This wine always seems a bit thin and metallic for a while before it gains momentum. Then it develops more roundness as it airs, with notes of leather and dark plum and spices which make it very pleasurable.
2 bottles decanted for 2 hours together for Mother's Day dinner (main and cheese course). By cheese course the best part of four hours had elapsed and this wine's fruit really blossomed out of the tarry dense - but fine - construct of earlier notes. Easily earned the extra point(s) and will certainly decant remaining bottles for a full 3+ hours. For drinking over the next couple of years.
This wine demands food: something fatty, like cheese or beef. Otherwise it is rather thin and uninspiring. Great balance, leather, spice, a bit of barnyard, restrained but nice rich dark stone fruit on the nose.
Drak after a 90 minute decant.....medium crimson with a lighter edge. A little green pepper on the nose and palate. Decent finish. Has years left to drink. Half guessed Bordeaux. The other half guessed US blend.
Opened and left for 2 hours in decanter, dark colour and very little bricking at the edge. The nose immediately jumps out and says keep swirling and it just keeps on giving as the wine slowly warmed up. On the palate the classic St Estephe fruit really gets to grip in the mouth, lots of dark fruit almost like fruit juice, sweet and very enjoyable, very very happy with this buy as we picked up a case very cheap at auction. I suspect this will have at least another 20 years life ahead of it and will keep getting better. Enjoy
Robe violette opaque profonde sans brunissement. Cette bouteille est très bien conservée apparaissant plus jeune que l'âge. Nez réticent, seulement un peu vieux bois. En bouche, fruits noirs bien équilibré, riche et luxuriante. Un mélange agréable de tabac, de réglisse et de sous-bois.
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning" or in the case of this particular bottle charred oak in the evening. 2 hour decant - and much as earlier notes but with a distinctly pronounced tarry oak character. A bit love or hate and I'm on the love side. Holding up well.
As before. This is dark crimson with some bricking. A lively nose of menthol, meat and still some classic medoc red fruit. Soft entry, juicy fruit, elegant but firm acidity, dusty tannin and a long tapenade finish. This was clearly a brute in its youth and although it has mellowed wonderfully it has plenty left in the tank for another decade. I have had many tough, young and tense clarets that I hoped would end up like this. Effortless drinking. 94
Mature, restrained, dignified, like your favorite elderly uncle who is just starting to lose a step. Twenty years in, still a deep purple in the glass, tannins (very gentle) in evidence, just enough to make the wine stand up. Overall a soft, quiet wine. Decanted briefly (15 minutes) in the glass.
Dark garnet red with a ruby red rim. And surprisingly for an almost twenty year old, no bricking. Full bodied, dense with a good amount of extract. Still lively with dark fruits and some savory herbal notes which went great with a grilled baby lamb rack. It is supple in mid-palate but with enough dust at the end to rid your buds of that lamb fat. This was a great match.
Excellent. L'un des meilleurs saint-estèphe... et très caractéristique. Gras, corsé, épicé, soyeux, long, présent, ample, bonnes acidité et mâche, tannins encore très présents, non complètement fondus, a beaucoup de temps devant lui... Mûre, graphite, clou de girofle, réglisse, cuir, plumes, sarments de vigne, un peu de moka. Beaucoup de finesse et d'élégance... 92-93
Dark purple/ruby color although starting to show its age with a brickish hue starting to form. Medium-full bodied with slightly opacity, full forward blackberry fruit with tones of cassis, earth and hints of tobacco, low acidity and a somewhat subdued finish. This was starting to show its age probably indicating the end of its prime drinking window. Drink up over the coming three to five years before it begins to diminish.
Opened this almost 3 hours before serving. Upon opening, an abundance of floral notes filled the room. This blew off fairly quickly and the nose was pretty limited upon drinking. Drank side by side with a 2003 Lafon Roche provided by friends Rick and Linda and a 2003 Quintessa. The '95 was a medium, garnet color compared to the deeper, darker red of the '03... no real surprise. Also no surprise was the '95's predominance of earth, moss, cedar and minerality on the palate compared to the more fruit forward profile of the '03. What was most interesting was the convergence in flavor profile as the evening went on. The '03 became more earthy and representative of its St. Estephe roots. It became quite apparent that these two were from common ground even though the winemaking style might have changed. A fascinating an educational experience.
