The second you put your nose in the glass, you know that it is 100 points. The combination of sweet tobacco, fresh flowers, currants and sultanas on the nose leaves me breathless. Turns to cocoa powder and freshness. The palate re-enforces the show, with phenomenally polished tannins. Fabulous class. Could be a remake of the phenomenal 1959. Try in 2022. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
The main reason the 2009 Lafite Rothschild did not receive a perfect score is because the wine has closed down slightly, but it is unquestionably another profound Lafite, their greatest wine since the amazing 2003. Among the most powerful Lafites ever made (it came in at 13.59% alcohol), the final blend was 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot. The selection was incredibly severe with only 45% of the crop being utilized. A tight, but potentially gorgeous nose of graphite, black currants, licorice and camphor is followed by a full-bodied wine revealing the classic elegance, purity and delineated style of Lafite. It is phenomenally concentrated with softer tannins than the 2005, the 2003's voluptuous, broad, juicy personality, and low acidity. There are several vintages that I thought were a replay of their colossal 1959, most notably 1982 and 2003, but 2009 is also one to keep an eye on. It is still extremely youthful and seems slightly more backward than I would have guessed based on the barrel tastings, but it needs 10-15 years of bottle age, and should last for 50+. Dec 2011, www.robertparker.com, Drink: 2022-2072
Black purple red, elegant concentration of pure Lafite Cabernets, wild violets, succulent yet restrained fruit, both fleshy and firm, superb middle palate, not massively structured but like a Gothic cathedral: austere on the outside and soaring to great heights in the inside. Drink 2018-50.
43% of the crop. 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon(!), 17% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. Deep, lustrous, dark crimson. Mineral, low- key nose, slow to open, but it did with time into
something really very refined with great minerality. Very muted and super- restrained. Very fine boned, with a bit more flesh than is usual for Lafite but no flashiness
whatsoever. Bravo for making such a good wine in such a buoyant market. Even a hint of milk chocolate! Though no trace of oak. Very vibrant, very fine and a great undertow.
Very complex and subtle indeed. Bone dry finish. A little less ethereal than usual. Super refined. Bravo!
Offers currant and wild raspberry, with a lilac and exotic character on the nose, turning to sweet tobacco and cedar. Full-bodied, showing very racy tannins and a balance of pretty fruit. This is powerful yet elegant, almost delicate, with a wonderful polish. But then the tannins take off. Muscular yet agile. A very classic Bordeaux style
Deep ruby-red. Classic Lafite aromas of cassis, cedar and graphite are lifted by a fragrant violet note. Then pure and vibrant on the palate, with seamless flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry, cedar, iron and flint. The very smooth tannins provide plenty of support to the fruit flavors, while the wine's harmonious acidity really draws out the finish. This outstanding Lafite is all about grace--in contrast to Latour's power. Jul 2012, www.vinous.com
Served blind at the Southwold 2009 tasting. Unfortunately we were afforded just one bottle of the Lafite '09, which is a pity because I (and many others) would have wished to re-taste it. This has a lifted bouquet with blackberry, sous-bois and a touch of dried herbs. Good fruit concentration here, Graves-like, complex with peripheral marmalade aromas emerging with time. The palate is full-bodied with succulent ripe tannins, slightly lower acidity, smooth and harmonious with a luscious, almost texturally honeyed finish. To be honest, I was expecting a little more from the 2009 and I hope that more breeding and terroir expression will seep through with time. Jan 2013, www.robertparker.com