Château Lafite-Rothschild can be the most enigmatic of the Pauillac first growths. Certain vintages, like 2009 and 2010, are knockout from the off. But some vintages are not easy to judge young. Lafite 2015, was reticent when I tasted it in April. It exhibited elegance and composure for sure, but it was far less assertive in comparison with wines from other top properties tasted on the same day. Lafite has received glowing reviews elsewhere, I should point out, so you might wish to flag my notes as outsider scores. I also found the samples of Carruades and Château Duhart Milon elegant and lacking concentration. I’d expect all these samples to gain weight during elévage, but let’s just say they were the least expressive wines among Pauillac‘s top tier that I tasted.
Posts Tagged ‘Charles Chevallier’
Château Lafite-Rothschild has produced pure, classical Pauillac in 2013. It’s very high in Cabernet Sauvignon [98%] which makes it a little more austere on the palate, but there is obvious gravity and intensity here too, if also plenty of sappy acidity. It will need a bit of time to knit together. Certainly it speaks of the vintage. Château Duhart-Milon is a good effort. There is a slightly earthier note [which recalls their 1997] but also blackcurrant and graphite tones. There is a lttle dryness to the tannins and plenty of sappy acidity. Likewise Carruades de Lafite is similarly styled, if slightly looser on the finish. There are more plummy fruit tones [29% Merlot] and the wine is softer overall. Again 2013 freshness comes through in the vibrant acidity.
I must say it’s always a treat to have Lafite Rothschild, Carruades and Duhart-Milon lined up in front of you, regardless of the vintage. Last year there was some sharp disagreement over Lafite itself. I liked it and thought it very good in the vintage context. I feel the same way about 2012. It’s a good effort that reflects a huge amount of effort combating the vicissitudes of a difficult growing season and harvest. But, in the end, even Lafite can’t quite escape the vintage, and one that appears to have been a bit tricky in Pauillac.
What an extraordinary day yesterday! From what I could see there was phenomenal trade in top Bordeaux 2009 ahead of Robert Parker’s final scores on this vintage now it’s in bottle. It’s the final word, for now, on what is clearly one of the most remarkable vintages of modern claret. James Suckling gave it a huge thumbs up last week and from what I’ve seen reported Robert Parker has awarded no fewer than 18 perfect scores in his latest Wine Advocate published yesterday. I watched prices climb dramatically on Farr Vintner’s website and elsewhere throughout the day, particularly for the dozen or so new ‘first growths’ – the likes of Léoville Poyferré, Pontet Canet and rest that have [now] been duly awarded the Parker perfect one hundred score. What a days work that must have been in fine wine brokers the world over? It’ll be a big day again today as his scores and comments fully dissected and digested.