92-95/100 Andrew Caillard MW. Deep colour. Inky lead pencil/ graphite/ elderberry aromas. Sweet pippy fruit/ elderberry black currant flavours, fine slinky dry tannins and underlying savoury notes. Finishes chalky firm. Classical and beautiful.
87-89/100 Robert Parker Jr. The 2011 Carruades de Lafite is composed of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Soft berry fruit, underbrush, fresh herb and bay leaf characteristics as well as soft tannins, a velvety texture, and a medium-bodied, slightly superficial, but satisfying style suggest this 2011 should be consumed over the next 10-15 years.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.