2010 Lafite Rothschild – Produced from a blend of 87.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12.8% Merlot, (which is close to what the estate used in 2005,) the wine opened with cedar, earth, minerality, cassis and forest floor aromatics. In the mouth, the wine is suave, polished and fresh, with layers of pure blackberry and spicy cassis. This is pure refined elegance. While not the most powerful First Growth, it’s the most regal in bearing. According to the Director, Charles Chevalier, part of the reason for the success in 2010 was due to less pumping over than usual. Chevalier added, with the high 13.5% alcohol level, his team spent more time watching over each individual vat during fermentation. 97-99 Pts
Lifted, perfumed dark berried fruits with a nice herbal and licquorice complexity; sikily textured palate, this dances around the mouth beautifully. Very fresh and cool with lovely nuances of flavour on the finish. Very fine tannins. Excellent. 96-99
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(Chateau Lafite-Rothschild (Pauillac)) This is 87.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested between October 4th and October 13th, and 12.8% Merlot, harvested September 24th to October 4th. This represents an increase of a few percent in Cabernet, with a corresponding decrease in Merlot. The alcohol is 13.5%. In the glass this is dark and glossy, showing a concentrated, purple-crimson rim. Like the Duhart-Milon tasted alongside, this is also showing a very reticent character aromatically. It has some rather dark and smoky fruits, but they are difficult to coax out of the glass. Very cool and rather tense at the start, polished with a stony substance to it. A very firm and upright stance, through the middle showing some tingling acidity and spice. Although rather firm it has a nicely reposed and elegant style in the midpalate, the fruit showing a little better here, as the wine is allowed to open up. It has a more refined cherry-skin character, very polished and unforced, but without great flesh or cushioning softness. The tannins are slow to build, being all well tucked in, showing great poise and energy as they emerge, although they only really come into play on the third or fourth taste. They remain well toned, solid, dense and muscular and yet unchallenging. And the savoury, dry fruit elements linger in the finish alongside the tannins which fade far more slowly. An impressive wine, but one that is very tensely wound up, around a very finely focused tannic structure.
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