2002 Carruades de Lafite

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£198.00 DP

Average critic rating : 87.75 points



Similar to its bigger sibling, but leaner and not nearly as concentrated, as one might expect being a second wine, the 2002 Carruades reveals the Lafite fragrance of lead pencil shavings intermixed with red and black currants, plums, and a hint of cherries. Medium-bodied, with tart acidity, this is a wine to drink over the next decade. Wine Advocate.April, 2005



This is just a little sullen on the tightly coiled on the nose, though it opens up a little in the glass revealing cool scents of limestone and black plums. Very sweet on the entry, it seems to have more Merlot than other vintages, fleshy and ripe, blackberries, figs, and damson with a very svelte finish. Flavours linger with black cherries, mulberry and loganberry. Very easy to swallow, very approachable although it does not have the structure of the ’99 Carruades. Drink now-2013. Tasted September 2008. Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com



A wine with good plum and raspberry aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a short finish. Good but not special. Best after 2008. 18,000 cases made.-James Suckling, Wine Spectator 2005



Very deep crimson and lots of acidity. Great suppleness (good) but a bit hollow (bad). The least impressive of the top-growth second wines. I suspect acidity will always plague this blend of 51 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 46 per cent Merlot which represents almost a third of the total crop at Lafite. Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 14/03/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Carruades de Lafite 2002
+£2,172.00     (+1,161.5%) Latest price:  £2,359.00
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Carruades de Lafite: The Importance

Carruades de Lafite is the second wine of Château Lafite Rothschild, the famous Pauillac First Growth, and has according to Robert Parker: “become one of the finest second wines produced.”


First produced in the 1850s, it is one of the oldest and most respected second wines in Bordeaux and the world. As Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider puts it: “due to the name and association with the Grand Cru, [Carruades de Lafite] has become extremely collectible.”


This exceptional second wine has developed a significant following in Asia. Jancis Robinson says: “In China the name Lafite has the most extraordinary and unexpected resonance. Such resonance that Carruades de Lafite, the Bordeaux first growth's second wine… can command a higher price than super-second Château Cos d'Estournel.”


Carruades de Lafite: The Insight

Up to 60% of Lafite’s production may be Carruades de Lafite depending on the vintage, and stylistically, Robert Parker says: “The wine shares much of the same character as its more famous sibling – just the tannins are lighter and the wine is made in a style that gives it immediate accessibility – but the Lafite mystique and personality can be detected.” This is high praise indeed as Neal Martin describes the Grand Vin as the “quintessential wine of elegance”. 


As Carruades usually contains a higher proportion of Merlot than Lafite, it isgenerally more approachable when younger. Production varies at around 20-30,000 cases and the wine is usually around 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and a splash of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, aged in oak (10% new) for around 18 months. Bottles labelled since 2012 have an authentication seal on the capsule.


For those looking to buy Carruades de Lafite, the innovative wine ranking website Wine-Lister recommends 2005, 2009 and 2010. Jancis Robinson rates the 2005 highly, James Suckling and Wine Advocate favour 2009 and 2010, meanwhile Vinous particularly liked the “super-expressive… sensual and inviting 2015.


The price of Lafite Rothschild fluctuates between around two or three and a half times the price of Carruades de Lafite. The second therefore offers a lower priced glimpse into this prestigious Pauillac estate, one of the world’s most famous.

Carruades de Lafite: The Background

For detailed information on the history of this estate please read our producer profile on Château Lafite Rothschild. Château Lafite Rothschild covers an impressive 112 hectares, but the second wine takes its name from some 50 hectares on the plateau called Les Carruades, located next to Mouton-Rothschild. However, grapes from this sector are actually used in the Grand Vin more often than not.


Carruades de Lafite was marketed as Moulin des Carruades before the 1980s and according to president and CEO of Domaines Barons de Rothschild Christophe Salin, reported in Wine Spectator:  “It is absolutely correct to find in the 1980s (before 1986) two labels for the same vintage with different names (Moulin des Carruades and Carruades de Lafite]… very confusing indeed. The good news is that since ’86, everything is clear again."


Click the following link to view listings of  Lafite Rothschild's second wine labelled under the name Moulin des Carruades.

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