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.
Rather ethereal and so refined with finesse, focus and brightness that provides incredible energy and pedigree. It’s full-bodied with ultra fine tannins that go on and on. Superb presence with tannins that melt into the wine. This is 12.8%. I love the wine. Lots of dark fruit and fresh tobacco. Lead pencil, too. 92% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot and 1% petit verdot.
(99-100) points, JamesSuckling.com (May 2021)
The 2020 Château Lafite-Rothschild checks in as 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot brought up in roughly 90% or more of new French oak. It's a deep, inky-hued Lafite boasting incredible notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, graphite, crushed stone, and gravelly earth-like minerality. Full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with terrific purity of fruit, it has ripe tannins, a layered, seamless mouthfeel, and a great, great finish. It should surpass the 2015 and 2017 and be in the same realm as the 2018 and 2019. Despite its richness and depth, it hit just 12.8% alcohol, with an IPT of 72 and a pH of 3.5. It’s going to be just about immortal.
(97-99) points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
Displaying a deep purple-black color, the 2020 Lafite Rothschild takes a little swirling and coaxing to unlock scents of freshly crushed blackcurrants, boysenberries and spiced plums, followed by emerging nuances of red roses, raspberry preserves, underbrush and unsmoked cigars, with a waft of cedar chest. The medium-bodied palate is an exercise in elegance and finesse, featuring tightly wound layers of red and black berries and loads of mineral sparks, framed by finely grained tannins and well-poised tension, finishing with fantastic length and the most stunning perfume. Magnificent achievement. This 2020 is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, coming in at 12.8% alcohol and a pH of 3.9.
(96-98) points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
A very masculine Lafite with a powerful tannic frame (bigger than 2019 and 2018). Deep, intense and stately on the nose with mineral-graphite notes to the fore. Palate rich but with a massive charge of fine-grained tannin and lingering freshness. Enormous length on the finish. Incredible potential.
19 points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
The 2020 Lafite-Rothschild is much more intense and complex compared to the Carruades this year. This First Growth bursts from the glass with beautifully defined blackberry and wild strawberry scents laced with sprigs of wild mint and juniper berries. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins that frame the pixelated black fruit. This is quintessential Lafite in that it is not a powerful or immensely structured wine, but rather a First Growth with unerring balance and harmony, one that is unashamedly classic in style. There is just the right amount of dryness on the finish to urge you back for another sip. So Lafite it has its name tattooed onto its DNA. It will begin to soar after 10 years in the cellar.
(96-98) points, Vinous (May 2021)
The 2020 is a super-classic Lafite-Rothschild of grace and finesse. A reticent introvert, Lafite impresses with its vertical lift and palpable energy. It is a wine of regal bearing that does not feel the need to say much, and yet everything is very clearly there. Bright acids and strong, saline notes come alive in the glass as the long, persistent finish unfolds with remarkable grace. The 2020 is simply exquisite. It's a fabulous showing from the team led by Technical Director Eric Kohler.
(95-97) points, Vinous (June 2021)
This is pretty much as close to entirely Cabernet Sauvignon as Bordeaux gets (92%) and yet it has an incredibly fine, gentle richness to the tannins. They build up pretty quickly though, so that by the end of the palate you start to feel the closing in and tightening, deftly underscoring how well this will age. The kaleidoscope of flavours and aromatics that Lafite does so well is fully on display, nothing trying too hard, a velvet texture to the tannins where the cassis fruit, earth, crushed stone and graphite is held in from beginning to end. Impressive that even in dry vintages like 2020 with the real concerns over global warming, the top Bordeaux estates can still produce wines of this quality. Drinking Window 2028 - 2046
97 points, Decanter (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.