x
  • Country ranking ?

    195
  • Producer ranking ?

    8
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    from 2025
  • Food Pairing

    roasted chicken with herbs

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 50 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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The 2015 Lafite-Rothschild is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot picked between 17 September and 6 October. Matured in 100% new oak, it has a tightly-wound bouquet with black cherries, cassis, cedar and graphite, though it does not quite possess the depth one would have expected the vintage would have bestowed. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, harmonious on the entry and with the oak neatly integrated. There is a very fine grip towards the finish, which has a tangible spicy edge - white pepper with a touch of bay leaf and enough pencil lead to fill a stationery set. The aftertaste is extremely long here, more than a minute when I timed it on my watch. It is an excellent Lafite-Rothschild in the making and it often "finds its voice" only after bottling, so it could ultimately end with a higher score. Drink 2028-2060

Score: 94/96

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

Here is a Lafite with lots of muscle and tone. Very tannic and velvety textured. Full body, fresh acidity and a bright finish. Shows a tenderness at the end. Gorgeous.

Score: 97/98

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

A dramatic, ample Lafite, the 2015 is also arrestingly beautiful and vivid. Expressive floral notes give the dark red and black flavors gorgeous aromatic lift. Today, the new oak is a bit pronounced, but otherwise, this is an exceptional wine. Rose petal, lavender, mint and purplish stone fruits add the last shades of detail.

Score: 94/97

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016

Woodland violets fragrance the nose has charm the start of the palate is fresh. There is depth of fruit in the middle rich flavours velvet smoothness suppleness the fruit underpinned by fine tannins. Under the rich mix of cassis and black cherry bilberry refreshes and lightens the back palate is lifted fragrant ethereal and long.

Score: 96/98

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016

A wine that has divided opinions in 2015. What some people see as greenness, I regard as freshness and balance. This is elegant and harmonious, but doesn’t lack stuffing, carrying its 100% new oak with ease. Graphite, blackcurrant and cedar wood are underpinned by chalky minerality. Drink: 2022-30

Score: 98

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2016

Lustrous mid crimson. Lightly spicy nose and very smooth tannins in the Lafite style. Only just enough acidity. Blurry impression. Mild and charming - very restrained and Lafite. It builds on the end in an impressive manner. Drink 2024-2040

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016

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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

A recurring phenomenon in recent years, the beginning of the winter was mild and dry, and it was only at the end of January that beneficial colder temperatures arrived, accompanied by rain. Bud break began in early April as usual, and the vines then grew quickly, as they had ample reserves of water and the weather was mild. In June, flowering was early and uniform, which is always a promising sign.
The influence of the Atlantic ocean and the Gironde estuary helped to reduce the effect of a somewhat hot summer with high temperatures. Water stress was high, but rain in August brought the freshness required for the grapes to change colour and then to ripen perfectly. Conditions were ideal during the harvests, enabling us to obtain optimal ripeness for each plot.

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Vintage 2015

Complete 2015 Bordeaux report by Andrew Caillard MW “Next in line of a great series of vintages; 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 & 2015.”

 

2015 is a wonderful Bordeaux vintage without the hype or hysteria associated with 2009 and 2010. The wines are generally expressive and generous with marvellous concentration and structure. Give another year in barrel, the wines should gain more fruit complexity and volume. The Châteaux, across all sub-regions, are excited by the beautiful fragrance, clear fruit flavours and brisk energy of the wines, and believe the vintage to be the best since 2010. More than a few times the phrase “a vintage of the decade” has been mentioned. I have tasted through most of the top wines, some on more than a few occasions, and feel confident that this is a vintage worth supporting. It is a very successful vintage.

 

Weather conditions were generally ideal with perfect flowering and set during Spring. A hot dry and sunny spell during June and July kept the vines in balance; the near-drought conditions resulted in excellent cluster development. Veraison (in which the grape berries turn from green and hard to coloured and fleshy) began towards the end of July. Light rains refreshed the canopies and hydrated the clusters. Cooler weather arrived in August with above average rainfall. The northern Medoc was exposed to heavy rains, but no berry splitting or significant disease pressure was reported. The cooler conditions running up to harvest in September allowed the grapes to conserve their aromatic potential and ripen relatively evenly.

