2006 4ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe Château Lafon-Rochet

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Estèphe
Classification 4ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

Basile Tesseron, the new generation who joined the property this year, told us that in 2006 the flowering had been perfect, and that at 'véraison' (the mid-point of the grapes turning colour) on the 15th of July, the 'IPT' (Indexe de Polyphénols et Tanins) was higher than in 2005. July remained hot but rainy, but August was cold and miserable. They cut half the crop - which would otherwise have been too huge to ripen - in July, and this allowed the rest to get to maturity. Not the deepest of colours, and definitely in a taut and focused Saint Estèphe Cabernet style, this is a combination of sweet fresh juicy expression in a very dry structure, more in tight concentration of flavour than weighty expansiveness. Slight leafiness in the middle, but its all there. Tasted a second time away from the property it actually showed even better, with fuller, more velvety texture, so the mark is a bit of a compromise between the two tastings. Rating: 90-90 L&S (Apr 2007)

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Medium-deep red-ruby. Aromatic nose combines black fruits, coffee, black olive, pepper and menthol. Then almost surprisingly sweet and suave in the mouth (the blend features 50% merlot), with very good brightness and definition to the dark fruit, licorice and fresh herb flavors. The tannins are a bit dominating today, but this finishes with good cut and energy. Rating: 88-90 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar(May 2008)

Well I'd rather have this than Pagodes de Cos at the same price, but its still more of a reduction on the 2005 than a re-basing to somewhere near the 2004 price.- post price-release comment(May 2007)

Red-ruby. Currant, licorice, smoky oak and a whiff of meat on the nose. At once smooth and vinous, with a slightly leafy character to the currant, mineral and graphite flavors. Nicely lush wine with well-buffered, building tannins and good length. Rating: 89-89 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar(May 2007)

A bit lean, but some clean berry and currant character. Medium body. Delicate finish. Rating: 85-88 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator(May 2007)

Rating: 89-90 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2007)

A sweet, Merlot-scented nose with touches of blueberry, redcurrants and Morello cherry. Just lacks a little lift. The palate is sweet and feminine with cherry and raspberry, rather tart in fact with good acidity, though lacking a little weight on the mid-palate. I think barrel-ageing will fleshy this out and add some stuffing, but early indications are that this is a pleasant, lighter styled Lafon Rochet for medium-term drinking. Rating: 87-89 Neal Martin, 2007)

Intense colour, lots of concentrated black fruits and quite lush over the massive yet ripe tannins, very much in the Lafon-Rochet big style, yet has elegant and freshness as well, good long term. 2014-30. Rating: **** 2007)

Dark crimson. Some rich chocolatey notes on top. Round and easy - even slightly floral - very user-friendly even if not as concentrated as the average Saint-Estèphe 2006 perhaps should be. Clean if slightly light on the finish. 2015-23 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2007)

Château Lafon-Rochet

Saint Estèphe Quatrième cru 1855 A somewhat complicated history eventually placed the Rochet vineyard - so named due to its rocky soil - into the hands of the Lafon family in the early years of the 17th Century. The family owned the estate until 1895. It passed through several hands until Guy Tesseron, who's family had prospered in the Cognac business, bought the, now run-down, estate in the 1960's. Guy completely renovated Lafon-Rochet, even to the extent of demolishing all of the delapidated buildings and rebuilding a grand 18th Century style chateau, which was painted yellow to match the labels. Thus Lafon-Rochet are almost unique among Haut-Médoc châteaux in being built in the 20th Century. In the 1960's Château Lafon-Rochet's vineyards consisted of just 15ha of Merlot. Today, there are 41ha under vine, and at a more Médoc-like 54% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Grand Vin spends up to 20 months in wood (50% ish new). Sitting inland from Cos d'Estournel, facing across the Jalle de Brieul at Duhart Milon and Lafite, Lafon-Rochet has some very noble neighbours. The Tesseron family also own Château Pontet-Canet.

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