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CHÂTEAU LAFITE

2013 1er Cru Classé Pauillac Château Lafite Rothschild

Grapes Cab Sauv, Merlot, Petit Verdot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 1er Cru Classé

98% Cabernet Sauvignon this year. After Duhart Milon Lafite shows, as one might hope, more weight, more richness. A suave dry oak-influenced dark floral and dark cherry and sloe fruit and a firm but densely-packed mid-palate. Graphite and plum. Fine tannins on the finish full of sharp, aromatic black fruit. All very taut and quite long. Rating: 92-93 L&S (Apr 2014)

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(98% cabernet sauvignon and 2% merlot): Medium red-ruby. Very precise, pure, flinty raspberry and coffee aromas are complicated by an intense violet note. Then almost steely in the mouth, with a bright, juicy personality to the flavors of red berries, plum, graphite and minerals. This struck me as quite mouthfilling without being at all heavy. Finishes with building but smooth tannins and a lovely lingering strawberry sweetness. General director Charles Chevalier said "I went looking for fruit this year by harvesting as late as feasible, which of course meant that due to rot we made even less wine than projected, but I think we were able to achieve more fruit in this manner. I may have to decrease the time this wine will spend aging in oak but I don't know yet." When I mentioned to Chevallier that I couldn't remember the last time a vintage of Lafite had so much cabernet sauvignon, he promptly answered: "Few people know, but in 1994 the final blend was an unbelievable 99% cabernet sauvignon and 1% petit verdot; this year we just had to get rid of most of the merlot, because even at 3% or 4% of the total it was obviously only diluting the whole." Rating: 89-92 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(May 2014)

Cassis and bilberry the nose is fresh the start of the palate quite light. There is more depth in the middle black cherry and cassis underpinned by chocolate a touch of liquorice. Sweet at the back the finish has lovely rich flavours. 2020-32 Rating: 92-95 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(May 2014)

Made with 98% Cabernet Sauvignon (only 1994 and 1961 had 100%), for my money this is the best First Growth in 2012. Long, refreshing and smooth, with seamlessly integrated new oak, polished tannins and a mineral, graphite core. 2018-30 Rating: 95 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(May 2014)

98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot. Closed nose. Bold black fruit on the palate, moderate tannins on the mid palate that become pretty strong on the length. This is very classic Pauillac with excellent fruit clarity – but in the context of the price and provenance, it’s clear that 2013 is a levelling vintage. 2018-2028 Rating: 17+ Richard Hemming MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2014)

(98 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 Merlot) Exceptional depth of flavour for a wine that it medium-weight and also only 12.7% alc. They had to select around the botrytis in order to try to get more and more depth of flavour without any botrytis notes creeping in. Incredible, weightless and epic graphite and cassis fruit. This wine is an anomaly – fine, old style weight and yet with modern, bright fruit. Acidity and tannins are incredibly ripe and very pure. One of the most centred, elegant and clean wines of the vintage. Heroic weight (or lack of, I suppose!). Only half the normal yields. Charles Chevallier agreed with me that while he won’t want to make vintages like this every year it is like going back to the seventies only with cleaner, more pinpoint accurate fruit. For this reason and because I think it will age with grace and charm this wine merits the same score as last year’s wine and this makes it one of the wines of the vintage! Rating: 18.5+ Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com(Apr 2014)

Still a bit clouded by oak today, this presents a slightly firm frame and a whiff of bread dough, but there’s persistence to the red currant, floral, iron and sanguine flavors, all carried by finely beaded acidity. Noticeably austere throughout. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Rating: 89–92 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2014)

Superb black-red colour, fine depth of blackcurrant fruit, all elegance, precision, clarity and class, total vineyard expression that will repay keeping. 2019 - 2035. Rating: 18.25 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2014)

The Grand Vin is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. The latter was apparently difficult to assimilate with the Cabernet, gradually adding 1% at a time and finally, electing 2% as the optimal amount. As usual, I spent 10+ minutes with my sample, as it is never as immediate as say, Latour or Château Margaux. It has an elegant bouquet with a fine violet scent that became more accentuated with time. There is plenty of dark cherry and blackcurrant fruit, a touch of pencil shavings that becomes more pronounced with aeration. The palate is a little austere because of the dominance of the Cabernet Sauvignon, although that 2% Merlot does take the edge off the finish, rounding out any edges. The aftertaste has that attractive saline tincture, but here a little spicier and longer than its peers. This is a traditional Pauillac; a success for the vintage and a wine that I think will improve in bottle rather than in barrel. A steadfast Lafite. Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2014)

This is exceptionally high in cabernet sauvignon at 98%, with only 2% merlot. It shows aromas of blackcurrants, flowers and cigar box. Full body, fine tannins and a long finish. It’s subtle and polished. Rating: 92-93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2014)

The 2013 Lafite hits the palate with a burst of dark red and purple fruit. White flowers, mint and licorice all develop in the glass, adding layers of depth and complexity. Smoke, tar, cinnamon, graphite, dried violets and plums are all layered into the resonant finish. The style is up-front, textured and generous, with no hard edges and plenty of near to medium-term potential. The blend is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. Rating: 90-93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2014)

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