Château-Lafite-Rothschild Pauillac 2009
The legendary, highly sought after Lafite Rothschild estate can trace its history back to medieval times, the etymological origin deriving from , one of the French words for mound. In 1868 the estate was sold to Baron James de Rothschild and it has remained within the banking family ever since. When Baron Eric de Rothschild took the reins in 1974, he involved himself in the daily running of the estate and began a period of vast improvements leading to the Château going from strength to strength over the last four decades. The vineyard is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot with a vine average of 45 years.
Wine AdvocateThe 2009 Lafite Rothschild is a candidate for "wine of the vintage." Although the 2003 was powerful (12.9% alcohol), the 2009 came in at 13.4% alcohol. It is a blend of 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot. Only 45% of the crop went into the grand vin, which may be the most concentrated Lafite I have ever tasted. There is not a hard edge to be found in this inky/purple-colored wine displaying notes of charcoal, incense, black currants, and licorice. In the mouth, it represents a liqueur of black fruits offered in a remarkably full-bodied, incredibly elegant, lush style. Expansive, savory, staggeringly concentrated, and voluptuous as well as wonderfully precise with a hint of minerality, this sensational wine's technical numbers are off the charts. Is this a replay of the 1959? Although it will be surprisingly approachable in its youth, this is a 50-100-year wine.
International Wine Cellar(a blend of 82.5% cabernet sauvignon, 17% merlot, and 0.5% petit verdot; 13.8% alcohol; 75 IPT; a 43% selection of the total crop) Deep ruby-red. The deep, intense nose is a bit more forward than usual for Lafite, displaying classic, pure aromas of cassis, cedar and graphite. Enters the mouth beautifully pure and fresh, with laser-like precision to its deceptively light blackcurrant, blackberry, cedar and mineral flavors. The exceptionally refined tannins give this wine an utterly seamless quality on the pure, extremely long, mineral-driven finish. Though it will be drinking well sooner than usual, this truly remarkable wine will be enjoyed by your grandchildren as well. Is it lacking just a bit of flesh to reach a perfect score? This may yet turn out to be the wine of the vintage, and is an archetypical expression of the unique characteristics of great Bordeaux cabernet sauvignon.
Wine SpectatorThis is stunning for its ability to take massively endowed fig, currant paste and crushed plum fruit flavors and harness them with ultrasuave freshly roasted espresso, black tea and ganache notes. A seductive style, long and velvety, with the dense core of black fruit and smoldering iron just waiting and waiting. Best from 2020 through 2040.
Wine EnthusiastA powerful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, solid in structure. The wine is rich and concentrated, very textured. Great spice go with just enough fresh acidity, in this big wine.