The 1947 Lafite-Rothschild had been re-corked at the property in 2008. It has a wide tawny rim, indicative of its age. The bouquet is divine: blackberry and raspberry, wild hedgerow, hawthorn, hints of meat jus and a subtle, almost marsh-like element. The palate is not as complex or as opulent as the ethereal 1947 Mouton-Rothschild tasted alongside, yet I am impressed by the weight and vigour, which deftly disguise the late-summer heat that afflicted many 1947s with volatile acidity. This is a quintessential Lafite-Rothschild, though if I have one quibble, I could have done without the caramel, toffee-like note towards the finish. As good as the Lafite-Rothschild was, it could not compete with the brilliant “other” Rothschild. Drink 2018-2032
Classic Lafite elegance; lean but vibrant, with cherry, herb and chocolate flavors layered with hints of earth and tobacco.
One peek into Château Lafite's cellar is like entering into the 18th century. Its cobweb-covered chandeliers subtly light shadowy corridors that play host to hundreds of ancient vintages. Nothing could be more representative of its wine making philosophy - classic, stylish and yet powerful - characteristics that have made it one of the most collectible wines in the world. Situated in the north of Pauillac, Château Lafite-Rothschild sits on gravel soils with bits of limestone scattered in the mix. It is one of the largest estates in the Medoc and one of the most prominent, the wines exude elegance and finesse. The vineyard is laid out to mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) with the rest comprising Merlot (25%) Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%). The second wine, Carruades de Lafite, has a slightly more Merlot than the Grand Vin and is thus more approachable in its youth.
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac's renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac's wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.