Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of the most renowned properties in the Médoc. Owned by Baron Eric de Rothschild and located in the north of the Pauillac appellation, Lafite Rothschild is also one of the largest Médoc estates. It has 95 hectares of vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (20%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). Lafite Rothschild's vineyards lie on deep gravel beds (up to 5 metres thick) over marl and limestone. Annual production tops 35,000 cases, although a third of this consists of the second wine called Carruades de Lafite.
Of all the Médoc Grand Crus, Lafite Rothschild can be the most beguiling and difficult to understand. It is never the most powerful, yet, along with Margaux, possesses the most exquisite bouquet of any Médoc wine. It has the elegance, balance and harmony that epitomises claret at its very best.
"A dramatic, ample Lafite, the 2015 is also arrestingly beautiful and vivid. Expressive floral notes give the dark red and black flavours gorgeous aromatic lift. Today, the new oak is a bit pronounced, but otherwise, this is an exceptional wine. Rose petal, lavender, mint and purplish stone fruits add the last shades of detail."
94-97 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous.
Firm and powerful with blackberries, blueberries, currants and wet earth. Full-bodied, yet tight and angular with very pretty fruit and brightness. Really racy and super and set for a long, long life. Better after 2025. Reviewed in Hong Kong Chinese Wine Tasting July 2020.
99 points, JamesSuckling.com (July 2020)
Lead and graphite are complemented by notes of blueberries and blackberries. Blackcurrants, too. Full-bodied and focused with very round and polished tannins. Elegance with power. Very classic nature for Lafite. Try in 2022.
99 points, JamesSuckling.com
The 2015 Lafite-Rothschild, bottled in May 2017, is refined and pure on the bouquet with scents of blackberry and bilberry, touches of violet and as usual, from a slightly subdued beginning it opens magnificently with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, with edgier tannin than many Lafite-Rothschilds I tasted a decade ago, wonderfully balanced with that sense of "vibrancy" that I remarked upon previously. The 2015 is only on the opening page of a long story, but I suspect that it will evolve into a splendid Lafite-Rothschild. Tasted in Bordeaux at a private tasting.
95 points, Vinous (May 2018)
The deep garnet-purple shaded 2015 Lafite Rothschild is blended of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot and was matured for 20 months in new oak barrels from Tonnellerie des Domaines (their own cooperage). It is still sporting a lot of cedar at this nascent stage with a vibrant core of black raspberries, red currants and crushed plums plus touches of cigar boxes, violets and underbrush with a waft of tilled loam. Medium-bodied and elegantly styled with wonderful freshness and depth, it is compellingly earthy/minerally in the mouth with a frame of seductively silky yet very firm tannins and culminating in a very long, racy and pure finish. Boasting spectacular finesse and packed with nuances, clearly, given some of the challenges here in 2015, this is a masterpiece of diligence in the vineyards, careful selection and very clever crafting—bravo!
96+ points, Wine Advocate (February 2018)
Rich, powerful and enveloping, the 2015 Lafite-Rothschild is endowed with serious volume and textural resonance. Super-ripe plum, smoke and spice notes emerge in the glass, but only with great reluctance. Although the aromatics aren't giving much at this point, the palate is much more expressive. The wine's sheer power and authoritative tone result in an unusually dramatic Lafite. The 2015 is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot that spent 20 months in oak, which is a bit more than the norm.
96+ points, Vinous (December 2017)
"Velvet- and silk-textured red currant, raspberry and black cherry compote notes glide through, supported by a perfectly embedded graphite spine, while enticing violet, black tea and alder accents add range through the finish. Very refined and sneakily long. Best from 2025 through 2045."
95 points, Wine Spectator (March 2018)
"Lustrous mid crimson. Lightly spicy nose and very smooth tannins in the Lafite style. Only just enough acidity. Blurry impression. Mild and charming - very restrained and Lafite. It builds on the end in an impressive manner."
18 points, Jancis Robinson (April 2016)
This is a great vintage from Lafite. The profile is rich in feel, with a seriously firm tannic structure. Solid, complex and with great authority, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine is impressively dense in dark-fruit tones. It will age for many years. Drink from 2027, although that would almost be too soon.
100 points, Wine Enthusiast (April 2018)
The grand vin 2015 Lafite-Rothschild checks in as 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot that was brought all in 100% new oak. Director Eric Kohler (who replaced Charles Chevallier in 2015) told me the vintage suffered a touch of dilution but wasn’t a complicated year. The 2015 is an aristocratic, classy example from this estate that offers textbook lead pencil shavings, tobacco, smoked herbs, and graphite as well as a beautiful core of currant and cassis fruit. It’s the most refined and subtle of the first growths, has medium to full-bodied richness, building tannin, and undeniable class and charm. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.
96 points, JebDunnuck.com (November 2017)
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.