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.
This is very classically structured with a palate that starts off slowly. Full-bodied and chewy with a soft, creamy texture and a long finish. Savory. A touch austere. 52% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot and 3% cabernet franc, the rest petit verdot.
(96-97) points, JamesSuckling.com (April 2021)
52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
Intense colour. Fresh and zesty with plenty of sappy fruit. Red- and dark-berry fruit notes provide aromatic appeal. Hint of mint as well. Palate long and lithe but structured with fine but grainy tannin. Power but charm as well.
17.5 points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
A baby Lafite with its lead pencil and cassis aromatics as well as beautiful elegance, the 2020 Carruades De Lafite is medium-bodied and has a precise, elegant mouthfeel, beautiful tannins, and a great finish. As with all the wines from this incredible château, its balance and elegance are what set it apart, and it's one of the finest second wines out there. The blend is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, which is a classic blend for this cuvée.
(92-94) points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
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.