. Pretty nose, full of flavors. Very elegant, refined, and complex. A notable effort for the vintage.
Lafite Rothschild 1996 99p
Tasted in June 1998. It was very classy stuff (finesse, richness, and length), incredibly complex and deep on the palate, beautifully constructed, and had a great finish. Fantastic effort!
Lafite Rothschild 1985 96p
Tasted in November 2015. Powerful, intense, with lots of fruit and tannin, perfect balance, and a big meaty aftertaste. Not as distinguished as Mouton Rothschild tasted on the same flight, but who cares? Virile and still feeling young. Powerhouse! Many years to go.
Lafite Rothschild 1982 97+p
Tasted in October 1994. Incredibly refined and sophisticated aromas on the nose, aristocratic, great complexity, and richness. It is a simply outstanding wine with 50 years more life in it!
Lafite Rothschild 1955 96p
Tasted in December 1990. Fantastically ripe and aromatic nose with finesse and sophisticated touch. Not a powerful wine, but rather an elegant one like a ballerina, and a very captivating wine. Fabulous effort.
Lafite Rothschild 1949 96p
Tasted in March 2019 during dinner at Domaine de Chevalier. Still keeping up well with time passing by with pure elegance, finesse, and sophisticated touch. Captivating sweetness. Refined, with a velvety aftertaste. It was a tremendous treat to experience!
Lafite Rothschild 1945 95p
Tasted in May 2020. At first sip, it was purely evident that something superb from Pauillac waited for us in the glass. Well-preserved cherries on the nose and palate, acidity, perfectly supported fruit, pure elegance and sophisticated touch, great complexity, and a lingering finish. Well-stored wine, for sure.
Lafite Rothschild 1924 95p
Tasted in April 2014 during dinner at Domaine de Chevalier. It was a blast from the past, with an incredible nose of truffles, a truffy palate, riveting elegance, and remarkable complexity. Amazing wine.
Lafite Rothschild 1908 99p
Tasted in April 2018 during dinner at Domaine de Chevalier. It was recorked at the chateau in 2001. It is an absolute blast from the past with an incredibly aromatic nose of truffles and cassis, an extremely classy palate with riveting elegance and remarkable complexity. Amazing 110-year-old wine from a barely heralded vintage.