The 2016 Lafon-Rochet has quite a floral bouquet, pressed iris infiltrating the black fruit, and touches of tar coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, quite elegant in style, refined and much more approachable that I expected, yet still with satisfying substance and a light pepperiness on the aftertaste. This is a beautiful Lafon-Rochet from Basile Tesseron and his team. Drink 2021-2040.
|Score: 93||Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019), January 2019|
The 2016 Lafon Rochet is a blend of 25% Merlot, 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc cropped at 46 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 50% new oak. The harvest was between 1 October and 20 October. The alcohol is 13.6%, which is just a little higher here than say Cos d'Estournel or Montrose. It has a very succinct bouquet with blackberry, bilberry and light oyster shell aromas, classic in style, more reserved than I found the 2015 Lafon Rochet last year. The palate is medium-bodied with powerful tannin on the entry, a keen line of acidity (3.65 pH), fine symmetry with a pleasant rondeur on the finish sprinkled with black pepper and tobacco. This is a very fine Lafon Rochet from Basile Tesseron and his team.
|Score: 91/93||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
Plenty of fruit and concentration to this wine, and it’s buttressed by the tannins. Muscular and intense. Full-bodied yet reserved and tight. Excellent.
|Score: 93/94||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|
A sleeper in this vintage, the 2016 Lafon-Rochet is positively stellar. Bright, translucent and super-expressive, the 2016 has so much to offer. Lavender, tobacco, cedar, mint and dried herbs give the 2016 striking aromatic top notes to play off the darker fruit flavors. The 2016 is pure class. Don't miss it. Drink 2024-2041.
|Score: 95||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2019|
The 2016 Lafon-Rochet is a worthy follow-up to the 2015, although it is much less obvious than that wine. Scents of smoke, graphite, leather, wild cherry, lavender and blueberry give the 2016 its beguiling, expressive personality. Deep and concentrated but not big or overdone, it is likely to require at least a handful of years to be at its best. The long, persistent finish, punctuated by grippy tannins, is a thing of beauty. The 2016 has the most Cabernet ever at the estate. Proprietor Basile Tesseron told me he expects to increase plantings of Cabernet Franc at the property. Tasted three times.
|Score: 91/94||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
Not the deepest crimson. Broad and rich and a bit beefy and yeast-extract-like. A tad scrawny on the end.
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
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. The 40 hectare vineyard is planted 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot with a little Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Deep in colour with a smoky, cherry fruit nose. The palate is firm with ripe tannins but shows juicy red and black fruit with a touch of all spice providing the sweetness. Savoury and classic on the finish, this shows real St Estephe typicity.
|Score: 15.5||Farr Vintners, February 2017|
The nose is closed the start of the palate tight with firm structured tannins. Black cherry and cassis the mid palate has a richer feel fair depth at the back but the finish is firm and quite tight. 2025-40
|Score: 87/90||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
Another winery that’s benefited from a shiny new cellar in recent vintages, this is every bit as good as the 2015, which was made in more difficult circumstances. Blueberry and cassis fruit, floral aromas, tangy acidity and a nip of fine-grained tannin. A very stylish St Estèphe. 2024-32
|Score: 93||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
All the success of St-Estèphe in 2016 can be seen in Lafon-Rochet this year, where the 30mm of rain on 13th September and 13mm on 8th October, with nothing in between, allowed the clay, limestone and gravel soils to fully ripen the grapes. Owner Basile Tesseron says he had never seen such maturity in his Cabernet Sauvignons, and certainly we have hugely intense aromatics from the first nose. The palate features finessed and fleshed out mouthwatering black fruits making it hard not to love this. Tasted three times in total, and every time it stood out. Blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot aged in 30% new oak. 3.68pH.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2045
|Score: 95||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|
Classic, layered and suave, this is a focussed, intense Lafon-Rochet with serious intent and masses of power beneath
the bonnet. The nose shows the way with succulent fruit and showy oak and then the palate calms down to reveal a
wonderful, balanced finish.
|Score: 17.5+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2017|