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 2010 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot (a 3% difference from the barrel sample shown two years ago), achieved relatively high alcohol of 13.32%, according to administrator Charles Chevalier. The wine is very impressive, not as fleshy, flamboyant and massive as the 2009, but nevertheless, a big, rich, full-throttle Lafite-Rothschild meant to age a half century or more. Deep purple, with notes of white chocolate, mocha, cedar and charcoal as well as hints of vanillin and creme de cassis, the wine is full-bodied yet has that ethereal lightness that makes it a Lafite. Rich, with good acidity, precision and freshness, this is a slightly zestier version of the 2009 as well as more restrained and structured than that particular vintage. It will need at least 10-12 years of cellaring and keep for 50+ years.
Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Lafite Rothschild is a little mute on the nose at this stage, opening to reveal warm blackcurrants, baked plums and boysenberry scents with hints of chocolate mint, violets, cedar chest and pencil lead. Full-bodied, rich and densely packed with perfumed black fruit layers, it has a rock-solid backbone of fantastically ripe, grainy tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing very long and minerally. Still very youthful! Drink 2025-2080.
The 2010 Lafite-Rothschild has more vivacious bouquet than expected with veins of blue fruit and iodine tincturing the black fruit. It is well defined if just missing the audacity of the Latour. The palate is approachable on the entry with fine grain tannins. It feels a touch more mature than the other First Growths, though the pliant and poised finish has a sensuality uncommon in Lafite. Superb. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal. Drink 2026-2055.
This is shy and not giving its all at the moment. Yet it is full and intense with a tightly intertwined tannic and fruit structure. Ethereal blackberry, currant, cedar, and nutty flavors. Dried flowers too. Cedar jewel box smell comes out with time. Great finish. So, so long and harmonious. Try in 2018
Some evolution at the rim. Light, low-key nose. Tight and taut and decidedly undramatic. Just a bit dead on the palate though one can admire the restraint. Perhaps it will all blossom and come right but for the moment it doesn’t seem to be up there. 13% Drink 2022 – 2040