May 7, 2021 - Slowly opening up. Deep garnet red. Lots of blackberry black currant a bit of cherry and elderberry toped with some roasted notes. Full bodied still grippy but ripe tannins and nice long finish.
April 17, 2021 - Day two with this wine. There was no maderisation overnight (which is a- typical for older wines).
Once again, I can only express my admiration for this wine = totally dense dark plum colour, minimal legging; nose full and compact with dark sweet fruit; palate, dense and brooding, with good longueur. Little complexity in this wine, but it possesses an integrity and honesty that I admire.
The older that I have become (I turn 23 tomorrow), the more I appreciate the latter values over the former.
April 16, 2021 - This is my second encounter with this wine. Its pedigree is humble, and I suspect that some of the scores (please see below) emerge out of a perception of that lowly status.
Au contraire pour moi. This is wine of impressive length and probably needs another 4-5 years, and is typical of the wines of Saint Estephe, which are big (peasant -like, if you will), but for that reason have an chthonic depth.
So. well done Lafon Rochet. And I suspect that most of us will still be here in 4-5 years. Hoffentlich. J' le espere.
April 4, 2021 - This went quick despite its structure. Early maturity. Back fruit and smoke profile but quite linear, with rather prominent tannins still present. Shows more structure than you would like for the fruit present, but may still soften with time. Crowd favorite, but I would expect more from a classified growth in ‘05
March 5, 2021 - Goes in the direction of better Tondonias or 904 from a good year, but not quite as meaty. Very elegant and probably still developing. I think at this point my preference is for one of the Spaniards, but it’s nice to have a variety.
January 9, 2021 - A classic claret, ageing gracefully. The nose doesn’t exactly leap from the glass - it’s restrained, but showing mint and cedar and cassis and those lovely classic notes. Then on the palate you can add cocoa powder and even roasted meats. The acid is refreshing and vigorous - the wine is better with food. At 16 years old it’s showing no sign of bricking and although all the primary flavours and aromas are knitting together nicely, it’s barely getting going in terms of tertiary character, if that’s what you’re after.
December 28, 2020 - Very disappointing for a one off bottle. I see the argument that this should get some more time—tannins were thick and the limited fruit there was full primary. But this was overly austere and shy, to the point of boring. It was elegant (less the tannins) but I have a hard time believing this will turn the corner to special. I’m also not a believer in “dumb” phases for wines—perhaps more out of ignorance than anything else—but if that is a real thing, this wine is there now. I’d hold and pray.
December 26, 2020 - Chunky, waves of black and red fruit with restrained oak in the background. Plenty of power and ripe fruit but still very primary. Great fun now but at least a decade away from the wine it ought to be. Tannin softened a little but still a firm structure there promising a very bright future. 93
December 24, 2020 - Very close to an expectedly wide peak. Fruit forward nose, blackberry and (yes - I smell the whiff of it too!) leather, with earthy undertones really providing a great foundation to carry the flavors past your tongue. The structure has coalesced nicely, so I'm unsure how much better it well get; but if it's in-line to this Chateau's offerings - I will save the last bottle for another several years. It's drinking very nicely now, and will do so for many more years to come. Finish is sharp and tight. Paired with a Christmas Eve feast of beef roast and (gasp!) deep-fried turkey (no, I didn't burn the backyard down!).
October 9, 2020 - Not close to ready. Crazy good but I totally disagree with others even after a 4 hr decant. You’ll enjoy it now but it’s not showing anything that it will in a decade.