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Château Lafon-Rochet


Address: 33180 St Estèphe

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 59 32 06



Great strides being made here at Château Lafon-Rochet under the Tesserons’ watch over the past twenty years. Before this the wines tended towards hardness. An historic estate, the origins of Lafon-Rochet can be traced all the way back to the sixth century when ‘Rochet’ belonged to the feudal Vallee Rousillon estate. The Lafon family owned the property for two centuries and were the owners when it was classified a fourth growth in 1855, one of only five estates classified in St Estèphe at that time and the Tesseron’s bought the estate 40 years ago. Now Basile Tesseron runs the estate. The 2009 is outstanding and the 2010 extremely dense. The second wine is Les Pelerins de Lafon Rochet.

Vineyard/Terroir: 40 hectares on quaternary gravel with a clay-limestone subsoil planted with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaking/Elévage: Fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Malolatic in barrel followed by twenty months age in 50% new oak.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Deep purple; earthy at edge; cark core; nice fruit; black cherry notes; cassis; some stone fruit; minerality at edge; nice entry to the palate; ripe fruit and extraction nicely handled; harmony to the wine; plenty of extract and matter here but nicely judged winemaking. [54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 13.5%]. Drink 2024-2033. Tasted UGCB at Lafon-Rochet 5/4/16. 90-92
  • 2014 Deep and saturated looking; purple at edge; creamy; black cherry aromatics; very full and glossy; nice depth; good fruit and structure; glossy and voluptuous fruit but with nice freshness still; lovely creamy fruit here in 2014. Very good effort. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 90-92+
  • 2013 Mid depth; vibrant purple at edge; some plum fruit, graphite and stalky blackcurrants; chewy and sturdy palate. Little hard. Rather chewy finish. Tasted UGC 1/4/14 Tannic. 84-86 [later note] Mid depth; translucent core; vibrant, fresh, stalky blackcurrant Cabernet dominated aromatics; bit reductive and rather angular on the palate; tightness here; hardness almost alongside a dry finish. Finishes dry and chewy. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot 13% alc]. Drink 2018-2025. 84-86
  • 2012 Mid depth; saline notes; fresh and clean aromatics with cool Cabernet tones, wet earth and blackcurrants; more gloss and cream than Cos Labory; grip and freshness [acidity] on the finish. Fresh and lively Lafon-Rochet. Finesse. Drink 2017-2027. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; glossy looking; little dumb at first; not leaping out the glass; depth though; sweet ripe attack on the palate; dense and feels a touch dry on the end. Tasted UGC Thursday, April 11, 2013. 86-88 [Earlier note] Mid depth; purple at edge; quite pure Cabernet nose; stalky; some earth and depth; palate has purity and freshness; blackcurrants; more sappy style but like the purity in this sample. 67.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 1.5% Petit Verdot. 50% new oak. Tasted UGC April 9, 2013. 87-89 Drink 2020-2030
  • 2011 Deep & dense; saturated look; lovely fruit, plenty of it; shows very well cassis, blackcurrants, polish and brightness; some earth and green pepper hints too; bite initially on the palate – some black cherry little more pointed than ‘09 certainly; grip and material but nicely handled. Nice and fresh. Good tannin. Tasted UGC 3/4/13 and again 5/4/12 88-90 UCGB Apr ‘12 Drink 2020-2030
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; very dark; full, sweet ripe fruit; slightly sweaty note; palate big and bold but manages to be caressing; ripe fruit with plenty of concentration and extract. Chewy and substantial, and true to the appellation, this is big, bold Lafon-Rochet and a rival to the excellent 2009 here. Drink 2018-2035. 93+ Tasted MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Dense and very ripe looking; blackcurrants and ripe fruit tones; quite solid plate; chewy tannin and real density. Some dryness to the tannin. Lots of material and extract but very dry tannin. Will always be chewy. Prefer ’09 but this is a pretty dense and tannic effort for the long run. 90 UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Dense and very ripe looking; blackcurrants and ripe fruit tones; quite solid plate; chewy tannin and real density. Some dryness to the tannin. Lots of material and extract but very dry tannin. Will always be chewy. Prefer ’09 but this is a pretty dense and tannic effort for the long run. 90 UGCB Nov ’12. [Earlier note] Very dense, tight to the rim; creamy ripe nose; lots of fruit here, some coffee at the edge; layered; palate quite grippy and structured with lots of tannin, extract and material, but feels very ripe tannin. Very grippy finish. Little extracted but should meld. 88-90/100 5th April 2011 UGCB. [2nd tasting UGCB] Deep, dense; ripe blackcurrants; deep and concentrated feel with some gloss and polish; solid, dense masculine palate with minerals and rocks; extract but some grip here. Less voluptuous than ’09 at the same stage but powerful 88-90/100 [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, alc 14] 7th April 2011 UGCB. Drink 2020-2035
  • 2009 Deep and dense; amazingly saturated look, tight to rim; deep and profound nose; lots of ripe fruit; almost inky blackcurrants; very deep; satin and silk fruit caresses the palate; excellent structure and chew but such terrific fruit. As dazzling as at primeur tastings if not better and the best Lafon-Rochet I’ve tasted. 94/100 [Earlier note] 2009 Deep black; real depth; tight to rim; lovely nose, real ripeness here, layers, mulberry, plums, very ripe and attractive; palate very polished and supple with layers. This is VERY good. Attractive palate with real chew and texture. Tannins but real ripeness to them and lots of fat fruit. Coffee and mocha. The best ever Lafon Rochet. 2009 94+/100 [Second tasting] Deep and arterial; very ripe and creamy; dense but round and attractive; cassis and blackcurrants here; cream – ripe and focused; terrific sweet, ripe palate; intense and extracted but in check overall. Tannic but there is so much fruit here. Potentially fantastic. 94+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGCB Primeur tasting. drink 2018-2040+
  • 2008 Mid depth; deeper at core than Cos Labory; more layers to the nose; quite pure with mineral tones; compact; texture to the palate but still pretty firm, and chewy with plenty of acid present. 87+ MW Institute Nov ‘12 Drink now – 2020+
  • 2007 Mid red; some depth; tobacco, spice some resin; light effort on the palate and lacks depth; some structure and grip. Chewy finish. Not a bad effort. 86+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] Mid red; resin and some blackcurrant and perfumed elements; good concentration; blackcurrants; quite elegant and austere but flesh is there. Tannins dry. Should round out? 84-86?/100 UGCB London tasting Oct ’09. Drink now – 2020
  • 2006 Concentrated looking; legs; intense nose, some raspberry and strawberry notes, oak, some resin but intense and focussed if also a certain elegance; some coffee and mocha notes at the back; palate quite firm and strong, tannins here too. This wine needs time; structure and chew but lacks some flesh between the bones. Good length and structure, falls away a bit. Needs time. 87+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10 Drink 2016-2025
  • 2000 Mid red; legs; concentrated nose; ripe blackcurrants; molasses; some complexity. Should age well into a rich, sturdy St Estephe. Palate earthy, with blackcurrant fruit; quite full and round. Tannins evident but should round out. Chunky style with guts. Some mocha on the finish. 88+/100 Jan ‘10 Drink 2015-2025+

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