Decanted for 1 hour and tried blind. Initial guessed pointed to 1. Andreas 96 Lynch, Nicoletta late 90s Cos. Open nose, very cabernet sauvignon driven,, secondary but still with good fruit, white pepper, forest floor in a way. On the palate it is still going strong, good weight, none of the 95 issues we so often come across (main reason none of us thought t was a 95) good mid palate fruit and length. Pretty solid effort and very good to drink now. 93
Very deep ruby color - still with a touch of black core. Intensely mineral nose that is surrounded by dark berry fruit. A gutsy and masculine wine that calls out for a savory meat course on a cold evening. There is a warmth to the palate that is a nice buffer for the leafy finish. Solid wine that is drinking well. (90)
There a number of "problems" with having almost too much wine in your cellar. An obvious one is that some wines are drunk long after their prime window. A derivative of this problem is forgetting wines -- wines that provide beautiful experiences but lie outside our normal drinking routine.
For me, this is the situation with Lafon-Rochet. The last bottle I had was 18 months ago. Though the experience was wonderful, I let my remaining bottles sit in my cellar. Tonight's drinking experience was a repeat of the first -- simply wonderful. A well balanced, classical wine with blackberry aromas floating over an earthy, pencil floor. Superb finish. The bottle was empty in the blink of an eye. My vow is to finish the half of the remaining 10 bottles before the new year!
I'd agree with most of what is written below. It's a good wine but I'd leave it for bit. Just for comparison we had this along side a Talbot of the same age and the Whilst i think the LF is the better wine the Talbot seemed better integrated (see comments below).
Definitely an overachiever. Intense nose, ripe plums, minerals, herbs, saddle leather. Medium body, again plums, kirsch, herbs and minerals. Good finish. Tasted eight times over the years with consistent notes (91-92).
90 minute decant. Soft red fruit aromas with cedary background. Flavour of cherry and ripe plum, juicy with a hint of drying tanins/?unintegrated oak in the background the only minor criticism. Medium bodied, with good length. Old fashioned, simple but exemplary English style superior "claret". Moorish, fully mature with perhaps 3 years ahead of it at this level. Wine to enjoy rather than prattle on about!
Good color, no bricking. Light black cherry nose, and that's also what's upfront. It quickly transitions to a brighter cherry, which lasts into the finish. The moderate tannins show up on that transition as well. The actual finish is light but sustained. Over all, very nice, but on the light side.
Another delicious Bordeaux wine that was getting close to its maturity but still not quite there yet; rather muted upon opening so allowed to breathe for about 30 min in the open bottle first; then wow! rich and smoky nose full of caramel, Fuji apples, ripe cherries, lavenders, and cedar wood; on the palate, full-bodied, creamy, fruity, smooth, spicy, succulent, and well-structured; the long lingering finish was still a bit tannic and tight but loaded with dark fruits and mixed spices which went on and on for quite some time; a sophisticated yet enjoyable wine to drink over a few hours; 91-92 points for now; still some more aging potential left before hitting its peak I supposed; well, give it at least 2-3 more years and time will tell.
A Very Casual BYOB Evening: Decanted for barely an hour before we gave in and started nursing this, the wine immediately evoked St. Estephe in appearance, aroma and taste. This is an elegant Bordeaux that seems very much ready to be enjoyed. The merlot component was very evident from the get-go. Cedar dominated on the nose. The texture on the palate was memorably rich and structured, with sweet tannins and spice. I did not note much evolution through the evening, though that may be best explained by the amount of other wines we sampled...
From 75cl, perfect cork. Double decanted and served after 30 minutes. Very ripe and full for a St. Estephe. Lovely (merlot dominated?) cedar-leather-fresh tobacco scent; some very focussed ripe blackcurrant fruit leading a wallop of glycerine on the entry, reminiscent of the chewy cassis-glycerine chewy pastilles I was once given for a sore throat as a child. I'd never have guessed this as the neighbour of Cos (probably I'd have placed it as a solid St. Julien, perhaps Duluc-Ducru, from a warm vintage). Beautifully mature now, serveral years in hand. 90(-91)P
I've heard the 95's are maturing quickly and this was definitely the case with this wine. Nicely balanced, subtle wine. Garnet color with tinge of brown on the edges. Bouquet of mature Bordeaux -- cigar box, leather. Very dry and light mouth feel. Vanilla, fig, and old candy in the taste. But in the end I was expecting more.
