Intriguing wine. In terms of the nose, flavours (mint, cedar, spice, caramel), finesse and complexity it scores 98 or 99. However, as others have noted, this is not a particularly powerful or well structured wine. I can't see it getting better than today but still suspect it will drink well for at least five and probably ten years. It reflects the many other 1999s from Bordeaux I have drank; I think this is a nice, charming vintage but overall on the light side and one that is for drinking rather than keeping.
FYI, I brought this with me and we drank it at the Alyn Williams restaurant at the Westbury in London. Normally they charge £50 corkage fee (typical for top London restaurants) but if you buy another bottle from the wine list this corkage fee is waived, which is commendable and worth noting for people like me who like to bring their own wine. The food, from the tasting menu, was outstanding and a great companion to the Lafite and the other wines we consumed that evening.
From a half-bottle - decanted one hour before drinking and consumed over the next 2 hours. Nice dark rubis/fire-red colour with a dark core. On the nose, an open and generous bouquet of cedar, tobacco, liquorice, but also fellenberg plums and black currants. A little later, I noticed a faint touch of coffee. On the palate, the attack is frank and fruity with an immediate fruity line of red currants, leading to a length composed of the secondary aromas noticed on the nose. Good length, though I suspect that it is shorter than the Haut-Brion 2001 tasted a few weeks ago, though it is somewhat finer on the palate. Has the same ethereal side I noticed in the Carruades de Lafite 1990 drunk so long ago. Less powerful than the Leoville Poyferré 2000. I’d give a slight plus to the Lafite for complexity on the nose, though the Haut-Brion 2001 was more powerful (and from a better vintage) and had a slightly better balance in the mouth. This is a good time to drink it from a half-bottle if you like wines balancing slightly dominant secondary aromas with primary aromas. Sandalwood notes.
Demie-bouteille - décanté une heure à l’avance. Belle robe rubis sombre, mais n’ayant aucune influence de pourpre - que rubis - rouge feu. Au nez, c’est ouvert avec un beau bouquet avec des arômes comme le cèdre, le tabac blond, la réglisse, mais aussi les prunes fellenberg et une touche de cassis. Plus tard, je remarque une pointe de café. En bouche, l’attaque est franche et fruitée, avec une intensité de fruit en tout début de bouche (groseilles rouges). Celle-ci donne gentillement place dans la longueur aux arômes secondaires. Bonne longueur, mais je soupçonne un petit peu plus court que le Haut-Brion 2001, si ce n’est plus fin. Un petit côté “ethereal” que j’avais perçu dans le Carruades de Lafite 1990, il y a de ça, très longtemps. Nez magique! Très belle tenue en bouche, si ce n’est que j’aurais pu l’attendre plus longtemps. Plus complexe que le Haut-Brion 2001 et des intensités aromatiques plus marquée mais un peu plus court et en bouche, n'a pas le même équilibre et la puissance du HB2001. Moins puissant que le Léoville Poyferré 2000. Je donnerais un petit plus au Lafite comparé au HB au nez et il est aussi plus mûr à ce stade. Beau vin, prêt à boire si l’on aime la combinaison d’une dominante d’arômes secondaires avec un peu de primaire dans une demie-bouteille. Sandalwood.
I would have not expected such a beautiful wine from the 99 vintage. Drinking beautifully with lots of graphite, pencil lead, cedar, perfectly picked vibrant semi sweet red fruit and a long, crisp, fresh and throbbing finish. I would happily drink 5 of these instead of one 82' any day! A must try..
Still quite structured out of magnum but with 2 hours of decanting, it showed very well. Very balanced and elegant with a solid middle palate and gorgeous flavors of ripe cassis and graphite. The finish is finely complex with mineral and dark spice notes. This is really refined claret in mid-age that could still have further upside. 94+
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(Lafite-Rothschild) was more nutty with nice coffee, caramel and toast aromas. The wine was very Caliesque again. WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH MY BORDEAUX??? That's all I am going to say on the matter. The wine was still very good but lacked oomph and verve (
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