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Only one-third of the tiny 2013 crop made it into the 2013 Lafite Rothschild, which may be the lowest rated Lafite produced in the last twenty years. Composed of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot, only the 1994 (99% Cabernet Sauvignon) and 1961 (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) had higher percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend. The 2013 possesses a dark ruby color, but it does not reveal much of the Lafite Rothschild character in the aromatics or flavors. Elegant, with dark cherry fruit interwoven with underbrush and damp wood-like notes, it narrows in the mouth, and while it is above-average, possibly even excellent, it is hardly an inspiring wine. At its price point, it is a major underachiever in this vintage.
The 2013 Lafite-Rothschild is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and just 2% Merlot. It has a straightforward, focused, undergrowth and tobacco-scented bouquet, nicely defined if perhaps missing the complexity and nuance of recent vintages. The palate is supple on the entry with notes of tart cherry, wild strawberry and a touch of graphite. It is certainly approachable for Lafite-Rothschild, balanced, though missing structure and density towards the sappy finish. It is a lightweight Lafite-Rothschild that does improve with aeration as it did in barrel, yet it never scales the heights of the greatest vintages from this First Growth.
The Grand Vin is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. The latter was apparently difficult to assimilate with the Cabernet, gradually adding 1% at a time and finally, electing 2% as the optimal amount. As usual, I spent 10+ minutes with my sample, as it is never as immediate as say, Latour or Château Margaux. It has an elegant bouquet with a fine violet scent that became more accentuated with time. There is plenty of dark cherry and blackcurrant fruit, a touch of pencil shavings that becomes more pronounced with aeration. The palate is a little austere because of the dominance of the Cabernet Sauvignon, although that 2% Merlot does take the edge off the finish, rounding out any edges. The aftertaste has that attractive saline tincture, but here a little spicier and longer than its peers. This is a traditional Pauillac; a success for the vintage and a wine that I think will improve in bottle rather than in barrel. A steadfast Lafite. Tasted April 2014.
The aromas of Lafite in 2013 are complex and fascinating with cigar box, Spanish cedar, and dark fruit. Hints of hot stone. Full body, chewy tannins yet very polished and refined. Solid density on the palate. Very long and impressive. This needs three to five years to open. Very impressive for the vintage.
This is exceptionally high in cabernet sauvignon at 98% with only 2% merlot. It shows aromas of black currants and flowers and cigar box. It's full body, with fine tannins and a long finish. It's subtle and polished.
The 2013 Lafite hits the palate with a burst of dark red and purple fruit. White flowers, mint and licorice all develop in the glass, adding layers of depth and complexity. Smoke, tar, cinnamon, graphite, dried violets and plums are all layered into the resonant finish. The style is up-front, textured and generous, with no hard edges and plenty of near to medium-term potential. The blend is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. Tasted twice.
Lafite is one of Bordeaux's most hotly demanded wine thanks to its fame in Asia. Situated at the northern limit of Pauillac just below Cos d'Estournel. This year only a third of the production will be grand vin with nearly half the crop relegated to Carruades and the rest sold off in bulk. Despite a choice of varieties in the vineyard it is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon in 2013, with a dash of Merlot. Deep purple colour, with a pure nose of blackcurrant and sweet vanilla spice from new French oak adding a creaminess to the profile. The palate has firm tannins and a fresh acidity alongside lots of smoke, nutmeg and clove spice. The fruit is focused in pure blackcurrants and plums, providing a sweet core to complement the structure of the wine. Balanced with a reasonably long finish which is delicate and slightly floral with notes of violets.