2019 Château Lafite-Rothschild, 1er Cru Pauillac

Wow. The 2019 Lafite is incredibly brooding and powerful on the nose, with crème de cassis and notes of baked earth and red liquorice. The palate is so intense, with density yet still detailed, finessed tannins. This is clearly first growth quality: this could only be Lafite. Outstanding.

Critic score
98.5/100

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WINE DETAILS

  • Region & country
    Pauillac, Médoc, Bordeaux, France
  • Maturity
    Young 2028 - 2052
  • Colour
    Red
  • Sweetness
    Dry
  • Style
    Still
  • Unit Volume
    Bottle (75cl.)
  • Classification
    Premier Cru
2019 Château Lafite-Rothschild, 1er Cru Pauillac

TASTING NOTES

The 2019 Lafite Rothschild is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 7th of October. Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls effortlessly out of the glass with compelling notions of baked black cherries, ripe blackberries and crème de cassis followed by hints of mocha, licorice, smoked meats and Sichuan pepper with a waft of eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate is at once ethereally graceful and powerfully intense, featuring layer upon layer of profound smoky, savory flavors and decadently ripe fruit, framed by exquisite, silt-like tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with epic length. In terms of flavor profile, this is a surprisingly (atypically) hedonic, forward expression, with notably lower acidity/higher pH (the pH is 3.9). The alcohol is 13.4%, just a tick higher than the 2018 (13.3%). And yet, the tannins here are unmistakably Lafite, featuring all the tannic grace, finesse and densely pixilated poise fans will expect. What an exciting paradox for the palate—bravo!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (June 2020)
(97—99)/100

This performs the trick of being immediately succulent and mouthwatering while simultaneously revving up and building power through the palate. You're getting sapidity and savoury black fruits that are both elegant and full of power. The spicy rosemary and black pepper, with slate-textured minerality, is almost unnoticeable until it closes in on the finish, helping to stretch things out, beat by beat, adding energy and lift. It just holds on tight, with a creaminess that you don't always find in Lafite at this early stage. A brilliant wine, one that could be upscored from this when in bottle. Harvest September 19 to October 7. One half of the 5% Merlot in this blend is from plots that have never been used before in Lafite's 1st wine - they're from three tiny areas that drone and satellite research discovered were similar in character and could be vinified together. They have worked on this for the past three years, successfully so for first time in 2019.

Jane Anson, Decanter (June 2020)
98/100

Complex aromas of blackcurrants and lead pencil. Incredible. Graphite and tar. Stunning. It’s full-bodied, yet shows such harmony and polish. Elegance and complexity with finesse. The tannins are so integrated and endless. It goes on for minutes. 94% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 1% petit verdot.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (May 2020)
99—100/100
Château Lafite-Rothschild

Château Lafite is surely one of the most evocative and sought-after names in the fine wine world, coveted for its finesse and ability to age for half a century or more.

The estate is ideally situated on the northern edge of Pauillac an appellation in the Médoc notable for containing two of the four wines classified as First Growths in 1855. Wine has been made here for significantly longer, with records dating back to the 13th century, even Thomas Jefferson stocked his cellars with Château Lafite.

Today, still owned by the Rothschild family. Lafite owns one of the largest parcels of vines in the region – around 107 hectares. The majority is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), followed by Merlot (25%) and then much smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%). Lafite also makes a much-loved second wine, Carruades de Lafite.

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