Fully mature, it’s easy to find the scents of tobacco, cedar chest, red berries and earth in the nose. Medium bodied without much depth or complexity, the wine ends with light, cranberry and cassis with some tartness in the finish. This is an incredibly weak wine when you consider the wine and the vintage.
Yes, yes, the wine is lovely in its way. But one tires of Lafite.
After all, what is ever said of this claret's famous bouquet that reaches beyond cliché and convention? What of its savor that sounds like anything more than a romantic poem written by a dilettante who left off reading after sonnet eighteen? Indeed, there is a certain banality to this wine and to the mystique that surrounds it which really has become rather a bore.
Is it a tolerable pairing for filet mignon poached in milk and veal demiglace? Certainly. But given its pedigree one would perhaps expect more.
Further, I should like to express my disagreement with the drinking window presented in this forum. I have always felt that Chateau Lafite is a wine that shows best after a minimum of one hundred years' cellaring (see my note on the 1784 vintage), and can think of no reason why the sixty-one should be an exception. Its relative youth, in fact, probably accounts for some measure of the above mentioned banality.
Probably I shall not drink this wine again soon, though ample supply remains of what began as a hogshead. I shall save it for occasions when I am desirous of a vertical tasting, and in the meantime will concern myself with lesser known crus, the occasional disappointments of which are as the thorns that protect a delicate rose from the vulgar hands of the covetous masses.
From magnum. Pure class. Quite vigorous for a 50-year-old bottle. Leather, cassis, fully balanced, silky tannins. Fruit still there but the enjoyment is in drinking a perfectly made wine that doesn't have to coat your tongue in fruit and tannin to be memorable.
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(Lafite-Rothschild) served out of two half-bottles. The 1961 has never lived up to the status of the vintage overall, so I did not think that having half-bottles here mattered that much, and besides, it was also an interesting experience. The 1961 had nice carob, nut, pencil and cedar. There was a touch of metal there and some awkward flavors that blew off. It was obviously not a great wine but still good, smooth and easy with light traces of caramel. It was good, enjoyable but unexciting
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