1996 Lafite Rothschild



Size Availability? price? Qty
£790.00
£790.00 DP

Average critic rating : 97.25 points

100

100

Tasted three times since bottling, the 1996 Lafite-Rothschild is unquestionably this renowned estate's greatest wine. As I indicated last year, only 38% of the crop was deemed grand enough to be put into the final blend, which is atypically high in Cabernet Sauvignon (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot). This massive wine may be the biggest, largest-scaled Lafite I have ever tasted. It will require many years to come around, so I suspect all of us past the age of fifty might want to give serious consideration as to whether we should be laying away multiple cases of this wine. It is also the first Lafite-Rothschild to be put into a new engraved bottle (designed to prevent fraudulent imitations). The wine exhibits a thick-looking, ruby/purple color, and a knock-out nose of lead pencil, minerals, flowers, and black currant scents. Extremely powerful and full-bodied, with remarkable complexity for such a young wine, this huge Lafite is oozing with extract and richness, yet has managed to preserve its quintessentially elegant personality. This wine is even richer than it was prior to bottling. It should unquestionably last for 40-50 years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050. The wine of the vintage?|| Wine Advocate.April, 1999

98

98

The 1996 Lafite-Rothschild was remarkably deep in color considering that it is now 20 years in age. The bouquet is classic Pauillac with pencil shavings and sous-bois infusing the black fruit, masculine and a little aloof, yet focused and very well delineated. The palate is very well balanced with crisp blackberry and boysenberry fruit, spicier than I recollect, a crescendo of flavors so that it seems understated at first but fans out with a sense of confidence towards the finish. I think this still has more to give so cellar it away for another 5-8 years if you can, but otherwise this is an exemplary Lafite-Rothschild that I can envisage getting better and better in bottle, if not quite as enthralling as either Mouton-Rothschild or Château Margaux. Tasted July 2016. Oct 2016, www.robertparker.com, Drink: 2020-2050

95

95

Gorgeous aromas of currant, berries and licorice. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Still holding back. People talk about this as one of the greatest Lafites ever, but I don't think so.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008. James Suckling, Wine Spectator 2007

18.5

18.5

Looks (and tastes) SO much much younger and more purple than the Lafite 1995. Quite aromatic, very rich and ripe. Seductive. Very smooth. Almost formless for the tannins are well in retreat. Solid stuff that still has a way to go. Slightly inky. Much younger and more angular than the 1995. But it should come out of its shell very elegantly. Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com



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Chart showing (to 07/12/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Lafite Rothschild 1996
+£7,496.00     (+371.46%) Latest price:  £9,514.00
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Lafite Rothschild: The Importance

Lafite Rothschild is one of the most famous wines in Bordeaux, if not the world. It has captured the attention and imagination of wine lovers everywhere for its finesse and style. Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate describes it as the “quintessential wine of elegance”, adding that “The key to great Lafite is balance, poise and restraint; it is a more succinct wine than its bold and boisterous contemporaries.” An overhaul of winemaking techniques and the ascendance of a new member of the Rothschild family to the helm have caused a surge in Lafite’s fortunes, and recent vintages have performed spectacularly well, propelling its status as the most famous of the five Left-Bank first-growths, revered the world over.

 

We are delighted to have cultivated an excellent relationship with Lafite over the years, and have been able to offer perfect provenance ex-cellar cases of their grand vin to our customers on a number of occasions; for current availability please see below.

 

Lafite Rothschild: The Insight

Covering an impressive 112 hectares of land on the Northern edge of Pauillac, Lafite’s origins stretch back to medieval times – the name Lafite comes from the old Gascon term “la hite”, meaning “hillock”. The vineyard comprises of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, with the balance being made up of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Approximately 20,000 cases of the grand vin are made each year, and a second wine, Carruades de Lafite, is also produced. Carruades de Lafite has also previously performed very well, with the Wine Advocate calling it “brilliant” in 2010.

 

Lafite Rothschild is often hailed as the most consistent performer in Pauillac. In recent decades the chateau has experienced a peak in quality, making its wines arguably better now than ever before. While Lafite wines are undoubtedly an exciting prospect in any year, there are some vintages that stand out above all the rest. Among the older wines, 1953, 1959, 1982 and 1986 are excellent, while from the last 20 years 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009 and 2010 have proved impeccable.

 

Lafite Rothschild: The Background

Over its lengthy history the château has been linked to a number of owners which has, on occasion, brought it into contact with other first growths. A notable example was the 1765 marriage between owner Alexandre Ségur and Marie Therese de Clauzel, the heiress to Latour. This linked the fortunes of the two chateaus for the next 100 years, until they were devolved to separate heirs in 1785. Less than 100 years later, Lafite was linked indelibly with the Rothschilds, when it was bought by a member of the family – a distant cousin of those that owned neighbouring Mouton-Rothschild. Some have claimed that the decision to buy Lafite was the result of some mischevious inter-familial rivalry – whatever the reason, it shaped the château (and the history of Bordeaux wine) as we now know it.

 

Over the years, Lafite Rotschild has enjoyed its status as a favourite of aristocracy and politicians alike. In the 1800s Château Lafite became known as “The King’s Wine” thanks to the influential support of French statesmen and royalty, and this prestige was later reinforced by the patronage of 3rd president of the United States Thomas Jefferson, who visited Lafite and became a lifelong customer.



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