x
  • Country ranking ?

    56
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    5h
  • When to drink

    2025-2045
  • Food Pairing

    Skirt Steak with Pomegranate Sauce

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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Lafite 2009 Reaches Seven-Month High of $12,200 on Liv-ex Market

A case of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 2009 sold for 7,800 pounds ($12,200) on London’s Liv-ex wine market yesterday, a seven-month high on the exchange and extending gains which lifted it 7 percent from its December level, according to data on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website. The Lafite vintage peaked at 14,350 pounds a case in February 2011 amid strong Asian demand, before a price slump which took it as low as 6,950 pounds on Dec. 14. Lafite is a first-growth Bordeaux wine from the Medoc and the 2009 vintage is its most expensive of the past five years, according to Liv-ex merchant data.

By Guy Collins 

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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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Wine Information

The beginning of the growth cycle was a tricky period due to a rather warm, very wet spring. The team had to be particularly vigilant in order to protect the vines. Fine, stable weather returned in June and continued throughout the summer. In fact conditions became drought like, interspersed in July, August and September with welcome periods of light rain. Plenty of sunshine, with temperatures that were high without becoming scorching, and fairly cool nights enabled slow ripening that pushed the start of the harvests back to the end of September.
Exceptionally favourable weather conditions, crowned by harvests in the sun, made for a vintage that is certain to be outstanding.

Cabernet Sauvignon 82,5 %
Merlot 17 %
Petit Verdot 0,5 %

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Vintage 2009

Right up there with 1947, 1961, and 2005, 2009 is a year of almost exaggeratedly (for Bordeaux) flamboyant, opulent wines with elevated ripeness and low acidity. The tannins are unusually ripe, while the wines are quite voluptuous in style. The Left Bank recorded more sunlight hours than legendary vintages such as 1947 and 1982, and grapes had higher sugar concentrations than 2003 and 2005. The key was significant diurnal temperature swings that allowed grapes to handle the hot daytime temperatures. An exceptional vintage across the board.

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Average Bottle Price

2020 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
760€ +3.5% 734€ +1.4% 724€ +0.4% 721€ -8.6% 789€ -16.5% 945€ +2.4% 923€ -25.6% 1 241€ -25.0% 1 654€

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.

Tasting note

ending

Long, Flavorful and Lingering

flavors

Blackcurrant, Port-like, Truffles, Herbs, Spice and Viscous

nose

Intense

taste

Average in Acidity, Well-structured, Good texture, Youthful, Harmonious, Vigor and Full

Verdict

Intelligent and Well made

Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Release state price

550€

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

Be Cautious

Glass time

2h

Inside Information

The main reason the 2009 Lafite Rothschild did not receive a perfect score is because the wine has closed down slightly, but it is unquestionably another profound Lafite, their greatest wine since the amazing 2003. Among the most powerful Lafites ever made (it came in at 13.59% alcohol), the final blend was 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot. The selection was incredibly severe with only 45% of the crop being utilized. A tight, but potentially gorgeous nose of graphite, black currants, licorice and camphor is followed by a full-bodied wine revealing the classic elegance, purity and delineated style of Lafite. It is phenomenally concentrated with softer tannins than the 2005, the 2003's voluptuous, broad, juicy personality, and low acidity. There are several vintages that I thought were a replay of their colossal 1959, most notably 1982 and 2003, but 2009 is also one to keep an eye on. It is still extremely youthful and seems slightly more backward than I would have guessed based on the barrel tastings, but it needs 10-15 years of bottle age, and should last for 50+.

Parker 99+ points

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