|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac|
Lafite is one of the greatest wines of Bordeaux and particularly popular with Chinese wine buyers. It was one of the four châteaux originally classed as "First Growths" in 1855 and has been owned by the Rothschild dynasty since 1868. The vineyards are situated in the Northern sector of Pauillac near to Saint Estèphe. Recent changes in management have seen the arrival of Jean-Guillaume Prats - who previously ran Cos d'Estournel so well - and then managed the overseas wine interests of the giant LVMH group. Quality seems to be back to the highest level under wine-maker Eric Kohler who took over in 2015.
View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Lafite Rothschild
The 2020 Lafite-Rothschild, which contains the highest proportion of Merlot since the 2016, hit the bull's eye from barrel. Revisiting the wine in the bottle since July, it still bursts from the glass with copious blackberries, touches of blueberry and juniper, pencil lead and a hint of crushed stone. Wonderful delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with finely-chiseled tannins, quite linear and "correct" - a quintessential Lafite-Rothschild in many ways. It gently builds in the mouth while keeping a restraint on things, finishing with fine sapidity yet a little more juiciness than you would have found a decade or two earlier. This has the potential to evolve beautifully over several decades. Drink 2028-2065.
Rather ethereal and so refined with finesse, focus and brightness that provides incredible energy and pedigree. It’s full-bodied with ultra fine tannins that go on and on. Superb presence with tannins that melt into the wine. This is 12.8%. I love the wine. Lots of dark fruit and fresh tobacco. Lead pencil, too. 92% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot and 1% petit verdot.
Displaying a deep purple-black color, the 2020 Lafite Rothschild takes a little swirling and coaxing to unlock scents of freshly crushed blackcurrants, boysenberries and spiced plums, followed by emerging nuances of red roses, raspberry preserves, underbrush and unsmoked cigars, with a waft of cedar chest. The medium-bodied palate is an exercise in elegance and finesse, featuring tightly wound layers of red and black berries and loads of mineral sparks, framed by finely grained tannins and well-poised tension, finishing with fantastic length and the most stunning perfume. Magnificent achievement. This 2020 is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, coming in at 12.8% alcohol and a pH of 3.9. Drink 2028-2063.
This is pretty much as close to entirely Cabernet Sauvignon as Bordeaux gets (92%) and yet it has an incredibly fine, gentle richness to the tannins. They build up pretty quickly though, so that by the end of the palate you start to feel the closing in and tightening, deftly underscoring how well this will age. The kaleidoscope of flavours and aromatics that Lafite does so well is fully on display, nothing trying too hard, a velvet texture to the tannins where the cassis fruit, earth, crushed stone and graphite is held in from beginning to end. Impressive that even in dry vintages like 2020 with the real concerns over global warming, the top Bordeaux estates can still produce wines of this quality.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2046
The harvest here was completed by 29th September, yielding a final wine with a very modest 12.8% abv. The blend is typically Cabernet Sauvignon heavy at 92%, with 7% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep ruby colour. Superb precision and refinement on the nose - full of cool blackcurrant fruit that is laced with fresh tobacco, cedar, camphor and pencil shavings. The palate follows, with all the fruit intensity required while retaining a savoury elegance. Driven with fantastic fruit deliniation, this is a wine of restrained power and depth. The rich tannic structure builds subtly, but brings a mouthcoating chewiness by the finish. This is long and refined with each element perfectly balanced and in place. A wine of unforced harmony.
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
A very masculine Lafite with a powerful tannic frame (bigger than 2019 and 2018). Deep, intense and stately on the nose with mineral-graphite notes to the fore. Palate rich but with a massive charge of fine-grained tannin and lingering freshness. Enormous length on the finish. Incredible potential. (JL) 12.8%
Drink 2032 – 2060
(92% CS, 7% M, 1% PV; 45% harvest; 12.8% ABV)
Dense, mineral, gently oaky to smell, as always so subtle, fine, demanding of attention; fresh, concentrated, superfine in tannin texture, a gloriously harmonious balance; sweet, succulent, aromatically complex and refined, gently fleshy yet so fresh tasting, very long across the palate, softly mouthcoating, so full of delicate perfume, and intense yet so subtle cassis fruit, and with a terrific farewell of fruit and mineral aromas. A seductively complete and classic beauty, a discreet power, an effortlessly serene and polished performance, a top Lafite. Remarkable at under 13% ABV! 2036–60+.