A candidate for the -wine of the vintage,- the 2008 should have been purchased before it began to soar in value because of the significance of the number 8 in the Chinese culture (denoting good luck). Representing 40% of the production, this blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc offers aromas of high quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, earth, cedar and asphalt. Full, rich and stunningly concentrated, I doubt it is inferior to the 2010, just more classic as well as slightly more forward and a degree weaker in alcoholic potency (12.5% versus 13.5%). (RP)
The 2008 seems to suit Lafite somehow, because you expect a little more austerity and subtlety in its youth and this vintage plays into that. It has all of those very classical signatures such as pencil lead and cassis, accompanied by menthol, slate and asphalt. It has good weight and fine tannins. Delicious, subtle and gulpable. (JA)
Elegance in a glass, this is very upright in structure with enticing acidity and black berry fruits. It has weight as well as richness. No question about the aging potential of this superb wine. *Cellar Selection* (RV)
Minerals, tar and sous bois with dark fruit. Sweet tobacco. Black licorice. Full and chewy with lots of fruit but very reserved. So much mineral and sweet tobacco. It is all there. Give it four to five years of bottle age before beginning to explore the wine.
The 2008 Lafite Rothschild put in a strange showing at the previous horizontal just a few weeks earlier. This bottle is much better. It has a deep color with little ageing on the rim. On the nose there is ample fruit, blackberry and bilberry with notes of pencil lead and sage, but overall there is just more intensity than the previous bottle. The palate is well balanced with fine grain tannin and good density, a facet occasionally lacking in Lafite-Rothschild. There is just a touch of brown sugar and sage towards the finish that fortunately does not attenuate like the previous bottle. This is much more representative and whilst not the best First Growth of the vintage, it certainly shows more sophistication and class even if it does not match its more stellar showings just after bottling. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 10-Year On tasting. (NM)
Full ruby-red with a purple tinge. Crushed cassis, blackberry, violet, cedar and graphite on the very fresh, complex nose. Juicy, spicy and penetrating, with lovely harmonious acids providing great clarity and cut to the black fruit and graphite flavors. Still youthfully closed and very mineral. Finishes pure and extremely long, with very fine tannins. This may yet turn out to be the wine of the vintage, but it will require patience. (ST) 93+
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