The '95 lafon rochet showed well here after a 1 hr decant. Fading but adequate dark sweet fruit, w nice secondaries of leather and tobacco. This showed better than the '97 dunn Howell mtn along side it, which had wonderful classic dunn mtn structure, but frankly was dilute and a little disappointing - I would expect more concentration from dunn.
Elegant and Classic Bordeaux, not yet at peak but very approachable now. Fine nose, juicy herbal palate, little drying / dusty at the end. Short decant recommended. Perfect food wine, will wait 3+years for drinking only. Smart buy!
Nice elements of earth and old leather on the nose with a touch of pencil shavings. Everything is well integrated, making for a very enjoyable wine that's in it's prime drinking window right now. Very nice.
Floral nose....a bit reminiscent of the other St., Emilion. More lush mouthfeel than previous bottles. Slightly vegetal aftertaste. Fourth of six bottles originally purchased, and the best yet. Have found most '95s drunk the last several years to be disappointing; are they beginning to show more positively? Quality of this vintage still uncertain, and possibly overestimated, in my view....hope to be proven wrong.
Medium purple color(by candlelight but pretty), dark berry fruits prominent with toasty oak on nose. An almost perfect example of a structured, mature St. Estephe. Rich fruit shows through the typical hard backbone that is charactertic of this commune. Current vintages are reported to have a greater percentage of Merlot and frankly I haven't tasted newer releases, but I have to believe the old style grip still dominates. This property may not produce a hedonistic, fleshy style but it ages well and if the '95 is any indication of future vintages, then stack a few bottles away and write rib-eye on the side of the case.
Very dark red, shows better with air, red fruit and floral nose, some leather and scorched earth lead to a bright red cherry finish, on the dry side, racy, somewhat backwards for me, lamb wine, rustic and raw
The fill was into the neck and the cork was pristine; popped, poured and consumed over the course of 1.5 hours. A deep ruby red core with a touch of garnet at the rim. Notes of dried dark fruits, with hints of roasted herbs, cedar and earth. Medium bodied, surpsingly elegant for a '95 St. Estephe, with a nicely focused finish. A solid wine that is meant to be enjoyed with a meal at the table.
Top notch. Try pairing it with a roast of lamb, and you'll be amazed! Classic Bordeaux style French beautie. Glad I have more in the cellar! Let it breathe for 2 hours, and man, it opened up beautifully.
Vers nice and very classic Bordeaux. This bottle was in very good shape. No signs of seepage or anything on the cork. After a few minutes in the glass it stars to show classic notes of cedar and cigar box. Very nice maturity - still some freshness and fruit, and very elegant.
What a lovely treat. Bought as futures, and cellared properly. A mature left bank w good structure, (barely) enough fruit, and some secondary characteristics. Enjoyable drink, however was overpowered a little by grilled steak, as this wine is in a softened, elegant state. Definitely needs a decant prior to drinking. 12.5% etoh.
Dinner with Basile Tesseron at Gauthier Soho/BWI. Served from a magnum bottle, as in the 2001 vintage has a large amount of Merlot, around 57%. Its nose was a powdered combination of cassis and graphite with crushed cardamom which transformed in to roses petals in the petals - again not St Estephe but more Pomerol like.
I was a little disappointed in this wine. Very good, but I was expecting more. Seemed somewhat closed and dumb at first. Nice structure and balance, but not ultra-exciting. Developed some herbal characteristics as it aired out in the glass, and became somewhat more interesting. Short finish.
Interesting nose of dark cherries, dark briary fruits, minty feel with light liquorice notes, some herbs and pencil lead aromas. Palate- med bodied with good weight, med acidity level with firm dry tannins. Not as dramatic as the nose but presenting with blackcurrant fruits and a leafy touch with pepper that is not wholy complex.
Drank over two nights. Very dark ruby, with signs of bricking on rim. Great intensity on the nose with lots of graphite with an interesting balsam musk in the background. Good fruit on the initial palate. Harmonious tannins on the midpalate intermix with graphite and cedar. Not much complexity. For all the concentration on the nose, the backpalate is very empty, no real finish or lingering fruit. Didn't seem to show better with or without food. The nose made promises that the body couldn't keep. Very much a "meh" bottle. (85-87)
I don't know what prompted me to buy a case of Lafon Rochet and when and where I bought it. That's definitely not the way to buy wine and let it sit in your cellar for over a decade. The auction value of the wine today is around $44, so says wine-bid but I hope I paid something far less than that.
Anyway, this bottle was delightful. Day after recollections include blackcherry notes rooted in earth tones. A soft and full finish without any tannins. Needs decanting.
The fill was into the neck; popped and poured. An outgoing bouquet, with notes of ripe dark fruits, leather, tree bark and earth. Medium-bodied, with a classic structure, good fruit, and nice focus. Is drinking well at present.
Fills were into the neck, sound corks; popped and poured. Ruby-garnet core, with no browning at the rim. Aromas of weedy black currants, mineral, and leather. Medium bodied, lacking a bit in mouthfeel and flavor -- a bit too much structure for its own good. Good focus on the finish, but this is a somewhat austere wine.
Fill was into the neck; the cork was sound. A ruby-red core with a touch of garnet at the rim. Notes of black fruits with a hint of herbs, leather and tree bark. Medium-bodied, with a classic structure, good acidity and high-toned fruit. Seems fully mature.
Good colour, consistent and deep. Plenty of fruit, nicely integrated and smooth. Some mineral/slate tones and an interesting mid-palate. Medium bodied as expected. Rather short finish - or at least nothing notable, which ultimately perhaps limit the potential and class.
Colour: deep red, purple hints. Nose: Strong blackcurrant, spicy, menthol, aniseed, pencil lead hints Taste: Sweet start with black fruit coming through, cigar box hints, medium to full bodied, finish trails off moderately quickly, medium tannins. Conclusion: nice wine, drinking now, perhaps lacking in complexity to give it a score in the 90's.
Interesting. Opened and double decanted 4 hours before serving. First whiff and taste was blank – I mean there was nothing there. After focusing on the Montrose and the food, Carl mentioned that I should go back to this one. He was right – things were now in place. Solid, medium bodied and slightly rustic Saint Estephe. Well integrated palate and fresh finish suggest that the drinking window will remain open for the next 10 years…just give it a good decanting if you drink it soon. (90+?)
garnet red. interesting evolution here. wine started out with a fantastic nose but was strangely dilute on the palate. It tasted nearly absent of anything, but somehow the wine opened up to a textbook display of St Estephe typicity. The wine stayed light on its feet and never got beyond medium bodied, but was delicious and well balanced, The tannins and acid seemed fresh and suggest this wine will be OK to drink for some time. The finsih was a bit short but otherwise good.
Popped and poured and that was not a wise thing to do. The wine was less open and complex than the previous bottle I tasted. The tannin a bit edgy. I did not have the opportunity to retaste it later that evening. Keeping this wine for another year or two will probably do it good.
Beautiful nose with sweet oak and a big luxurious dose of chocolate with blackcurrant and tobacco behind. Chocolate carries through to the palate with brambles (the berries and the twigs), great attack and mid-palate, finish ok but would've liked it a bit longer. Still has quite a bit of tannin and fairly high acid. This should continue to drink well for a long time and may even improve with some more age. Really good stuff.
This is drinking very well now as the fruit is quite open and the tannins are resolved. A dark fruit profile with low acidity, and ample, but very smooth, tannins on a medium plus bodied frame, with almost no funk or earthiness. Nice complexity and depth that comes with bottle age. A lovely Bordeaux.
Textbook and rustic Bordeaux. Little barnyard. Quite mature. There is good acidity and bitterness. The tannin is still firm, but it seems to be quite mature as well. The wine will probably stay on this level for some years, but I wonder if it will improve. At the moment it is a tempting and fairly complex wine with a good bite.
best bottle so far of the case i bought as futures. i've always thought this wine didn't have enough fruit, but this bottle does. i decanted about an hour before drinking - i suspect that helped. definitely isn't overflowing w/ fruit, but enought to make a nice mature bordeaux. drink over the next few years.
