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CHÂTEAU LAFITE

2016 1er Cru Classé Pauillac

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

Purple edge to very deep ruby centre. The silkiest feel on fine tannins - a supple silk feel on the palate. Focused density and purity. Tight blackcurrant, almost opulent if it were not so very dry. Glorious minerals and salinity making the finish salivating, so that it is gourmand as well as fresh and pure. Arguably less of an impression of graphite than usual. Fine fruit still in the mouth as we leave the building. Spot on. Drinking range: 2030 - 2060 Rating: 95-98 L&S (Apr 2017)

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The 2016 Lafite-Rothschild was tasted from two bottles, the first demonstrating some signs of oxidation. The second is quite rich and powerful on the nose, offering blackberry, raspberry, black olive and sous-bois scents that are almost Pessac-Léognan in style. The palate is well balanced with firm, grippy tannins. It feels precise and poised, brimming over with energy and displaying a sense of control toward the lightly spiced, athletic finish. I would like the aromatics to be tempered, although that will happen with time. There is real breeding in this 2016, and it will mature in bottle over decades. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2026 - Rating: 97 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Aug 2020)

On another level and one of the greatest young Bordeaux I’ve ever tasted, the 2016 Lafite-Rothschild is composed of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot raised in new oak. It takes the classic elegance and class of Lafite and turns the dial up to 11, offering a massive, heavenly array of blackcurrants, cedar pencil, graphite, tobacco, and incense aromas and flavors that soar from the glass. Deep, full-bodied, and flawlessly constructed, with perfectly integrated fruit, acidity, and tannins, this is legendary stuff all the way. It will be drinkable in 7-8 years and keep for 50-75 years or more. Along with Mouton, it’s the wine of the vintage from the Médoc. Hats off to director Eric Kohler. Drinking range: 2026 - 2099Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com(Feb 2019)

This offers the best of both sides of Pauillac, with a deep, deep well of dark currant, fig, blackberry and black cherry paste flavors forming a lush side while a series of I-beams made of graphite and iron provide the rigid structure. The two sides meld, pulling in extra sweet tobacco, smoldering cast iron, juniper and savory notes on the finish, leaving a mouthwatering feel. A real stunner. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 98 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Jan 2019)

Château Lafite

1855 classification - Premier Grand Cru Classé The long history of Château Lafite includes a period in the 17th and 18th century when it was owned by the Ségur family, who also at the time owned Latour and who's name lives on at Calon-Ségur and Phelan-Ségur. By the time of the 1855 classification which rightly recognised the reputation of Lafite, the estate was under a complicated ownership arrangement which inevitably unravelled, and Lafite was sold to Baron James de Rothschild, largely it would seem to keep uo with his cousin Nathaniel Rothschild who had recently purchased Brane-Mouton (later to become Mouton Rothschild). He died a couple of months later, but his descendents own the estate to this day. Baron Eric, who took control during the 1970's, returned Lafite to its rightful place at the top of the Bordeaux hierarchy with a programme of investment, improvement and modernisation. There are 103ha of land under vine at Lafite, facing Cos d'Estournel across the Jalle du Breuil which marks the border between Pauillac and Saint Estèphe. Indeed, Lafite own a small parcel of vines over the border in Saint Estèphe. Just over 70% is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon with 25% Merlot and smaller portions of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Vines for the grand vin average around 40 years old with none less than 10. Wines are aged in barrels from their own cooperage for aound 18 months. The second wine is Carruades de Lafite which usually features a higher proportion of Merlot in the cuvée.

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