June 20th 2016
Ch Lafite Rothschild “the 1st of the Firsts” needs little introduction; always a first growth with extraordinary breeding, the 2015 is a fine example of its discretion and great ageing potential.
It wasn’t necessarily the showiest of wines at the primeur tastings, but in terms of sheer class there are few who can better this great estate. Following the heady days of the Chinese market affecting prices, today Lafite has returned to a level where true wine drinkers can consider it for their cellar. This fine 2015 has all the potential to develop into a very great wine indeed.
Ch Lafite Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé Pauillac 2015
£2,175 per 6 bottles IB
Not the showiest of wines at en primeur time, but my goodness it has class. For purists of classic Bordeaux and great First Growth style this is an absolute no-brainer, I just absolutely loved it. Shining purple colour, it has wonderfully direct red cherry and damson aromas. In the palate this can only be Pauillac with its subtle weighty punch. It has all the components of a great wine; it is layered and textured with tremendous structure, supported by a lovely subtle sweetness. A wine with drive and definition but also subtlety. A true aristocrat. Drink 2024-2040. Goedhuis, Score: 97-98
The 2015 Lafite-Rothschild 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. Neal Martin, Score: 94-96
With much more power and intensity than the second wine, Carruades, and an awful lot more Cabernet in the blend this is a darker, swarthier, more pagan Lafite with stunning purity and lift and remarkably forward fruit. The slender chassis seems to be more upholstered than the alcohol suggests meaning that this wine will evolve very slowly over a very long time. While not a bombastic style, this is a scintillatingly attractive Lafite, with a slightly wild side hinting at more drama to come in time. Matthew Jukes, Score: 18.5++
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. Antonio Galloni, Score: 94-97