Bordeaux 2008 (Bordeaux): Tasted at the estate before dinner the opening night of Vinexpo, the wine has gained power and concentration since early April, while increasing a polished elegance, marked by pure, deep notes of cassis and cedar on both the nose and the palate. Certainly the 83% Cabernet Sauvignon is asserting itself over the 13% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Balancing power with grace (12.7 percent alcohol), the wine gave off a bold and somewhat foreboding impression, but with a long, impressively echoing finish. Large-scaled Lafite, which seems headed towards greatness. 93-96
Bordeaux En Primeur 2008; 3/27/2009-4/3/2009 (Bordeaux): 2008 Barrel sample @ Chateau. "All is in control". A pure core of beautifully ripe blueberries, black berries and cassis, picked up on the nose and reinforced in the mid-palate after a soft, round and delicious tip-in. Graphite and leather notes accompany the ripe fruit as great nuances at the finish, which stretches to 50+ seconds. Tannins are smooth, elegant, and well controlled, and still persistent at this stage. Sweet fruit echoes to the end, and remains beautifully balanced. It is not "rich" but it is intensely concentrated and embraces you. Let it sit in the glass 20+ minutes and things really develop - gaining aromatic intensity of cassis, while the body gains weight and power. Concentrated and becoming full-bodied. Beautiful wine at En Primeur. 93-96 points.
83% CS, 13% M, 4% CF. Beautiful tasting room was overrun with all the top Decanter people, laptops deployed. They were in and out fast.
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(Lafite Rothschild) The 2008 Lafite Rothschild had a distinguished nose, and a warm, oven-baked goodness to its nose, just like Mom used to make lol. There was not only cinnamon, but more really cinnamon toast with a granulated sweetness and even a hint of butter. Its deep fruit was laying low in the background, also elegant and reserved like its sibling Duhart, but more omni-present. There were blacker fruit flavors here, with lots of supporting, youthful leather. Its finish was fuller, longer, deeper and stronger than the Duhart, very dry times two with its powerful tannins. Its serious length kept going and going, and Charles commented how ‘great terroirs auto-regulate pH, acid and alcohol’ (95).
(Chateau Lafite-Rothschild Pauillac) In this vintage the blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 13% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Harvest began on October 2nd, finishing October 16th. The wine shown is the final blend, including press wine. There is perfumed, dark, crunchy and slightly mineral fruit on the nose, with a little overlay of honeyed oak. The palate shows a lot of silky structure at the start, and there is good flesh through the middle. Nice substance, with a tangible meaty extract to it. Aromatic and stylish, with a beautiful, warm, open, roasted and accessible character, and yet a spicy density and bags of potential. A seductive wine indeed (more so than Latour), with great harmony of substance.
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