This is what the Medoc is all about. The freshness and delicacy of this wine in combination with its serious concentration and firm core are totally stunning. Time has already worked its magic and this is already delicious, but has decades in front of it. Drink or hold.
The main reason the 2009 Lafite Rothschild did not receive a perfect score is because the wine has closed down slightly, but it is unquestionably another profound Lafite, their greatest wine since the amazing 2003. Among the most powerful Lafites ever made (it came in at 13.59% alcohol), the final blend was 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot. The selection was incredibly severe with only 45% of the crop being utilized. A tight, but potentially gorgeous nose of graphite, black currants, licorice and camphor is followed by a full-bodied wine revealing the classic elegance, purity and delineated style of Lafite. It is phenomenally concentrated with softer tannins than the 2005, the 2003's voluptuous, broad, juicy personality, and low acidity. There are several vintages that I thought were a replay of their colossal 1959, most notably 1982 and 2003, but 2009 is also one to keep an eye on. It is still extremely youthful and seems slightly more backward than I would have guessed based on the barrel tastings, but it needs 10-15 years of bottle age, and should last for 50+. (RP)
It displays, as Lafite always does, more of a laid back elegance than Latour, and the difference between the two once again highlights the huge differences in terroir between north and south Pauillac, with the deep gravels here giving finesse, composure, almost nonchalance. It tames with a whisper, bringing you to submission by gently, purposefully and ever so slowly layering one thing on top of another. It has gorgeously pure and precise fruit on the nose, while the palate displays a multitude of flavours, from charcoal to cassis to crushed stone, and yet no one thing dominates. There are a ton of tannins, but they are individually fine, and it's only in retrospect that you realise how many of them there are. The tone of Lafite is speaking over the vintage, and it's going to run and run. (JA)
This is stunning for its ability to take massively endowed fig, currant paste and crushed plum fruit flavors and harness them with ultrasuave freshly roasted espresso, black tea and ganache notes. A seductive style, long and velvety, with the dense core of black fruit and smoldering iron just waiting and waiting. Best from 2020 through 2040. (JM)
A powerful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, solid in structure. The wine is rich and concentrated, very textured. Great spice goes with just enough fresh acidity, in this big wine. (RV)
Deep ruby-red. Classic Lafite aromas of cassis, cedar and graphite are lifted by a fragrant violet note. Then pure and vibrant on the palate, with seamless flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry, cedar, iron and flint. The very smooth tannins provide plenty of support to the fruit flavors, while the wine's harmonious acidity really draws out the finish. This outstanding Lafite is all about grace--in contrast to Latour's power. (ST)
The 2009 Lafite-Rothschild is quite high-toned and expressive on the nose, perhaps the most ostentatious of the top flight 2009s with upfront black cherry and boysenberry fruit, lavish new oak and touches of violet. The palate is sleek and satin-like in feel with copious dark cherry and boysenberry fruit, fig and dates, almost honeyed in texture towards the precocious finish that has an opulent bent, almost hedonistic, unusual for this First Growth. But it is kinda irresistible. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting. (NM)
The 2009 Lafite-Rothschild is a beautifully crafted wine that is all poise and seduction. This is the world’s ultimate luxury wine these days, and while the style has changed rather dramatically from the great Lafites of the decade of the 1980s, there is little here to complain about, as everything is done as perfectly as is humanly possible. The bouquet is deep and stunning, as it soars from the glass in a blaze of cassis, blackberries, coffee, tobacco smoke, a great base of gravelly soil tones and a generous coating of nutty, smoky new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, very suave and utterly complex, with a great core of pure fruit, moderate, refined tannins and stunning length and grip on the utterly seamless and completely seductive finish. This wine is crafted like a truly great Swiss watch, and consequently it offers up unprecedented accessibility at a very young age for those that will not be able to defer gratification, but it is so poised and beautifully balanced that it will also have no difficulty aging for many, many decades. Whether one prefers the old style of Lafite that took decades to really blossom or this new style that is the ultimate in seduction from the start is really just a matter of personal taste. There is certainly nothing in the makeup of the 2009 that is anything but exemplary in nature, and this is a beautiful wine.
Tasted blind. Crimson with a weak rim. Sweet and racy. Minerals and life. Dry, even slightly drying, tannins and not yet ready but all is tucked in there for a lovely stony future. Sinewy. So long and fresh. 19/20 points. (JR)
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