One of the most famous - as well as one of the most prestigious - wines in the world, Château 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 Château’s owners, after it was sold at public auction in Paris - and it remains in their hands today.
Producing an elegant Pauillac wine, Château 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”.
"A dramatic, ample Lafite, the 2015 is also arrestingly beautiful and vivid. Expressive floral notes give the dark red and black flavours gorgeous aromatic lift. Today, the new oak is a bit pronounced, but otherwise, this is an exceptional wine. Rose petal, lavender, mint and purplish stone fruits add the last shades of detail."
94-97 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous.
"Lead and graphite are complemented by notes of blueberries and blackberries. Blackcurrants, too. Full-bodied and focused with very round and polished tannins. Elegance with power. Very classic nature for Lafite. Try in 2022."
99 points, James Suckling.
"Here is a Lafite with lots of muscle and tone. Very tannic and velvety textured. Full body, fresh acidity and a bright finish. Shows a tenderness at the end. Gorgeous."
97-98 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
"The 2015 Lafite-Rothschild is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot picked between 17 September and 6 October. Matured in 100% new oak, it has a tightly-wound bouquet with black cherries, cassis, cedar and graphite, though it does not quite possess the depth one would have expected the vintage would have bestowed. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, harmonious on the entry and with the oak neatly integrated. There is a very fine grip towards the finish, which has a tangible spicy edge - white pepper with a touch of bay leaf and enough pencil lead to fill a stationery set. The aftertaste is extremely long here, more than a minute when I timed it on my watch. It is an excellent Lafite-Rothschild in the making and it often "finds its voice" only after bottling, so it could ultimately end with a higher score."
94-96 points, Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com
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.