 

The red wines across the right bank and the left bank are generally impressive in concentration, vigour and freshness. While all the wines are tasted extremely young, it is easy to see the quality and dimension of the vintage. Merlot performed particularly well, with many Châteaux picking intermittently over a three-week window to achieve optimal freshness, fleshiness and ripeness. Cabernet Franc, its companion in many of the wines, gives an attractive “tannin seam” and structural vigour. Already observers are calling it a right bank (St Emilion & Pomerol) year. Ch Vieux Château Certan, described as “La Force Tranquille,”and Château Petrus were my top two right bank wines followed by Château Ausone. All have a buoyancy and precision that augers well for the future.

 

The southern left bank (Margaux and Pessac-Leognan) also stumped up some beautiful concentrated wines. The alcoholic strength and tannin ripeness seem to correlate with this impression.  Cabernet Sauvignon, typically ”needing to takes its time”, brought wines of lovely aromaticity, concentration and vitality. The success of this variety has been dependent on the sophistication of harvesting and selection at blending. Château Margaux and Château Palmer are amazing wines. Château Haut Brion and Château La Mission Haut Brion made dense chocolaty styles. Château Haut Bailly is particularly refined and beautifully balanced.

 

At Château Batailley, the introduction of a second wine and closer attention to differentiation, led to one of the best vintages in its history. Many of the small refinements and decisions in the vineyard and winery allowed several top Châteaux in St Julien, Pauillac and St Estephe to make beautiful wines too. The hard selection process is particularly evident on the left bank. Château Margaux and Château Cos d’Estournel chose to rigorously defend their first wines by very detailed picking and selection. Only 35% and 39% (respectively) of the harvest went into their Grand Vin. St Emilion’s Ch Cheval Blanc on the other hand comprised 95.1% of the harvest, leaving no reason to make Petit Cheval in 2015.

 

Attention to detail in the vineyard, especially after the August rains, and huge investment in optical sorting machines (at a cost of around 200,000 Euros each) at harvest ensured the grapes were in good condition before vinification. It is quite incredible how the fruit arrives into the winery these days. Meticulous attention to detail has become the norm within the Grand Cru Classé community. The First Growth Estates with their huge financial investments in vineyard and cellar practices, all made impressive wines this year. Perhaps the most evocative of all is Château Margaux. The death of the estate’s longstanding winemaker Paul Pontallier, on Easter Sunday from cancer, rocked Bordeaux’s wine community. He was a man for all seasons. He brought the best out of his people and his wines, whatever the vintage offered. 2015 Château Margaux, in all likelihood, will be the greatest vintage of its modern history.

 

Despite the sombre mood at this year’s 2015 En Primeurs tastings, the energy of Spring brought a sense of renewal. Budburst in the vineyards, white and pink blossom in full bloom, the pure chirrup of fledglings and the vibrant new wines of the vintage promised the animation and maturation of life. The colours, densities, flavours and tannin quality of the young red wines all suggest a great vintage in the making. It is one of the wine trade’s most curious practices to make comment on unfinished wine, yet somehow the predictions become more or less right. Over the next year the wines will develop more fruit complexity, richness and volume in barrel. The tannins, oak and fruit will further integrate.

 

The sweet aperitif/ dessert wines of Sauternes and Barsac have also fared extremely well. The combination of even ripening and optimum outbreaks of botrytis cinerea has brought some magnificent wines. Some are calling it the best vintage since 2001, arguably the greatest vintage in recent memory. While Ch d’Yquem looked gorgeous, the elegantly styled Ch Climens, still in many parts, will be wonderful. Typically this wine is tasted out of several barrels, and my notes are a composite of eight different elements. The fragrance, vibrancy, freshness, and line are amazing. The dry whites, mainly Sauvignon Blanc or Gris dominant are refreshing styles with attractive freshness and drive. Ch Haut Brion Blanc is an amazing wine, but its release price will reflect its rarity.

