Château Lafite Rothschild’s celebrated second wine, Carruades de Lafite is named from plots acquired in 1845 just next to the vines on the Château hilltop and the final blend contains both declassified first growth fruit as well as a higher percentage of Merlot than the first wine; anywhere from 30-50% depending on the vintage. As a result, you get the elegance and persistence of Lafite but also a suppleness making it approachable when young but always with enough structure to warrant at least a decade of cellaring.
As with the Duhart, this is very Pauillac, with pencil lead and cedar notes, and the highest amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in Carruades to date. Subdued on the nose, but it opens up with a lovely floral character. It starts off with frank, autumnal fruit on the attack, majoring on brambly plum, with tannins that build up through the palate and do their job of tugging things back, putting on the brakes. A little more straight-laced than the 2018, but one that you would be more than happy to own and to share. Has the drinkability that Lafite prides itself on. Drinking Window 2025 - 2040.
93 points, Jane Anson, Decanter, June 2020.
The 2019 Carruades de Lafite is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 19th of September to the 7th of October. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, it comes skipping out of the glass with bright, fresh notions of wild blueberries, ripe plums and redcurrant jelly plus hints of cinnamon stick, cumin seed, oolong tea and violets with a waft of black olives. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers loads of rich, ripe, spicy flavors with a soft texture of nicely rounded tannins and with the freshness in the background, finishing on a lingering allspice note. In a word: Yum!
The Merlot in the 2019 grand vin is a “new wine” of Merlot for Lafite, according to technical director Eric Kohler. “Before, we only had three tanks of Merlot to choose from,” he explained. “Often, it was the same choice. Now, we have identified three plots of Merlot to co-vinify. The amounts were too little to be vinified separately, so they used to go into the blends. This makes a new Merlot lot for us. This year, this Merlot blend was just perfect for the grand vin. This addition of the new Merlot helped keep the balance.”
Regarding the 2019 vintage of Lafite’s very popular second wine: “This is the first time we used this much Cabernet Sauvignon in the Carruades blend,” Kohler told me. "Usually it is more like 55% Cabernet with more Merlot. It is even more like Lafite this year!”
92-94 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, June 2020.
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.