John Salvi MW
Colour: Fine, bright, young and youthful. Almost purple edge.
Nose: This is huge and assails one at once. Generous, open and ripe, but perfectly contained and restrained. Wonderful freshness in the acidity, but none the less great intensity of deep, ripe fruit.
Palate: Great Wine! Sturdy and strongly structured. Deliciously spicy. It can be almost stern at moments, but its generous nature takes over. It is a little like an Adonis. Superbly elegantly constructed and the flesh on the bones is elegance personified. It is still very young indeed and a lot of its great qualities need refining, but it has a truly splendid future. Start to look at it again in 5 years time!
100 Points Robert Parker
Well, well, well - Lafite Rothschild does it again. Ever since manager Charles Chevalier was transferred from his beloved Sauternes property of Rieussec (also owned by the Rothschilds) to Lafite in 1994, there has been a succession of profound wines to emerge from this noble estate.
The 2000 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 93.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.7% Merlot (only 36% of the crop made the grade) has an opaque ruby/purple color, followed by an extraordinary aromatic expression of liquid minerals/stones interwoven with the tell-tale graphite notes, mulberry, black currants, caramel, and tobacco.
In the mouth, it is remarkably light on its feet, but somehow seems to pack intense flavors into layer upon layer of fruit and richness that cascade over the palate. A compelling wine, with extraordinary precision, great intensity, and a seamlessness in spite of what are obviously elevated levels of tannin, this wine was provocatively open and beautiful when tasted in January and February, but I am sure it will soon close down. The finish lasted a whopping 72 seconds! This is utterly fascinating stuff. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2050.
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”.
A relatively early growing season with above average temperatures and normal rainfall. Precipitation at the end of May and early June made the vines subject to mildew, but our technicians were diligent in protecting the grapevines. The end of summer was beautiful, and the dry hot weeks in August and September gave very ripe grapes.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|1 252€ -3.5%||1 298€ -10.3%||1 447€ -11.3%||1 632€ -0.8%||1 645€ -21.3%||2 090€ +14.2%||1 830€ +560.6%||277€|