Slightly lifted nose with mid-intense fruit, bell pepper, graphite and integrated oak. Medium bodied and slightly drying on the palate and moderate acidity. Some herbaceous lift, bell pepper, gravel and slight mocha towards the finish. Drinking nicely now. Pretty good stuff.
Lightly mature garnet with a hint of ruby. Classic Saint Estephe nose – unmistakable really. Dusty, stone laden cassis nose. This is not elegant Bordeaux and, in fact, has a bit of a wild, raw nature that is satisfying on this cold evening. The rugged nature follows through on the palate which initiates with a cool fruit balance to the rawness that, unfortunately quickly fades to the background leaving a somewhat bitter wine on the mid-palate and finish. Maybe this mellows with more bottle age, but I would think the fruit would be totally gone by that point. Not in love with this so I will let the remaining bottles sit for a few year and then try again. TampaDan is spot on. (84)
This was my fourth bottle of this wine with two left - we had with steak - at first wine seemed thin and closed in but after an hour it really came out and was more full bodied and had wonderful flavors.
Tons of vanilla on nose and entry. Some funk on the nose but palate remains mostly oak and sweet tannin. Fruit is there but not dramatic. Some mineral on the finish, saving it from being insipidly modern. Easy drinking but not especially noteworthy.
My first exposure to this wine. Smooth silky and well balances. Exhibited wonderful fruit and chocolate flavors in the mouth with a decent finish. I had it with a seared whitefish, and it was wonderful. For the money, a great bordeaux.
Decent but that's it; very austere even for St.-Estephe, with lots of wet forest floor and almost a chalky minerality, but without much fruit ever making an appearance. Is '95 a better Right Bank year? I had a Vieux-Chateau-Certan recently that was truly excellent, far superior in primary aromas and flavors, as well as in overall complexity, to this bottling.
Wine 4 What a gorgeous nose this wine is developing! Earthy, chocolatey and full of black fruits, it is amazing how well this wine is drinking after a tough, austere, youth. In the mouth this has developed a mid palate. Medium to full bodied and still showing some tannic strength, this wine offers more pleasure in the nose, but is well balanced. I am glad I still have many from my original case.
This could be the best of my 95 Lafons yet. The bottle was stood up for about a week. Dark red, almost purple, very opaque. Terrific tobacco and herbs on the nose with a mean deep fruity streak. This has gained fat in the mouth- the acidity isn't holding back the fruit at all while it holds the wine together. Tannins are silky and nearly resolved. I get the sense that this is peaking right now.
Drank as part of a Christmas Eve dinner with rack of lamb. The bottle was poured from a magnum of Lafon Rochet. Everyone was very pleased and impressed with the wine. Dark purple color, clear. Noticed some wine diamonds (tartaric acid) on the cork (which was also in excellent condition). Although a full-bodied wine, it was not overly tannic and seemed to have smoothed out over the years. The dark fruits, oak taste, and tannins seemed to be in good harmony with a finish that lasted about 20 seconds. It stood up strong to the rack of lamb with heavy rosemary seasoning just fine. Wish I only had more!
Vibrant plummy purple color, just a little bricking. Cedar, cocoa, and dusty tobacco on the nose. Palate shows sour cherries, bell peppers and a little cinnamon. Tannins are prominent, but not overdone. Midpalate is pretty hollow, and finish is a little weak. Overall, a nice wine, but not outstanding.
No peeking at my previous notes. Ruby red with some bricking. At first the nose was very promising- a little sweet, plummy, some tobacco- mature bordeaux. The body trailed off a bit and I hoped to get more out of this as the night wore on. Instead the nose dies and the palate died- soft, lacking any strong fruit or texture. At first there was a 92 point nose and an 88 point palate, at the end it was an 88 pt nose and an 84 point palate.
Full bodied, with cassis, leather, tobacco and a pronounced olive note that veered into green pepper. There is good layering of the crushed rock, fruit and tobacco and the texture is rich. Firm tannins on the finish. I would drink up now.
