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CHÂTEAU LAFON-ROCHET

2016 4ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe

Grapes Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Cab Sauv, Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
District Left Bank
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Estèphe
Classification 4ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc. Tasted at a general tasting of Saint Estèphes, this doesn't quite have the plushness or the complexity of Calon which preceded it but then you wouldn't really expect it to. There is fresh, juicy blackberry and cassis fruit and plenty of ripe, mouth-filling tannins. Decent length too with some notable finesse. It stood up surprisingly well when tasted next to its more illustrious peer. Good Value. Drinking range: 2025 - 2038 Rating: 91-93 L&S (Apr 2017)


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The 2016 Lafon-Rochet is very intense on the nose. A mixture of red and black fruit, crushed violet, wild mint and crushed stone unfolds with aeration. It's perhaps a little Barolo in style. The palate is beautifully balanced with supple tannins, very velvety smooth with lovely acidity and sensuality on the finish. Gorgeous. A high point for the estate. Tasted at the Lafon-Rochet vertical at the property. Drinking range: 2022 - 2050 Rating: 95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Jun 2023)

Excellent quality, this is one of the high points of the past few decades of Lafon Rochet, demonstrating the huge potential of the site. Fine but firm tannins, plenty of juice and lift, mandarin peel, graphite, cassis, blueberry puree, cassis and loganberry fruits. Bitter dark chocolate also with a tannic frame that hugs without constricting. Harvest September 29 to October 20. 40ha, deep gravels and clay, 30 year old average vine age. Basile Tesseron owner at the time (now sold to Jacky Lorenzetti). Drinking range: 2025 - 2043 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter (Oct 2022)

The 2016 Lafon-Rochet has a very engaging bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit laced with pencil shavings and loamy scents. In fact, the more you nose this wine, the more its complexity becomes apparent. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a fine line of acidity, ripe and generous yet maintaining outstanding tension and revealing a judicious touch of peppercorns on the finish, which fans out gloriously. This is a fabulous Lafon-Rochet and certainly the best bottle of 2016 that I have encountered. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2021 - 2040 Rating: 95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Aug 2020)

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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