“... featuring all the tannic grace, finesse and densely pixilated poise fans will expect. What an exciting paradox for the palate—bravo!"
97-99 POINTS - LISA PERROTTI-BROWN
Today sees one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the vintage and no doubt one of the top wines produced in 2019 – the illustrious Pauillac First Growth Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Volumes were down in 2019, therefore the estate has confirmed it will release 50% less onto the market this year, ensuring an immediate sell-out.
Chateau Lafite has been one of the most confident and vocal estates in regards to the quality of the 2019 vintage. As far back as the early stages following vinification, they were declaring 2019 as a “modern-classic”; very pure Lafite style, very Cabernet led, very precise. Technical Director Eric Kohler feels that “just as there will always be a discussion between 2009 and 2010, we will have the same between 2018 and 2019. 2018 being closer to 2009, and 2019 being closer to 2010.”
The quality of the tannins, the integration and dense layering on the palate, while not losing any of the signature Lafite Rothschild elegance is staggering. This is a bundle of energy that is going to unfurl beautifully over the next 50 years and beyond.
One of the key elements behind the elegance and finesse you find in Chateau Lafite Rothschild is down to its very gentle vinification process, with no punching down of the skins. This allows the estate to use a high proportion of the press wines to adapt the profile of the blend, which become a really important addition to the winemaking of both Chateau Lafite Rothschild and their second wine - Carruades de Lafite.
It therefore shares a similar elegance to the Grand Vin. The quality of the tannins and the finesse of the Carruades in 2019 is a stand-out Lafite blueprint; it couldn’t come from any other Chateau.
"The 2019 Lafite Rothschild is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 7th of October. Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls effortlessly out of the glass with compelling notions of baked black cherries, ripe blackberries and crème de cassis followed by hints of mocha, licorice, smoked meats and Sichuan pepper with a waft of eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate is at once ethereally graceful and powerfully intense, featuring layer upon layer of profound smoky, savory flavors and decadently ripe fruit, framed by exquisite, silt-like tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with epic length. In terms of flavor profile, this is a surprisingly (atypically) hedonic, forward expression, with notably lower acidity/higher pH (the pH is 3.9). The alcohol is 13.4%, just a tick higher than the 2018 (13.3%). And yet, the tannins here are unmistakably Lafite, featuring all the tannic grace, finesse and densely pixilated poise fans will expect. What an exciting paradox for the palate—bravo!"
97-99 POINTS - LISA PERROTTI-BROWN, WINE ADVOCATE
"The 2019 Carruades de Lafite is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 19th of September to the 7th of October. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, it comes skipping out of the glass with bright, fresh notions of wild blueberries, ripe plums and redcurrant jelly plus hints of cinnamon stick, cumin seed, oolong tea and violets with a waft of black olives. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers loads of rich, ripe, spicy flavors with a soft texture of nicely rounded tannins and with the freshness in the background, finishing on a lingering allspice note. In a word: Yum!"
92-94 POINTS - LISA PERROTTI-BROWN, WINE ADVOCATE