Took to BYOB restaurant La Leche with Chuck & Paty. Had a warm marinated fish tostada that was extraordinary. Also had a loin of lamb with a blak pepper sauce over a sugar beet puree and steamed vegetables.
HALLELUJA!!! An approachable 1995 Bordeaux!!! Very dark ruby. This wine hasn't lost any color in 11 years. In the nose it is smoky, chocolatey with a very decent black fruit under pinning. Medium to full bodied, very pleasant with the tannin completely subdued and a fruity, albeit short finish. I would have liked more concetration and aromatic intensity, but I am glad it finally opened up. Great food wine.
Not really packed with fruit but better than the two previous bottles I had of it. Approachable but still a bit inky it had a leathery, black fruits character to it. I think this will turn into a food wine as it matures, credible but not exactly a hedonistic joy to drink.
Lovely nose. Decanted an hour before meal. Served with Rack of lamb. Very nice wine. Not as mature as expected for an 11 years old wine. But doesn't seem to have much potential to improve. Very nice witout being outstanding.
Youthful purple color. Some bottle funk initially that blew off after an hour or so, then cigar box, some cedar and forest floor notes. The fruit was definitely secondary and was ripe, almost roasted plum. The tannins were very soft in this bottle. Good, but not more than that.
Drank this marvellous cedary, blackcurrant wine with a bottle of Crozes Raymond Roure 1997 and was very impressed with length and depth . However it was not superior to the Roure even though the market price is much higher. Worth topping up if you can find any bottles under £200 per case.
1995 / 19956 Bordeaux Offline (Alba, London): Either 1995 or 1996 LR. Lafon Rochet but not reveales as to 95 or 96. Similar nose to secong wine. Quite a ripe , rich nose. Slightly chocolately, then prunes. Rich, sweet fruit on entry, then suddentanic grip. Quite long. Now sweet vanilla on nose. Guess 1995.
Quiet nose, soft fruits at first but seemed to put on some body with time. Finally blossomed into a lovely cedar soft tannins, black fruits and cinnamon palate. Finish was moderately long and mostly currants and slightly floral. Tannins are soft and there's enough acid to make for a very nice match with grilled leg of lamb.
Decanted about 4 hours. Deep dark, not quite purple. Nose of minerals, flint, and a little barnyard with a definite floral side. This is all about structure in the mouth- tannin with a little bite, and quite acidic with fruit in the background. There isn't any sweetness on the palate, and while it lingers in the mouth, it's not a great linger to have. My instinct says this wine is too hard for its fruit. I'll drink the rest in the next couple of years, although I'm likely to leave one for 5-10 years just to see what happens.
Grossie and I recently split a 10-bottle lot on auction for around $45/each. I was having some leftover grilled leg of lamb, so I decided to benchmark one last week. Didn’t decant, just popped and poured. At first, I was alarmed by its softness, but it added muscle with air. Great black currant nose - and whiff of snickers bars. More fruit than I was anticipating, but lacking energy on the finish. Just a little underdeveloped and weak on the back end. Hard to say how much longer to hold. I don’t think more than 5 years.
My first bottle of this in 2004 was an ugly monster - closed except for dry tannins and dusty red fruit with little charm - real old style Lafon. A second bottle was better, more rounded showing some decent raspberry fruit but this still has a bit of a lean and rather dry quality to it. Needs watching, either it will open up nicely over the next 5 years or it will turn into a dry bones sort of wine. The jury is still out on this one...
Dark ruby/black colour. Aromas of cedar, blackcurrant, spice box, minerals, violets, blueberry. Medium-full bodied, with black plums, green pepper, black pepper. Moderate finish, 30s, with green pepper and mineral notes.
THis bottle showed more evolution, this is ready to drink. Classic St. Estephe nose showing earth, clay, cedarwood, mineral.Actually soft on the palate, with some leather, blackcurrents, pretty satisfying and round for this wine. This is better to just pour and drink, rather then let it breathe, with aeration the wine started to get a bit sharp on the palate.
Showed some amber at the rim. Impressive nose of tobacco, cedar, and pencil lead. Medium body with dark fruits and noticable acidity on the attack. Green pepper/vegetal streak running right down the middle -- becoming more harsh as the wine sat in the glass. Well integrated tannins; probably should drink up before the fruit fades.