Like all the wines at Lafite this year, the 2006 Carruades is nicely balanced with a chewy core of fruit, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Finishes on subtle notes of toasty oak and spicy earthiness. Produced with equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (48%) and a smattering of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The second wine, which has soared in quality over the last decade, is an outstanding effort displaying a character similar to that of Lafite, without the size, depth, and aging potential of that wine. The 2006 Carruades de Lafite offers up aromas of graphite, cedar, black currants, sweet cherries, and smoky herbs. This complex, more evolved, medium-bodied, silky-textured, sexy offering will provide plenty of pleasure over the next 15+ years. Drink: 2009 - 2024
48% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot. Mid purple with wide rim. Relatively lightweight, strict nose. Pretty brutal but with a slightly marine note. Very dry and pretty dense, dominated by very fine tannins. Some lift though not as much as usual. A bit chunky and strict. Does taste a bit like offcuts though with Lafite grace. Lift and good integrity. Delicate finish. Very clean. Acidity and greenness not at all in evidence.
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.