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2014 4ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe

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

55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 3% Cabenret Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. We have been keen followers of the wines from this great terroir over the last few years. They have done a great job again here in 2014. Lovely aromatic nose, cassis and more brambly fruit. Great feel, quite broad, so dense and there is an almost confected note to the dark plum fruit, deliciously ripe and nicely spicy. Silky, but compact core, lots to get your teeth into. Impressive and should be good value. Rating: 91 L&S (Apr 2015)

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The 2014 Lafon-Rochet does not quite possess the complexity of the 2014 Phélan-Ségur on the nose, broody and introspective but with aeration reveals very pure blackberry and bilberry scents, hints of brine/seawater, cedar and spice. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, plenty of tobacco tinged black fruit, saline and sappy in the mouth so that those taste-buds are flowing by the finish. The more I acquaint myself with this wine, the more I fall for its charms. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2020 - 2040 Rating: 92 Neal Martin, 2018)

Tasted blind. Looks quite evolved. Rich and smooth and very worked. Glamorous. Very dry finish but lots of energy here. Long, and dramatic. Drinking range: 2024 - 2042 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2018)

This delivers a direct beam of red and black currant fruit mixed with a note of blood orange. Picks up tobacco and warm stone accents through the finish. Drinking range: 2018 - 2026 Rating: 90 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Jan 2017)

The Château Lafon-Rochet 2014 is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot picked from 1 October until 15 October. Basile Tesseron explained that there was 25 and 35mm rain between 7 and 9 October at which point the Cabernet was not able to ripen further due to the lack of water. This gave the ripeness another spurt and destroyed the pyrazines. Pumping over was about 0.5 to 1.5 the volume per day over a long period to avoid extracting any harsh tannin (especially from the seeds) with a short cold maceration. It has a complex bouquet: brambly black fruit, touches of dark plum mixed with black olive and incense. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, a little chalky in texture with a precise, quite pointed finish. This 2014 continues a run of fine form for the estate Drinking range: 2019 - 2032 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, 2015)

The 2014 Lafon-Rochet is all about immediacy and energy. Dark red stone fruit, cedar, flowers, leather and mint all open up nicely. The high percentage of Merlot in the blend gives the 2014 lovely suppleness and mid-palate pliancy. The 2014 is not hugely complex, but it is absolutely delicious and should be ready to provide considerable pleasure early. This is a strong showing from the Tesseron family and Consulting Winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet. Rating: 89-91 Anastasia Edwards, World of Fine Wine(Apr 2015)

Very dark, blackish crimson. There is masses here but so much that it’s difficult to discern much aroma. Big and beefy but embryonic. And there is not that much follow-through on the finish. Drinking range: 2022 - 2036 Rating: 16+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2015)

The nose has a lot of powerful flavours the start of the palate richness and sweetness. Firm in the middle the tannins giving structure quite tight but there is a sweeter richer feel at the back with fair depth and weight of fruit on the finish. Drinking range: 2025 - 2038 Rating: 87-90 Derek Smedley MW, 2015)

Aromatic and floral, with hints of violet, rose petal and graphite, this is one of the more charming Saint Estèphes in 2014, with plenty of sweet blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, fine-grained tannins,a lift of acidity and sensitive oak handling. There's good underlying stuffing, too. Drinking range: 2020 - 2032 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, 2015)

Attractive fruit and fine structure and length. Lafon-Rochet is sometimes too extracted, but with 2014 they have struck the right balance between fruit and grip. (Highly Recommended St-Estèphe, Decanter.) Drinking range: 2019 - 2030 Rating: 90-90 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2015)

This is really beautiful with so much class and finesse already. Full body, bright acidity and lovely fruit. Rating: 91-92 James Suckling, 2015)

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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