The main reason the 2009 Lafite Rothschild did not receive a perfect score is because the wine has closed down slightly, but it is unquestionably another profound Lafite, their greatest wine since the amazing 2003. Among the most powerful Lafites ever made (it came in at 13.59% alcohol), the final blend was 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot. The selection was incredibly severe with only 45% of the crop being utilized. A tight, but potentially gorgeous nose of graphite, black currants, licorice and camphor is followed by a full-bodied wine revealing the classic elegance, purity and delineated style of Lafite. It is phenomenally concentrated with softer tannins than the 2005, the 2003's voluptuous, broad, juicy personality, and low acidity. There are several vintages that I thought were a replay of their colossal 1959, most notably 1982 and 2003, but 2009 is also one to keep an eye on. It is still extremely youthful and seems slightly more backward than I would have guessed based on the barrel tastings, but it needs 10-15 years of bottle age, and should last for 50+.
The second you put your nose in the glass, you know that it is 100 points. The combination of sweet tobacco, fresh flowers, currants and sultanas on the nose leaves me breathless. Turns to cocoa powder and freshness. The palate re-enforces the show, with phenomenally polished tannins. Fabulous class. Could be a remake of the phenomenal 1959. Try in 2022.
The deep garnet colored 2009 Lafite Rothschild bursts from the glass with red and black currant preserves, warm plums, mulberries and kirsch scents plus suggestions of sweaty leather, cigar box and menthol. Medium-bodied, elegant and firmly structured, it has wonderful freshness and a long earthy/meaty finish. 2019-2049
Tasted blind. Crimson with a weak rim. Sweet and racy. Minerals and life. Dry, even slightly drying, tannins and not yet ready but all is tucked in there for a lovely stony future. Sinewy. So long and fresh. 13.5%
Lafite is currently Bordeaux's most fashionable and hotly demanded wine thanks to the Asian market which has devoured every physically available vintage. Furthermore, with a 98-100 score from Robert Parker for the 2008 vintage the sky is the limit for 2009 Lafite. This won't be cheap! 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot. A classic cedary Pauillac nose. Lots of ripe black fruit but well balanced by some good tannins. Lovely depth and waves of black cherry fruit, very voluptuous and luxurious for Lafite but fine and pure. Very well made as always and beautifully balanced. This will probably be ready to drink before the 2005.
Woodland violets show their fragrance enhanced by the freshness. The palate is rich, powerful fruit in a velvet glove, profound and deep. There are layers of black fruits underpinned by fresher reds, a feeling of power yet charm and sleekness. Drink 2022-2050.
This is an incredible wine, even at this young age. It's rich and dense without being remotely ponderous. Black fruits, a hint of liquorice, stylish, elegant tannins, refreshing acidity and beautiful oak handling. A wine that caresses the palate: bright, silky, wonderful. It's so good you could almost drink it now, but give it another two decades. A shame this will mostly be bought by speculators. Drink 20+ years.
Black purple red, elegant concentration of pure Lafite Cabernets, wild violets, succulent yet restrained fruit, both fleshy and firm, superb middle palate, not massively structured but like a Gothic cathedral: austere on the outside and soaring to great heights in the inside. Drink 2018-50.
This is what the Medoc is all about. The freshness and delicacy of this wine in combination with its serious concentration and firm core are totally stunning. Time has already worked its magic and this is already delicious, but has decades in front of it. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)
The 2009 Lafite Rothschild is a candidate for "wine of the vintage." Although the 2003 was powerful (12.9% alcohol), the 2009 came in at 13.4% alcohol. It is a blend of 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot. Only 45% of the crop went into the grand vin, which may be the most concentrated Lafite I have ever tasted. There is not a hard edge to be found in this inky/purple-colored wine displaying notes of charcoal, incense, black currants, and licorice. In the mouth, it represents a liqueur of black fruits offered in a remarkably full-bodied, incredibly elegant, lush style. Expansive, savory, staggeringly concentrated, and voluptuous as well as wonderfully precise with a hint of minerality, this sensational wine's technical numbers are off the charts. Is this a replay of the 1959? Although it will be surprisingly approachable in its youth, this is a 50-100-year wine. (Tasted once.) Drink 2010-2110.
Tasted at Château Grand Puy Lacoste. The nose is quite closed at the moment. Good definition, ripe blackfruits, earthy almost clayey at the moment. Whilst the aromatics are a little unsettled after bottling, the palate shows good structure with a slight saline touch on the entry. Chalky tannins, not quite in synch with the fruit at the moment although that will come in time. Good potential, but afford this 3-4 years to coalesce in bottle. Tasted November 2011.
Tasted at the chateau from a sample taken on 19th March 2009 and the sample left 20-30 minutes before approaching. The Lafite 2009 has a very dark, almost opaque black/purple hue. The nose is very intense with blackberries, griottes, a touch of apricot and an almost sorbet like freshness. Powerful but also, so graceful and elegant, nothing over-ambitious. The palate is full-bodied with silky smooth tannins, seamless texture, pure blackberry, plum, minerals, crushed stones. I have never tasted a Lafite at this stage so elegant and graceful. The puissance is deceptive, only at the finish are there lapping waves of pure, heavenly black cherries, minerals, a touch of cassis, cedar and graphite. Astounding persistency. Tasted March 2010.
Offers currant and wild raspberry, with a lilac and exotic character on the nose, turning to sweet tobacco and cedar. Full-bodied, showing very racy tannins and a balance of pretty fruit. This is powerful yet elegant, almost delicate, with a wonderful polish. But then the tannins take off. Muscular yet agile. A very classic Bordeaux style.
43% of the crop. 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon(!), 17% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. Deep, lustrous, dark crimson. Mineral, low-key nose, slow to open, but it did with time into something really very refined with great minerality. Very muted and super-restrained. Very fine boned, with a bit more flesh than is usual for Lafite but no flashiness whatsoever. Bravo for making such a good wine in such a buoyant market. Even a hint of milk chocolate! Though no trace of oak. Very vibrant, very fine and a great undertow. Very complex and subtle indeed. Bone dry finish. A little less ethereal than usual. Super refined. Bravo! Date tasted 1st April 2010. Drink 2020-2040.