CHÂTEAU LAFITE

2017 1er Cru Classé Pauillac

EN PRIMEUR

96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. Tightly knitted and giving little away at this stage. There is real structure in this claret. The wine has weight, fresh acidity and lovely mouth coating tannins. A hint of dark fruit and oak on the finish. Not the finished article but certainly an impressive first growth in the making. Rating: 96 L&S (Apr 2018)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

This is a youthful tumble of warmed black currant, fig and blackberry paste flavors, entwined with bay leaf, tobacco, savory, lilac, smoldering charcoal and warm cast iron notes. Terrific stony minerality zips everything up for now, but riveting acidity and excellent energy should carry this easily in the cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2025 through 2040. 16,000 cases made. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Jan 2020)

The 2017 Lafite-Rothschild had been blended in mid-March, a couple of weeks prior to my visit, therefore it was important to let this settle and aerate. Moreover, I returned on my final day in Bordeaux mid-April for a second reading. It feels very aloof at first, even a little green, although that ebbs away with time in the glass to reveal pure blackberry and bilberry fruit, touches of brine, cedar and graphite. Patience discloses a really quite sublime array of aromas. The palate is where all the action is: filigree tannin, very well judged acidity, harmonious and poised with a silky smooth finish that glides across the mouth. It does not possess enormous length but it is very precise and, for want of a better, less clichéd word, classic from start to finish. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drinking range: 2023 - 2050 Rating: 95-97 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2018)

96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. Inky crimson. Dark, savoury black fruit, a little understated in aroma. On the palate, could do with just a little more flesh. It's balanced and not overdone on the tannins but not the standout first growth this year. Elegant but rather underwhelming, perhaps lacking the sweetness and mid-palate depth of Merlot. Tannins very fine. Fresh and really quite soft, textural finesse but rather understated fruit. Savoury graphite finish. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040 Rating: 17 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2018)

This is very tight and tannic with lots of blackcurrant and sweet-tobacco character. Firm and powerful tannin texture sets this up for a long and chewy finish, yet it remains very compact and polished. It's a wine that possesses all the hallmarks of Lafite — everything from flavors to structure. Rating: 97-98 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2018)

Eric Kohler, now working alongside the recently arrived Jean-Guillaume Prats at Lafite-Rothschild, says that there was no frost of note here. The spring weather was excellent, the flowering passed without problem, while the 60 mm of rain the vineyard received in September, right at the beginning of harvest, did not help the Merlot. Nevertheless, the conditions afterwards were perfect for the ongoing ripening and harvest of the Cabernet Sauvignon. The harvest ran from September 11th until the 15th for the Merlot, while the Cabernet Sauvignon was picked between the 16th and the 29th, the Cabernet Franc on the 20th, and the Petit Verdot on the 29th. The grand vin took 40% of the crop, while the second wine took the same proportion, and 20% was excluded from either wine. The blend in this vintage is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for 96% of the total, well above average, and there are few vintages with figures higher than this (although 2013 and 1994 are candidates). The balance is 3.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot. This has a completely different aromatic impact compared to Carruades de Lafite, as here the Cabernet shows much more strongly, unsurprising considering its representation in the blend. The nose is filled with wall-to-wall smoked cherry, with a ripe, dark, red-fruit character, focused, albeit dusted with the same toast and praline oak notes, and it also has a finer floral perfume, with scents of white flower petals and a little chalk. The palate is very serious and convincing, immediately composed, finely structured, with a very fine balance of focused, pencil-drawn structure at its start, wrapped up with gentle red cherries and toasted fruits. The tannins are imperceptible at first, so velvety and tight-knit are they, a style which works well with the fresh acid seam running through the wine. We have here a very fresh, composed, reserved example of Lafite, with impressive potential. It is not a wine of power or weight, unlike some of the other top wines of the vintage, rather one of focused precision and balance, but with a very reassuring tannic substance. Rating: 94-96 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2018)

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.

ORDERING VIA OUR WEBSITE:

  • Click on the 'ORDER' button to add cases to your Wishlist order form. The Wishlist appears in both the sidebar and header (separately from the main basket).
  • You can view and edit your Wishlist at any time before submitting the order form.
  • Submit your Wishlist order form with your details and please indicate any special requirements in the notes, including whether you would like the wines duty paid.
  • We will respond as quickly as possible with confirmation of your order and your invoice.

Please note that certain wines are on very tight allocations and will first be offered to customers who buy across the range. If you have any queries, please email our primeurs team or speak to your usual L&S contact.

ORDERING VIA EMAIL:

Please feel free to email us your Wishlist at any time. This list can include wines listed as available on the website, as well as those marked 'To Be Advised'. We will reply as soon as possible with confirmation of what we can offer.

STORAGE OPTIONS:

Wines bought en primeur are scheduled to arrive in the UK over the course of the next eighteen months. If you do not wish to take home delivery, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our primeurs team for more information.

While helpful, we do not require a firm commitment on delivery destination to process your primeur order at this stage. Our team will be in contact with you when your wines arrive in the UK to confirm the necessary delivery details.

2016 BRUNELLO PRE-SHIPMENT OFFER FAQ

OFFER: All wines are offered subject to availability and final confirmation.

PRICING: All prices are quoted IN BOND ex-VAT, by the case size stated. Please double check that the desired case size does match what is being offered as wines are variously listed in threes, sixes, dozens, halves and larger formats.

DELIVERY - TIMING: This is a primeur offer so the wines are not yet physically available for delivery. They will be shipped to the UK over the next eighteen months. Generally wines are shipped to your nominated location once the whole order has landed in our London City Bond account. If you require wines to be delivered by a certain date, please advise us at the time of ordering.

DELIVERY - FEES: In bond delivery to an Elephant Storage account (for more information see 'Storage Options' opposite) is free of charge. Transfer of wines to any third party bond (i.e. not Elephant Storage) will incur an administration charge of £16.50 + VAT for all orders under £500. If you require wines duty paid, please indicate this in your Wishlist order form. A duty & VAT invoice will be raised once all the wines on your order are available for shipment. Once the relevant duty & VAT has been settled, we will ship the wines to your nominated address as per our normal duty paid Delivery Terms.

PAYMENT: All orders will be invoiced for immediate payment by cheque, cash, debit card or cleared funds to our account. We regret that we cannot accept credit cards for primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.