x
  • Country ranking ?

    1 220
  • Producer ranking ?

    17
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    from 2020
  • Food Pairing

    Grilled Sirloin with Red-Wine Braised Shallots

A Snap-shot of the 2014 Vintage by Markus Del Monego MW

2014 had an early start with budbreak around 10 days ahead of the 10 years average. End of May flowering started on the early terroirs in heterogeneous conditions, whereas the later varieties such as Cabernet-Sauvignon and Franc as well as later terroirs took advantage of a warm and sunny period beginning of June. July and August where quite cool and humid and in the second half of August the vintners prepared themselves for a vintage even worse than 2013 but at the end of August everything changed. A spledid indian summer througout September and October saved the quality. Harvest started for the white grapes started three days later than in 2012 but two weeks later than 2011. For the red grapes the harvest startet with Merlot at the end of September and ended with the Cabernets in the second half of October. The cool climate during summer provides a higher acidity, the indian summer is responsible for the right ripening.

The dry white wines are on a very good quality level showing crisp acidity and ripe flavours. The noble sweet white wines also take advantage of the higher acidity balancing the opulent sweetness. Therefore this vintage seems more on the elegant side. The presentation of red wines depends very much on the grape varietes and terroirs. Overall the red wines are on a higher quality level than the three previous vintages. Saint-Emilion is excellent on the plateau calcaire and shows in general very good wines.

 In Pomerol the centre of the plateau was in advantage over the surrounding areas. Fronsac was a very positive surprise for 2014. In the Médoc the southern part proved to be more heterogenous than the northern part, where especially Saint-Estèphe was homogenous and excellent. South of Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan presented a very homogenous picture of a very good quality level with outstanding wines from Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion.

One last observation: This vintage digests oak in a great way. The oak is even not obvious in wines with a 100% new oak barrels for maturation. Now there are roughtly twelve month to follow for the maturation of the 2014s untill the bottling in 2016. A lot can happen in this period. Let us see how the wines will present themselves after bottling, it will be a very interesting tasting again. 2014 is not a great vintage like 2005, 2009 or 2010 but it will be able to secure a position as one of the very good vintages of Bordeaux.

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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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Vintage 2014

Vintage Report  by Lafite / Significant rainfall from November to February restored groundwater reserves, which had already been substantially replenished by average or higher than average rain in 2012 and 2013.
Temperatures remained above normal and the vines missed the hearty winter frosts; what we really wanted were about two weeks of crisp mornings with beautiful sunshine, dry cold and no wind. But you cannot control nature! Bud break was early, followed by uniform flowering during the first week of June, spurred on by a rise in temperatures.
As always, the impact of the weather on the vineyard was our primary concern, and our teams worked throughout the year to ensure that the grapes reach maturity in perfect health. The onset of ripening occurred over two periods, first in late July and then again after 15 August, creating differences in the ripeness of the bunches on the same vine.
Some “juggling” was therefore necessary when it came to the harvests, in order to make the best choices; the pickers and sorters were under strict orders to only keep the very best quality red grapes, suited to the production our Pauillac grand vins.

 

TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING):

Beautiful, intense red garnet colour.The nose is complex and fruity, characteristic of 2014, with beautiful floral notes. There is a light toasted note, but the wood is already well integrated. In the mouth, the wine is massive, displaying power and elegance at the same time. Blackberries and blackcurrants again declare a strong presence, and are complemented by the notes of violet and cedar so often found in Lafite’s wines.The palate is fresh, harmonious and very long. There is a pleasant balance between richness and finesse.
To enjoy this wine at its peak, one will have to manage to wait about ten years.

 

 

 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

nose

Intense and Charming

taste

Warming, Balanced, Youthful, Focused, Elegant and Fresh

Verdict

Transparent and Full-bodied

Written Notes

Tasted in April 2015 (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc). Closed and oaky, but there are enough ingredients to turn this wine into a staggering one. 95+
  • 95p
Dark purple red colour with violet hue and black centre. Closed nose slowly opening up, displaying fine fruit, discreet spicyness, complexity and elegance. On the palate freshness, excellent aromatic finish with convincing length, minerality and freshness.
  • 97p

Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Grapes

10% Merlot
87% Cabernet Sauvignon
3% Cabernet Franc

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Drinking temperature

16

Inside Information

97-99 points Wine Enthusiast

Barrel Sample. A great wine, this Lafite has great power and richness as well as a wonderfully elegant touch. It is dark and brooding on the one hand and fresh in black currant fruit on the other. Woody tones support the superb fruits and complement the texture.  (4/2015) 

97-98 points James Suckling

 I love the sexy, perfumed and feminine style to this young Lafite with rose petals, rose stems and currants. Full body, super fine tannins and a wonderful finish. Lasts for a very, very long time. (RV) (3/2015) 

94-97 points Wine Spectator

Very backward, with loads of cedar, espresso and juniper out front, while the core of currant and blackberry fruit stays in reserve. Shows ample grip on the finish, but this is fine-grained and exhibits superb cut. (Web-2015) (JM) 

94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Château Lafite-Rothschild 2014 is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, picked from 22 September until 10 October with the Petit Verdot, the Cabernet finished two days earlier. The Grand Vin is adorned with surprising richness and opulence on the nose: layers of ripe black plum and juniper, fine definition with even a hint of fig developing with continued aeration. After 5 minutes it turns volte face and becomes much more graphite and cedary - more Pauillac in essence. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, a potent core of black and blue fruit with a bullish (for Lafite) peacock's tail on the finish. Very long in the mouth, this is a Lafite that yearns to compensate for last year and it accomplishes that with some panache. (NM)  (4/2015) 

92-95 points Vinous

 A rich, powerful wine, the 2014 Lafite-Rothschild boasts superb depth, nuance and class. Hints of plum, cinnamon, wild flowers and exotic spices are woven throughout, but the flavors remain quite primary. The delicate, brilliant finish points to a bright future for a Lafite that should start to drink well with minimal cellaring. The blend is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. In 2014, the Grand Vin accounts for 38% of the production. (AG)  (4/2015)

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Wine Moments

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

95p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  Lafite-Rothschild 2014  ( Château Lafite-Rothschild )

"Tasted in April 2015 (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc). Closed and oaky, but there are enough ingredients to turn this wine into a staggering one. 95+"

1y 4m ago

95p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  Lafite-Rothschild 2014  ( Château Lafite-Rothschild )

"Tasted in April 2015 (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc). Closed and oaky, but there are enough ingredients to turn this wine into a staggering one. 95+"

1y 4m ago

97p
 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  Lafite-Rothschild 2014  ( Château Lafite-Rothschild )

"Dark purple red colour with violet hue and black centre. Closed nose slowly opening up, displaying fine fruit, discreet spicyness, complexity and elegance. On the palate freshness, excellent aromatic finish with convincing length, minerality and freshness. "

2y 5m ago

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