The integration of the tannins is seamless, the texture so multi-layered. The finish fans out beautifully on the palate with an effortless build, incredible tension and some of the finest fruit definition you are likely to find anywhere.
For Château Lafite, the pressed wine plays a central role in the final profile of the wine, since it makes up a high proportion of the final blend. This is because they use very gentle extraction techniques throughout vinification. They don’t carry out any cold maceration or any maceration post fermentation nor do they do any delestage - the most intense process of extracting colour and tannins from the grapes. Therefore the press wines bring a lot of complexity to the wine blended with the free run juice post malolactic fermentation. At the same time they are very precise with their pressing, careful not to push on the dregs/marc and the vats. Their approach remains very soft and traditional.
While Lafite Rothschild is an exciting prospect in any year, there are some vintages that stand out as truly sublime. Among the older wines, 1953, 1959, 1982 and 1986 are all excellent. From the last twenty five years, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2016, 2017 and 2018 have all proved utterly impeccable.