From 375ml. I was trying to catch this before the "big sleep" but it appears I was too late. Initially splash decanted and after 2hrs, this was giving up nothing so recorked for the following 48hrs. It helped integrate the oak but this seems shut down pretty hard as it was never very expressive. Concentrated, polished palate, that is quite tannic going into the finish. Very dark fruit profile, not atypical for St Estephe. This should be forgotten about for 10yrs or so. Has lots of upside. Score is for drinking today.
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(Chateau Lafon-Rochet (St Estèphe)) A very evocative style of fruit here, all forest fruits and dark berries with a bright, violet-tinged perfume. A big fleshy start on the palate, rich and caressing, the wine relaxing in the middle to reveal a formidable seam of tannin coming through towards the finish. This tastes rather more structured and convincing than the Phélan-Ségur and Ormes de Pez, with a lovely peppery spice to the polished, supple fruit character. A very different wine to the primeurs barrel sample I tasted, this is fine and grippy in the finish, a wine showing its youth but with very good potential.
(Chateau Lafon-Rochet St Estèphe) This wine has a vibrant appearance, with a bluish rim. The nose shows a grainy layer of alcohol above the fruit. And the palate follows in the same vein, showing lots of heat and alcohol here too. Underneath it all there is some supple fruit, but the wine has a huge extraction, the squishy fruit slowly disappearing beneath a massive sea of tannins. The soft acidity doesn't help. Not a great showing, but that's not unusual in the commune in this vintage.
(Château Lafon Rochet (St Estèphe)) From a half bottle. A dark hue. The blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, with 1% press wine. Lovely fruit at the top end of ripeness here, with a slightly dried desiccated feel to it. A creamy sweetness, with a touch of icing sugar over red-blue fruit. A beautifully creamy character, which slowly reveals a firm ripe tannic structure, with bright acidity too. The tannins have a really firm feel - more than I recall for this vintage - but the fruit covers this well. And there is an exotic tinge to it all. Fabulous, firm and serious structure leading into some spice in the finish. Lovely. Tasted with Basile at Lafon-Rochet.
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