Something about Chateau Lafite Rothschild
The most prestigious among the First Classified Growths of 1855, Château Lafite Rothschild is the lord over his lands of gravel. Bearer of a long wine tradition initiated in 1620, the estate has assertively carried the banner of the Pauillac appellation on the Left Bank of the Bordeaux region for centuries.
Because great wines are born only in the great terroirs, Château Lafite Rothschild enjoys an exceptional location with a vineyard divided into three large areas, the hillsides surrounding the Château, the Carruades plateau in the west and a parcel in the neighbouring town of Saint-Estèphe. Château Lafite Rothschild has a total of 112 hectares of vines planted in a topsoil of sand with fine, deep gravel soils that rests on a limestone bedrock, which provides excellent drainage.
From Cardinal Richelieu to the American President Thomas Jefferson at the time, the great global personalities fell under the spell of this impressive wine with a unique soul and unparalleled refinement. In their youth, the wines of Château Lafite Rothschild display the austerity and the depth of great wines while the years allow them to develop the nobility of the signature bouquet of the estate. The developed bouquet offers rare notes of cedar and spice marked by delicate violet floral notes with graphite minerality. With elegant tannins and a silky, velvety structure, there has been no equal over the decades to the wines of Château Lafite Rothschild. Only the great wines know the secret to such class and elegance.
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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 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
The 2009 Lafite-Rothschild is quite high-toned and expressive on the nose, perhaps the most ostentatious of the top flight 2009s with upfront black cherry and boysenberry fruit, lavish new oak and touches of violet. The palate is sleek and satin-like in feel with copious dark cherry and boysenberry fruit, fig and dates, almost honeyed in texture towards the precocious finish that has an opulent bent, almost hedonistic, unusual for this First Growth. But it is kinda irresistible. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting. 2020 - 2050
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.
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% Drink 2024-2050
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