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A very soft, consumer-friendly style for a St.-Estèphe, Lafon-Rochet’s 2012 has a dark ruby/purple color, plum, black cherry and cassis fruit, medium body, and a rather superficial and shallow aftertaste. It has its charm and endearing qualities, but is not terribly concentrated or profound. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. Drink 2015-2023
The opaque purple-hued 2012 Lafon Rochet reveals plenty of incense, blueberry, black raspberry and spring flower notes intermixed with a hint of forest floor. Rich and medium to full-bodied, it is a complete wine from beginning to end. It may tighten up once it's in bottle, but this wine has 15 or more years of cellaring potential.
This superb effort is a major sleeper of the vintage. Made from a final blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, it boasts 13.5% natural alcohol and was made by Basile Tesseron, whose family owns this chateau as well as the well-known Pontet Canet. Like his uncle Alfred, Basile has moved to biodynamic farming.
The Lafon Rochet 2012 is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot that was picked late from 8th October when they felt that the fruit was completely ripe and finished on the 19th October. Basile told me that 10 hectares are now being farmed biodynamically. It is being matured using 40% one-year old barrels rather than 100% and there is only a tiny amount of vin de presse, something that Jean-Claude Berrouet has advised. It has a lifted bouquet nose of dark plum and blackberry fruit with just a touch of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with a firm, tannic entry. It is a little pinched at first but unwinds with aeration. There is a good backbone here, though it is not a "weighty" Lafon Rochet. It is nicely balanced with an attractive saline touch on the finish. Somewhat conservative in style and showing a touch of attenuation, but overall this is not bad at all. Fine. Tasted April 2013.
Dark garnet. Savoury and confident on the nose. Round and lively. Charming, with good balance and length. Glossy and almost ready. A delightful surprise. Energy. A successor to 2007?
Very dark. Warm, cosy nose is very flatteringly ripe. But it lacks real savour and structure. Loose finish.
Recent vintages here at this classed growth St Estephe have been amongst the best ever and now the latest generation of the family - Basile Tesseron - has become involved with the management. The new consultant is the legendary Jean-Claude Berrouet of Chateau Petrus - his first job on the left bank. This striking property with its yellow walls is just along the road from Cos d'Estournel and overlooks the vineyards of Lafite. En primeur prices remain reasonable. 67.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 1.5% Petit Verdot. This Saint Estephe has a very impressive jet black colour. There is lots of bold black fruit with notes of smoke, leather and charcoal. Black cherries on the palate which is surprisignly plush and oppulent but has no hardness thanks to nicely rounded tannins. This is a fleshy wine with good glycerol that must surely be one of the best Lafon Rochets ever. Out-performs the vintage.
There is a red fruited freshness about the nose and although there is red cherry on the palate it is underpinned by ripe rich cassis and black cherry. The back palate has depth of flavour with the fruit lingering on the finish. 2020-35