Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, 2005
Grapes: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Ageing 18-20 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Winemaker - Charles Chevalier.
Quintessential "Left Bank" Claret... it doesn't often get better than this... maybe the "perfect" 100 point 2003 vintage?
At bottling (in 2008), Lafite describe their wine as follows:
Deep colour. An intense, delicate, subtle, complex nose. Very clean and direct palate on the attack, then developing volume and a nicely rounded structure. Immensely powerful, great length, density and elegance.
For the third year in a row, Bordeaux experienced drought. In other words, not a drop of rain from May to October. As always, however, our good vines, faithful and strong, adapted and overcame these difficult moments. The summer temperatures remained reasonable, and ripening was slow, calm and very complete. The grapes remained small and concentrated. Small quantities, high degrees, a perfect state of health. The most demanding of winegrowers was content. A famously perfect year throughout the growing season.
"Having tasted the 2005 Château Lafite-Rothschild several times both blind and non-blind, it comes across as a First Growth politely requesting more time to "settle". Here, from an ex-château bottle tasted in Bordeaux, it delivers that graphite, pencil-box bouquet that unfurls gradually in the glass, biding its time, graceful but not intense. Parallel to some of its fellow 2005s, it is developing a little more spice, namely thyme and sage, than I recall. The palate is medium-bodied and beautifully balanced, to wit, a sophisticated Pauillac that priorities elegance and poise over intensity of fruit—in keeping with Lafite Rothschild's style. You come away with the sense that it will take its time and decline, giving away a great deal in its primacy, even if it is still more approachable than the 2005 Latour for example. Therefore, I would be inclined to set this aside for several more years. Tasted November 2014." 96/100 points, Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, July 2016
"This was the star of the tasting for pure, inherent quality – a truly glorious wine that will presumably continue to impress those lucky enough to taste it for many decades to come. Very dark, shaded crimson. The most gorgeous panoply of aromas on the nose – not yet knit but just starting to integrate. Exceptionally promising. Absolutely marvellous wine that was extremely difficult to spit. Fresh but ripe with great life and energy. The density of fruit covered the considerable charge of tannin. Such verve! So healthy. Some pure stoniness on the mid palate." 19.5/20 points, Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com, May 2018
Also awarded 3 Stars (out of 3) Coup de Coeur in Le Guide Hachette des Vins
Lafite's head chef, Bruno Boeuf, recommends drinking the grand vin with rib of beef with a truffle jus, accompanied by a potato pancake topped with Saint Nectaire cheese. He also recommends it to go with a soft centred chocolate cake served with a quenelle of homemade vanilla ice cream.
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- Drinking well now
- Primary Grape/Blend:
- Bordeaux Blend
- Influence of Oak: