One of the most famous - as well as one of the most expensive - wines in the world, Chateau Lafite Rothschild’s history dates back to 1235, by which time, it is believed, the vines were already planted and thriving. Nearly 1,000 years later it still retains the name of its then-owner Gombaud de Lafite. It wasn’t until 1868 that the Rothschild’s came to become the Chateau’s owners, after it was sold at public auction in Paris - and it remains in their hands today.
Producing an elegant Paulliac wine, Chateau Lafite is renowned for its characteristic blend of rich dark fruit with spicy, savoury and earthy notes of cassis, tobacco, and truffle. The 2016 earned sterling reviews, with James Suckling scoring it a perfect 100 and speculating on its standing as “Perhaps the greatest Lafite since the legendary 1959”.
'The aromas of stones, oyster shell, blackcurrants and mushrooms are very intense. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with lots of blackberries. Great finish. Super energy and depth. Try in 2022. Fascinating.'
98 points, James Suckling
'The 2014 Lafite-Rothschild, tasted with head winemaker Eric Kohler, has retained that very opulent and outgoing bouquet that dare I say actually reminded me of Mouton-Rothschild. There are layers of blackberry and boysenberry fruit, still that hint of juniper berry, certainly a more extrovert Lafite-Rothschild compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, very focused and quite linear, again with plenty of black fruit laced with cedar and tobacco. It begins to clam up towards the saline finish, suggesting that it will need several years in bottle, but I still have high expectations for this First Growth once afforded several years in bottle.'
95 points, Neal Martin - Robert Parker.
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.