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  • Country ranking ?

    2 345
  • Producer ranking ?

    31
  • Decanting time

    45min
  • When to drink

    now
  • Food Pairing

    Porcini Mushroom Risotto with Gorgonzola Cheese

5* Michael Broadbent
Tasted in six occasions. Variable, mainly because of provenance, storage conditions and cork failure.; and possibly because Lafite at the time sold mainly in bulk, relying on either the various négociants to do the élevage and bottling, or, having sold on in barrique, for their overseas customers to bottle – not any Tom, Dick or Harry, but dependable importers and merchants.

First tasted at Dr Marvin C Overton’s tasting of Lafite, representing every decade from the 1790s to the 1970s. with high fill, its aprearance was warm and attractive, not deep; the bouquet opened up in the glass magnificently. A rich, full flavoured wine, its life-supporting tannins and acidity still in evidence. I gave it a rare 20/20.

In the early 1980, an exciting Réserve du Château, its overripe gibier (gamey) bouquet like an old cedar box – or singed hair. ‘Over the hill’, it cracked up but was fun while it lasted. Skipping over the ullaged and oxidised, including a very disapoiting bottle at Lloyd’s Flatt’s marathon (116 vintages of Lafite, 1784 to 1986), an excellent magnum, recorked at the château in 1991: still very sweet, rich, good flavour and length, delicious. Last tasted in ‘flight’ 5 of Hardy Rodenstock’s wine weekend, Sept 1996.  

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The Story

The Château Lafite estate run by the Rothschilds is, with its 100 hectares of cultivated land, the largest of the main Pauillac vineyards.

It is located in the highest part of the area and the view from its château, with its conical towers that appear on the label, takes in the banks of the River Gironde, which flows nearby. The wines are a blend of four different varieties of grape – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Lafite matures slightly earlier than other Premier Cru wines in the region on account of the generous amounts of Merlot used, and it is this that also makes the wine more delicate and subtle than those wines which are completely dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Lafite has a soul, a beautiful, generous, kindly soul. Lafite turns bare earth into heaven. Lafite is harmony, a harmony between man and nature, because without our magnificent winegrowers, nothing would be accomplished.”
Baron Eric de Rothschild 


Of the five Premier Cru wines in the region, Château Lafite to my mind has managed to produce the year’s best wine in many of the top years in 1900th centrury. The times I have spent in the company of a 1934, 1953, 1959, 1982 and 1986 have been unforgettable. And it was then that I always remembered how many wine critics fondly describe Lafite as ‘the perfection of elegance’.

Vineyard soil: fine gravel mixed with aeolien sands on a bedrock of tertiary limestone
Production area: 103 ha
Grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon (71%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (1%)
Average age of vines: 30 years
Harvest method: hand picked
Winemaking: the vinification is nowadays done with all the sophisticated instruments which modern oenology has created. Fermentation takes place in large oak vats in which the musts remain for 18 to 25 days.
Ageing: the wines are aged entirely in new barrels for 18 to 24 months. During this time,the wine is racked 7 times and is fined with the whites of 6 eggs per barrel. Only certain vats are selected to make the Grand Vin, Lafite. The others are used to make the second wine of Lafite, the “Carruades de Lafite”.

 

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2016 2015 2014 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
6 433€ +28.4% 5 009€ +25.6% 3 988€ -9.2% 4 390€ -24.6% 5 822€ +39.3% 4 178€ -20.1% 5 231€ +160.4% 2 009€ -24.0% 2 645€ +43.4% 1 844€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full

nose

Intense

recommend

Yes

taste

Elegant

Written Notes

The magnum of 1900 Lafite Rothschild was a real treat; one could see the 1953 in it. They were definite siblings, and Bipin remarked how the 1900 was ‘below 12% alcohol.’ Then he went on to say, ‘alcohol was the enemy of wine.’ A lot of jokes followed, including asking which non-alcoholic wine was Bipin’s favorite J. He meant high alcohol, of course, and he is right. The 1900 had a gorgeous nose. It was so seductive, so sexy, so framed…it belonged in either the Louvre or the Met. Fine and elegant (preceded by two more so’s), this was royalty! Bipin found it ‘round and lush like the ’59 with the texture of the ’53.’ It was smooth like butter (95M).
  • 95p
Lafite 1900/ Good-looking château-bottling, and the level was high-shoulder fills. Decanted 30 min. A deep, dark and healthy color. Beautifully developed bouquet with a hint of leather, smoked meat and exotic black currants. This is medium -bodied, elegant, smooth and fruity wine with unaggressive tannins. This intense and well-balanced wine finished with more than a 90-second demonstration of sexotic fruit and silky tannins. A great wine from superb vintage, which will last for another decade. Tasted four times with quite similar notes.
  • 95p

1900 Lafite Rothschild – We had to arrive at the number one wine on my list of The Top Ten Best Wines Tasted in 2016 sooner or later. Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we are here. The wine was not picked because it was the best wine of the year. Far from it. But it was certainly a bottle I would never have guessed I’d ever see, let alone taste. Achim Becker, who has a great website, although it is mostly in German, Wine Terminator, is one of those true wine lovers, with a passion for older wine. His tasting group, which I am proud to have come up with their name, “The Cellar Devils of Dusseldorf” are absolutely nuts, in all the right ways! I am more than happy that the hotel I stay in is within walking distance of where we eat. So, it is difficult for me to get lost, even after one of their debauched, Bacchanalian evenings. Trust me, in ancient Rome, The Cellar Devils of Dusseldorf would have dined with Caligula, often! Listen up you guys, I am already in training for my visit next year.

1900 Lafite Rothschild – Served double blind, in my wildest dreams I never though the wine was this old. My guess placed it in the 1940’s. The nose showed off with the array of scents ranging from truffle, autumn leafs, forest floor, 5 spice, cigar box, lead pencil and cedar chest. A whisper of fruit popped in, but the secondary aromatics were all mattered here. Elegant, light on its feet and still offering spicy cassis flavors in the mouth, the silky tannins, freshness and extreme patina of age got even better in the glass! What a great experience! This is a wine I am not going to forget tasting. Speechless is all I can say. 94 Pts

  • 94p

5* Michael Broadbent
Tasted in six occasions. Variable, mainly because of provenance, storage conditions and cork failure.; and possibly because Lafite at the time sold mainly in bulk, relying on either the various négociants to do the élevage and bottling, or, having sold on in barrique, for their overseas customers to bottle – not any Tom, Dick or Harry, but dependable importers and merchants.First tasted at Dr Marvin C Overton’s tasting of Lafite, representing every decade from the 1790s to the 1970s. with high fill, its aprearance was warm and attractive, not deep; the bouquet opened up in the glass magnificently. A rich, full flavoured wine, its life-supporting tannins and acidity still in evidence. I gave it a rare 20/20. 

In the early 1980, an exciting Réserve du Château, its overripe gibier (gamey) bouquet like an old cedar box – or singed hair. ‘Over the hill’, it cracked up but was fun while it lasted. Skipping over the ullaged and oxidised, including a very disapoiting bottle at Lloyd’s Flatt’s marathon (116 vintages of Lafite, 1784 to 1986), an excellent magnum, recorked at the château in 1991: still very sweet, rich, good flavour and length, delicious. Last tasted in ‘flight’ 5 of Hardy Rodenstock’s wine weekend, Sept 1996.  

Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Extraordinary

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

Serious

Glass time

30min

Highlights

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