Our favourite First Growth of the vintage, the 2008 Lafite displays a deep, rich colour and an expansive, refined palate. Ample with lots of fruit yet with characteristic earthy undertones. A noble wine with notable structure and lots of freshness. And oh so Lafite.
A candidate for the -wine of the vintage,- the 2008 should have been purchased before it began to soar in value because of the significance of the number 8 in the Chinese culture (denoting good luck). Representing 40% of the production, this blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc offers aromas of high quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, earth, cedar and asphalt. Full, rich and stunningly concentrated, I doubt it is inferior to the 2010, just more classic as well as slightly more forward and a degree weaker in alcoholic potency (12.5% versus 13.5%). The 2008 should be relatively drinkable in 6-10 years as it is already showing remarkable complexity and breed, and will last for 30-35 years...at the minimum. Drink: 2017 - 2052
The 2008 Lafite Rothschild is one of the most profound young wines I have ever tasted. This blend boasts an opaque ruby/purple color as well as an extraordinary, blockbuster aromatic profile of lead pencil shavings, forest floor, black fruits, licorice, and a hint of unsmoked, high-class cigar tobacco. In the mouth, a massive richness is accompanied by a freshness, delineation, nuance, delicacy, and mind-boggling density. I am still astonished when tasting such a prodigious wine as this. Full, inky, and rich with creme de cassis and spice box characteristics as well as a length that I stopped measuring after a minute, the wine reveals a sweetness to the tannin and an opulence to the fruit that suggests a hot, sunny vintage. This is a great, great wine. This wine should evolve for 30-40 years and last 50 or more. As I have indicated before, Lafite's second wine is now one of Bordeaux's finest second wines, and is made very much in the Lafite style.
Subtle purplish crimson. Sumptuous nose - almost Mouton-like (whereas Mouton seems to be making a more Lafite-like wine in 2008). Richer and riper than some earlier vintages of Lafite with even a hint of sweetness. Medium tannins and a dry finish but not the ballerina-like lift that I associate with Lafite. Not much lift or real aromatic interest - but perhaps we were too hurried through the tasting room to appreciate its finer points? Both Julia and Steven Spurrier tasting alongside me were more enthusiastic.
This has a very intriguing nose. Already shows complex aromas of currant and crushed berries, with hints of dried flowers. Full-bodied and very chewy, with intense tannins, but polished and velvety. Long and pretty. The finish stays with you a long time.
One peek into Château Lafite's cellar is like entering into the 18th century. Its cobweb-coveredchandeliers 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.
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.