Four teeny tiny tastes of this, and no detailed notes, but a great privilege. Took a bit of time to get going- initially a muted nose and a relatively angular taste. By the end of the night, a magical wine. Harmonious and detailed nose. Pretty youthful too. Dense, mouth-filling taste with a wonderful sweetness to it. Endless finish since I swear I can still taste it the next day.
Now I think I understand Lafite. You just need to give it half a century to fill out.
I shall refrain from scoring this bottle, as I don't think it was showing very well. Some of the classic Lafite character was there, but the wine showed some signs of oxidation. Texturally this is clearly quite a generous Lafite, and I'd love to encounter a well-stored, correct bottle. But the '53s are quite fragile at this stage and do not respond well to transport or anything but the most careful handling and service.
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(Lafite Rothschild) A 1953 Lafite Rothschild closed the evening in fine fashion. This, being an original bottle, was everything I expected and wanted. At first, it was a bit stinky, and it needed time to blow off some of its initial hay and wet grass. Thick, seepy fruit emerged with some swirling and aeration. The wine was rich and tasty, richer than I expected, and its hay blew into coffee and earth with a pinch of citrus. There was great ‘smack’ to this leathery wine and excellent pop to its finish. Carob, cobwebs and dust were all there as well. The wine was delicious, still vigorous but definitely mature. It remains one of the all-time classic Lafites (96+).
(Lafite Rothschild) We switched gears to old Bordeaux, beginning with a beautiful 1953 Lafite Rothschild. Long considered by many to be the wine of the vintage, the Lafite was classic all the way, although perhaps just starting to gracefully decline and at the end of a 50-year long plateau. The old-timers will say how 1953 was just one of those vintages that was delicious from the beginning and never stopped being so. This bottle had tender aromas of old book and cedar, pencil, nutshell, cobwebs and dry mesquite. The cassis was on the drier side of the coin, a function of its age, and I could see magnums of this making a difference. The wine was still lush, tender, smoky and balanced, soft and charming, quintessentially Lafite and finishing with fine flavors of cedar, earth and tobacco
(Lafite-Rothschild) was unfortunately a bit maderized, but in that 'second stage' way that Roberto Conterno alluded to when we did a vertical with him this past Spring. It was affected but quite tasty, and I still enjoyed its candy corn and caramel-driven personality. However, it was not what it should have been, which is one of the most charming and seductive Lafites ever made, so even though this bottle was in the 93 point territory, it should have been 95-6
(Lafite Rothschild) The first wine had a sweet, cedary nose that had rich and fat fruit and additional aromas of carob, pencil, walnut and light vanilla extract. The wine was smooth, supple and delicious. It lacked that extra weight or dimension but was still excellent,
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