x
  • Country ranking ?

    3 664
  • Producer ranking ?

    48
  • Decanting time

    1h
  • When to drink

    Now
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

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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Vintage 1985

Vintage 1985

The 1985 vintage signals recurrent success. The same weather conditions as in 1982, meaning continuing sun from July to September, produce similar results: grapes with thick skins, with condensed and supple tannins, and intense aromas. These grapes have produced complete and velvety wines, with complex bouquets; possibly even more elegant than the 1982 vintage. Ideal weather in the month of September made 1985 an exceptional vintage, recalling Médoc’s fabulous 1953 wines. Delicious even young, it can be enjoyed soon, while also benefiting from ageing



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Latest Pro-tasting notes

14 tasting notes

Tasting note

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Written Notes

classic in every sense real meat on its bones refined yet substantial a pleasure to drink w long life ahead 85=53 in general
  • 94p
Lafite – powerful, deep and strong, lots of fruit and tannin, perfect balance and big meaty aftertaste. Not as distinguished as Mouton Rothschild, but who cares. Many years to go. 96p.
  • 96p
Bottom neck fill. Ruby. Just a touch of bell peppers, licorice, cassis and maybe some floral notes. Very elegant nose. More and more seductive with air. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, some herbs, cool and stunning. Long length.
  • 95p

Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

96p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  Lafite-Rothschild 1985  ( Château Lafite-Rothschild )

"Tasted in November 2015. Powerful, deep and strong, lots of fruit and tannin, perfect balance and big meaty aftertaste. Not as distinguished as Mouton Rothschild tasted in same flight, but who really cares? Viril and still feeling young. Powerhouse! Many years to go."

1y 4m ago

96p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  Lafite-Rothschild 1985  ( Château Lafite-Rothschild )

"Tasted in November 2015. Powerful, deep and strong, lots of fruit and tannin, perfect balance and big meaty aftertaste. Not as distinguished as Mouton Rothschild tasted in same flight, but who really cares? Viril and still feeling young. Powerhouse! Many years to go."

1y 4m ago

94p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Lafite-Rothschild 1985  ( Château Lafite-Rothschild )

"classic in every sense real meat on its bones refined yet substantial a pleasure to drink w long life ahead 85=53 in general "

4y 6m ago

95p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Lafite-Rothschild 1985  ( Château Lafite-Rothschild )

"Bottom neck fill. Ruby. Just a touch of bell peppers, licorice, cassis and maybe some floral notes. Very elegant nose. More and more seductive with air. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, some herbs, cool and stunning. Long length. "

4y 7m ago

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