Complex aromas of blackcurrants and lead pencil. Incredible. Graphite and tar. Stunning. It’s full-bodied, yet shows such harmony and polish. Elegance and complexity with finesse. The tannins are so integrated and endless. It goes on for minutes. 94% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 1% petit verdot.
James Suckling (May 2001)Score: 99-100/100
The 2019 Lafite-Rothschild is sensual, alluring and simply breathtaking in its beauty. A vivid, towering Lafite, the 2019 simply has it all. Even with all of its intensity, the 2019 possesses striking minerality and tension that give the wine its sense of drive and precision. it is a stunning wine by any measure. The blend is 94% Cabernet 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, including some Merlot from clay-rich parcels that are new to the Grand Vin.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (January 44000)Score: 96-98/100
The 2019 Lafite-Rothschild was picked from 19 September with the Merlots, pausing during a rainy spell and then picked through to 7 October. The blend includes what Eric Kohler calls "outsider" parcels that met the grade, including some of the Merlot on more clayey soils (see introduction) as well as 13.5% vin de presse. Alcohol here is some half a degree lower than many of its peers at around 13.4%. It has a very sensual bouquet, not a common feature in this First Growth, with generous black fruit infused with pencil box, sous-bois and discrete white pepper aromas. The oak is beautifully subsumed by the fruit already. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, rounded tannins that lend this Lafite its creamy femme fatale texture and disguise its backbone. More powerful than expected, this builds in the mouth towards an atypically corpulent, dense finish that seems to "flow" across the senses. There is not a single hair out of place. I can envisage this firming up during its élevage and deserving more bottle age than seemingly appropriate at this juncture. Whatever its drinking plateau turns out to be, it is certainly a wonderful Lafite-Rothschild that pips the 2018 and revels in the growing season.
Neal Martin (January 43998)Score: 96-98/100Drink 2029-2070
This is a beautiful example of what Chateau Lafite Rothschild does best. Dark garnet in color and aromatic, you find lead pencil, cedar, forest, tobacco wrapper, mint and black with red fruit scents. The most elegant of all the First Growths, the wine, classic in nature, is refined, pure, bright, focused, precise and long. There is an intensity that expands as the wine graces your palate, before moving to the finish that is all about the extraordinary purity in the fruits.
Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider (January 43990)Score: 98-100/100
Supreme elegance in the Lafite mould. Fresh and fragrant on the nose with mineral, cedar and dark-fruit notes. Poise and precision on the palate, the attack clean and direct, the tannins long and linear but enrobed in ripe fruit. Dense but with a reined-in discretion. Silky texture and overall great freshness. Just edges the 2018 for freshness and finesse. (JL)
Jancis Robinson MW (January 43987)Score: 19/20Drink 2030-2050
Performs the trick of being immediately succulent and mouthwatering while simultaneously revving up and building power through the palate. You're getting sapidity and savoury black fruits that are both elegant and full of power. The spicy rosemary and black pepper, with slate-textured minerality, is almost unnoticeable until it closes in on the final stretch, helping to stretch things out, beat by beat, adding energy and lift. One half of the 5% Merlot in this blend is from plots that have never before been used in Lafite's 1st wine, because their drone and satellite research discovered three tiny areas that were similar in character and could be vinified together. They have worked on this for the past three years, successfully so for first time in 2019. It just holds on tight, with a creaminess that you don't always find in Lafite at this early stage. A brilliant wine, one that could be upscored from this when in bottle. Harvest September 19 to October 7.
Decanter (January 43976)Score: 98/100Drink 2029-2048
The distinct character to the 2019 Lafite is the incredible contrasting density of tannins that are so fine, so integrated, that they seem to melt in the mouth, only to find layer upon layer of tanin stacking up further on the palate. For now this remains incredibly compact, perfectly composed, capturing a lovely freshness and concentration of fruit that will no doubt unfurl over many years as it matures. The balance of the wine contrasted with the density and refined tannins is testament to the precision you find in top Lafite.
FINE+RARE Tasting Note