We are in perfectly-aged claret territory here, the most beautiful impression of a wine at its plateau. It's perfectly ready to drink and is still generous, with a long life ahead of it. Its spicy notes, touches of pencil lead and still-concentrated cassis combine with menthol, buttery leather and that classic Médoc saline, mineral-edged flourish - this is the height of well-aged Cabernet Sauvignon. (JA)
Tasted at the château, the 1986 Lafite-Rothschild continues to offer an exquisite bouquet at 30 years of age. This is beautifully defined, still full of energy, with copious blackberry, clove, leather and graphite aromas that seem to gain momentum in the glass. The palate is extremely well balanced with a crystalline quality, filigree tannin, perfectly pitched acidity, a quintessential Lafite-Rothschild with a sense of energy and focus undiminished by time. This finish displays immense purity and refinement, one of the most mineral-driven Lafites that I have encountered, whilst the aftertaste seems to linger for over one minute. It must rank as one of the finest wines from the estate. (NM)
This mirrors the bottle I tasted at the property in 2016: blackberry and graphite on the nose, gawky at first, but coalescing with time. The palate is well balanced with firm tannins, strong graphite scents unfolding with time, superb energy if not delivering quite the finesse and precision that the very best Lafite-Rothschild will bestow. This is a wine that benefits from long decanting, say five or six hours, though it never quite reaches the ethereal heights that it could have done. Tasted at the International Business & Wine First Growth Dinner at the Four Seasons. (NM)
A firm, young wine. Dark ruby color. Intense aromas of blackberry and mint. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. Still needs time. (JS)
A mild winter followed by a cold and wet spring to start the year. Fortunately, a hot summer interspersed with storms in July and August, and an absolutely exceptional after-season, wiped out the worries experienced before the summer, allowing the grapes to be harvested in perfect condition. The harvest took place without a single day of rain and at a particularly slow pace to be sure that our precious grapes reached maximum ripeness. A great year with radiant wines! This was by far the most youthful and concentrated of the trio (1983, 1985 and 1986) of Lafite vintages served blind with masses of tannins still in evidence. Sweet and arguably just slightly lacking freshness and energy compared with the 1985 – also thicker. But there is still the Lafite polish. This could be drunk now but should last an age. More solid and stolid than most Lafites. 18/20 points. (JR)
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