2009 Carruades de Lafite

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Average critic rating : 92.0 points



Of course, the wine to buy in order to get a look at the Lafite Rothschild style and personality is their second wine, Carruades de Lafite, which has become very fashionable in Asia, causing the prices to soar. A very strong effort, the 2009 Carruades de Lafite may be the finest Carruades since the 2003. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and tiny amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it reveals lots of sweet cassis intermixed with subtle smoke and forest floor, undeniable lusciousness and full-bodied hedonism. The wood component is pushed to the background, and the wine is extremely viscous, round and delicious. Additional complexity should continue to emerge over the next decade and this 2009 should keep for 20-30 years. Wine Advocate.February, 2012



A blend of 50.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42.4% Merlot, 2.2% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the Carruades has a refined, very well delineated bouquet of blackberry, a touch of plum, Mirabelle, cedar and smoke. The palate is medium-bodied, fine tannins, smooth and sensuous, not a powerful Carruades, more approachable than previous vintages, the tannins a little softer and smoother. Good length. Very fine…but it does not exceed expectations. Tasted March 2010



Currants and blackberries on the nose. Spicy and intense undertones. Full body, with juicy fruit and a soft, very silky texture and a long, long finish. Polished and very pretty. Best Carraudes ever. Try in 2018. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com



Sweet berry and currant on the nose, with hints of cedar and sandalwood. Full-bodied, with wonderful milk ciocolate and berry character. Long and supersilky. Love the balance to this. Slightly green tea aromas and flavors at the finish hold me back a little



55% of the crop. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Very deep crimson with a sliglty pale rim. And lots of blue in it – a bit of press wine? Sumptuous nose already. Lightly inky start but then luscious texture and so round and polished. Great freshness and enormous polish, Doesn't taste as though there was lots of press wine in here. Great round stuff. Just a little kick at the end and a very slight hole towards the very end of the palate – otherwise fabissimo. But quite early maturing?

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 24/03/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Carruades de Lafite 2009
+£177.33     (+8.85%) Latest price:  £2,181.33
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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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