CHÂTEAU LAFITE

2020 1er Cru Classé Pauillac

EN PRIMEUR

Market Insight: 2019 was unquestionably a fair price for Lafite. With the 2018 solidifying its 100 point score, secondary market trading is nearing £4,000/6, whilst the 2019 has already begunt to float, hitting £2,700. If it comes in at the same 97-99 point score, then it's worthy of a lot of attention. L&S (May 2021)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 12)

Sold Out

* 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.

The 2020 is a super-classic Lafite-Rothschild of grace and finesse. A reticent introvert, Lafite impresses with its vertical lift and palpable energy. It is a wine of regal bearing that does not feel the need to say much, and yet everything is very clearly there. Bright acids and strong, saline notes come alive in the glass as the long, persistent finish unfolds with remarkable grace. The 2020 is simply exquisite. It's a fabulous showing from the team led by Technical Director Eric Kohler. Drinking range: 2035 - 2060 Rating: 95-97 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jun 2021)

The 2020 Lafite-Rothschild is much more intense and complex compared to the Carruades this year. This First Growth bursts from the glass with beautifully defined blackberry and wild strawberry scents laced with sprigs of wild mint and juniper berries. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins that frame the pixelated black fruit. This is quintessential Lafite in that it is not a powerful or immensely structured wine, but rather a First Growth with unerring balance and harmony, one that is unashamedly classic in style. There is just the right amount of dryness on the finish to urge you back for another sip. So Lafite it has its name tattooed onto its DNA. It will begin to soar after 10 years in the cellar. Drinking range: 2030 - 2070 Rating: 96-98 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2021)

The 2020 Château Lafite-Rothschild checks in as 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot brought up in roughly 90% or more of new French oak. It's a deep, inky-hued Lafite boasting incredible notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, graphite, crushed stone, and gravelly earth-like minerality. Full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with terrific purity of fruit, it has ripe tannins, a layered, seamless mouthfeel, and a great, great finish. It should surpass the 2015 and 2017 and be in the same realm as the 2018 and 2019. Despite its richness and depth, it hit just 12.8% alcohol, with an IPT of 72 and a pH of 3.5. It’s going to be just about immortal. Rating: 97-99 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (May 2021)

This is pretty much as close to entirely Cabernet Sauvignon as Bordeaux gets (92%) and yet it has an incredibly fine, gentle richness to the tannins. They build up pretty quickly though, so that by the end of the palate you start to feel the closing in and tightening, deftly underscoring how well this will age. The kaleidoscope of flavours and aromatics that Lafite does so well is fully on display, nothing trying too hard, a velvet texture to the tannins where the cassis fruit, earth, crushed stone and graphite is held in from beginning to end. Impressive that even in dry vintages like 2020 with the real concerns over global warming, the top Bordeaux estates can still produce wines of this quality. Drinking range: 2028 - 2046 Rating: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)

92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. A very masculine Lafite with a powerful tannic frame (bigger than 2019 and 2018). Deep, intense and stately on the nose with mineral-graphite notes to the fore. Palate rich but with a massive charge of fine-grained tannin and lingering freshness. Enormous length on the finish. Incredible potential. Drinking range: 2032 - 2060 Rating: 19 James Lawther MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2021)

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.

Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.

Ordering

Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.

Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.

Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.

Confirmation

All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.

Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.

Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.

Delivery

  • Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
  • Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
  • Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
  • Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
  • We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.

Practical notes - how it works

We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.

Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.

Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.

One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-

  • +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
  • +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
  • +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
  • +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.

Storage Options:

Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. 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 private client team for more information.