 

The Châteaux will likely bring out the vintage in two tranches to capture the appetite of the world’s wine trade. The first offers will probably be a touch higher than last years opening prices. This will be against the advice of the negociants who have been running on very low margins for many years now. The weakening of the British Pound and the Australian Dollar against the euro may be a stumbling block for some buyers, but there will be value and opportunity in this forthcoming primeur campaign. For Australian buyers, this is absolutely the best way to buy Bordeaux. Provenance is guaranteed, allocations confirmed and the price will still be less than future imports, by virtue of the structure of the Place de Bordeaux.

Better market conditions in China and the US, together with a significant vintage in both quantity and quality, will see momentum return to Bordeaux after a four-year period of stagnation and uncertainty. The cat and mouse game between the Châteaux, the negociants and wine trade now begins. Regardless of the outcome, Bordeaux will continue to be the fine wine reference for many decades. There is something utterly unique, invigorating and evocative about mature Bordeaux wines. The best of the 2015 will be transformative and delicious to drink. All you need is patience, moderately deep pockets and the will to buy!

 

Margaux / Beautiful wines with gorgeous fruit density and fine sinuous tannins. Its is some years since Margaux shone so brightly. Ch Margaux, Ch Palmer, Ch Rauzan Segla, Ch Rauzan Gassies, Alter Ego de Cg Palmer. Ch Pavillon Rouge, Ch Malescot de St Exupery, Ch D’Angludet, Ch Kirwan, Ch Cantenac Brown and Ch Brand Cantenac are highlights.

 

St Julien / Fragrant and well concentrated with slinky textures and inky length. Ch Leoville Lascases, Ch Ducru Beaucaillou and Ch Leoville Barton were top performers. But I also liked Ch Beychevelle, Ch Branaire Ducru and Ch Lagrange, Croix de Beaucaillou and Ch Lalande Borie, both connected to Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, are beneficiaries of meticulous selection.

 

Pauillac / The very top estates made great wine. The First Growths all made very fine wines. There is a debate about which is best. I like Ch Mouton Rothschild the best and admired Ch Latour for its precision and potential for longevity. The latter won’t be released en-primeur so ist academic. Ch Lafite is excellent too. Ch Pontet Canet is outstanding, as you would expect from such an enlightened and eccentric estate.  I was also immensely impressed with Ch Batailley and Ch Lynch Bages. Ch Clerc Milon, Ch Grand Puy Lacoste, Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and its opposite neighbour Ch Pichon Longueville Baron.

 

St Estephe / Classic wines with aromatic complexity and muscular drive. A little more variable than other sub-regions, probably because of its exposure to heavy rains and Atlantic weather. Ch Montrose and Ch Cos’ d’Estournel made beautiful wines, by very careful selection of the crop. Their associate wines were very good too; La Dame de Montrose, Ch Tronquoy-Lalande and Pagodes de Cos.

 

Pessac Leognan & Graves / Powerful wines with density and strength. Both Ch La Mission Haut Brion and Ch Haut Brion are standouts with amazing concentration and vigour, accompanied by relatively high alcohols. The superb Ch Haut Bailly, Ch Smith Haut Lafitte, and Domaine de Chevalier are my personal favourites.

 

Pomerol / Wonderful fleshy wines with superb concentration and chocolaty textures. It is one of the most impressive Pomerol vintages of the last twenty years with "lots of shoulder and length." Vieux Chateau Certan and Ch Petrus were profound standouts. The list is long but Ch Latour-à-Pomerol, Ch La Fleur, Ch Lafleur Petrus, Ch Trontanoy, Ch Hosanna and Ch Bon Pasteur were also highlights.

 

St Emilion /A very strong year, many wines having superb fruit generosity, freshness and line. Ch Angelus, Ch Ausone, Ch Canon, Ch Cheval Blanc, Ch Figeac, Ch Trottevielle, and Ch Troplong Mondot are very top performers. Highlights also include Ch Beauséjour, Ch Canon La-Gaffelliere. Ch Gracia, Ch La Couspaude, Ch La Dominique, Ch Larmande, Ch Pavie Macquin, Quinault L'Enclos, Clos Fourtet, La Chapelle d’Ausone and Clos Cantenac. Ch Chantecaille Clauzel, lying like a shag on an encrusted diamond rock, is not particularly well known, but its story is remarkable and the wine worth buying for the conversation alone.

