Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of the most renowned properties in the Médoc. Owned by Baron Eric de Rothschild and located in the north of the Pauillac appellation, Lafite Rothschild is also one of the largest Médoc estates. It has 95 hectares of vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (20%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). Lafite Rothschild's vineyards lie on deep gravel beds (up to 5 metres thick) over marl and limestone. Annual production tops 35,000 cases, although a third of this consists of the second wine called Carruades de Lafite.
Of all the Médoc Grand Crus, Lafite Rothschild can be the most beguiling and difficult to understand. It is never the most powerful, yet, along with Margaux, possesses the most exquisite bouquet of any Médoc wine. It has the elegance, balance and harmony that epitomises claret at its very best.
'The 2016 Lafite-Rothschild is a total stunner. Seamless, racy and voluptuous in the glass, the 2016 is even better from bottle than it was from barrel. Once again, I am blown away by the inner sweetness and purity of the fruit. The 2016 is, rich, concentrated and yet also light on its feet, in the way only Lafite can be. Dramatic and ample the 2016 Lafite is a beautifully resonant, super-expressive wine endowed with regal beauty and tremendous overall balance. It will drink well for many years and decades. 2026-2066'
99 Points, Antonio Galloni
"The 2016 Lafite-Rothschild underwent three days of pre-harvest selection to pick out the clusters that you could see through, where the grapes had little pulp because of retarded maturation during the growing season. This tank represented 3% of the volume that did not even make it into the Carruades because it would have detracted from the precision. It has a beautiful bouquet, one of the most seductive in recent years, offering pure blackberry and boysenberry fruit, hints of pressed violet and India ink that emerges with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite saturated tannin that belies the backbone, and a rondeur that I was not anticipating. Referring back to my notes, it’s clear that this first growth has developed greater amplitude and perhaps sensuality in barrel. It has a sense of approachability, although it clearly has the substance to last for many years. 2026-2070"
98 Points, Vinous
"Incredible aromas of crushed berries, sweet tobacco and wet earth. So perfumed and gorgeous. Hot stones and cement, too. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with lots of intense tannins and a never ending finish. Juicy and flavorful. A muscular Lafite, not seen for a long time. Classssssss! Try after 2025."
100 Points, JamesSuckling.com
On another level and one of the greatest young Bordeaux I’ve ever tasted, the 2016 Lafite-Rothschild is composed of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot raised in new oak. It takes the classic elegance and class of Lafite and turns the dial up to 11, offering a massive, heavenly array of blackcurrants, cedar pencil, graphite, tobacco, and incense aromas and flavors that soar from the glass. Deep, full-bodied, and flawlessly constructed, with perfectly integrated fruit, acidity, and tannins, this is legendary stuff all the way. It will be drinkable in 7-8 years and keep for 50-75 years or more. Along with Mouton, it’s the wine of the vintage from the Médoc. Hats off to director Eric Kohler.
100 points, jebdunnuck.com (February 2019)
The 2016 Lafite Rothschild is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, with 15% of the press wine contributing to the blend this year. Deep purple-black in color, it slowly reveals the most gorgeous perfume of kirsch, lilacs, black raspberries and warm blackcurrants with underlying nuances of cigar box, rose hip tea, cloves, licorice and pencil lead plus a waft of garrigue. Medium-bodied and built like a brick house with a firm yet beautifully ripe, finely pixelated tannic backbone and seamless freshness supporting the amazing intensity of black fruits and floral layers, it finishes very long and provocatively perfumed.
99 points, Wine Advocate (December 2018)
Almost entirely Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine beautifully sums up the density and the richness of this variety in Pauillac. It is impressive, made even more so in this vintage by the ripeness of the tannins, the beautiful, plush fruit and enormous promise. Drink this wine from 2026. Its aging potential is enormous.
99 points, Wine Enthusiast (May 2019)
This offers the best of both sides of Pauillac, with a deep, deep well of dark currant, fig, blackberry and black cherry paste flavors forming a lush side while a series of I-beams made of graphite and iron provide the rigid structure. The two sides meld, pulling in extra sweet tobacco, smoldering cast iron, juniper and savory notes on the finish, leaving a mouthwatering feel. A real stunner.
98 points, Wine Spectator (March 2019)
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.