 

Sauternes Barsac /A very strong year. The wines possess beautiful fragrance, clarity, viscosity, richness and acid line. Ch Climens, Ch Coutet and Ch Guiraud are wonderful standouts. Ch de Rayne Vigneau, Ch Doisy Daene, Ch Doisy Vedrines. Clos Haut Peyraguey, Ch La Tour Blanche, Ch Rabaud Promis, Ch Rieussec and Suduiraut all produced fine examples too. The lesser known Ch Broustet, Ch Caillou, Ch de Myrat and Ch Suau were exemplary. Ch d’Yquem is of course impressive, but next door neighbour Ch Guiraud, offers a very similar quality and style.

 

 

 

 

 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot.
 
Very appealing and delicate aromas with pretty fruity style with blackcurrant, cassis, blueberries, great floral tone and appealing sweet tobacco.
 
Nice and deliciously refined wine. Beautifully balanced between hefty developed aromas on the one hand and the world's most delicious delicate fruit image on the other side. Blackcurrant, lightly sour blackberries, dark raspberry, mint, sweet licorice boats, smoke, light toffee and masculine salty finish without feeling too heavy. Lovely tannin structure! This is something for yourself in Pauillac. Fantastic wine for the next 40 years.

  • 98p

Ruby. Scented, bright, nuanced, almost brilliant expression, filigree, floral, superbly detailed nose even at this early stage. The precision in this! Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh, fruity, red berries, anise, bright, fruity, refreshing and nuanced. Perfect harmony and details in this one. Superb length. Drink over the next sixty years or so. And invite me. Drink over the next seventy years or so. 99

  • 99p

Château Lafite 2015 / Very dark colour, with purple glints, indicating that the wine is still very much in its youth. The nose is still quite closed, which is to be expected after only a few months in the bottle. But it already presents good depth and plenty of complexity. Notes of fresh strawberries and tobacco, in which the wood has become perfectly integrated.
The attack is simultaneously supple and very powerful. The intensity on the palate rises steadily…  gently coming to rest on a plateau that is already very high.
Not at all aggressive, it continues with great length, and in perfect harmony.
This is a Lafite that is currently revealing very little of its potential; to experience it in its full glory will require waiting… for some years.

Lustrous mid crimson. Lightly spicy nose and very smooth tannins in the Lafite style. Only just enough acidity. Blurry impression. Mild and charming - very restrained and Lafite. It builds on the end in an impressive manner. 18/20 points (4/2016)

  • 93p

Tasted in April 2016. 91% Cabernet Sauvignon + 9% Merlot. Packed with perfectly ripe fruit and tannin. Incredibly refined and sophisticated, rich and complex, fabulous structure and length. Awesome effort.

  • 97p
Dark purple red with violet hue. Very attractive nose, multi-layered, with pure fruit, very precisely structured, discreet hints of spices. On the palate great depth and length with pure fruit, fine acidity, silky tannins and long lingering fruit in the finish. Attractive and approachable fruit in the first moment, well structured mid-palate and never-ending length in the finish. A complex and great Lafite.
  • 98p
Medium deep colour. Cassis, dark chocolate espresso violet aromas with graphite notes. Well concentrated wine with cassis blackberry fruit, graphite nuances, fine gritty tannins touch Al-dente. Attractive inky complete its. Build up velvety firm and tight. Lovely mineral length. Classical and well balanced. Light but heavy. Lafite style. 97 points 
  • 97p
Lafite Rothschild Pauillac - 91% Cabernet Sauvignon 9% Merlot Good deep plum, nose again is quite tight, there is a pinpoint character to the aromatics, the palate is very textured, and layered, a sizeable black block here, a bit looser knit than usual, earthy notes on the finish, and the tannins are very ripe, long and fine. 93-96/100
  • 95p
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Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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