Offers currant and wild raspberry, with a lilac and exotic character on the nose, turning to sweet tobacco and cedar. Full-bodied, showing very racy tannins and a balance of pretty fruit. This is powerful yet elegant, almost delicate, with a wonderful polish. But then the tannins take off. Muscular yet agile. A very classic Bordeaux style. —James Suckling,
A powerful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, solid in structure. The wine is rich and concentrated, very textured. Great spice go with just enough fresh acidity, in this big wine. —Roger Voss,
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+.
(a blend of 82.5% cabernet sauvignon, 17% merlot, and 0.5% petit verdot; 13.8% alcohol; 75 IPT; a 43% selection of the total crop) Deep ruby-red. The deep, intense nose is a bit more forward than usual for Lafite, displaying classic, pure aromas of cassis, cedar and graphite. Enters the mouth beautifully pure and fresh, with laser-like precision to its deceptively light blackcurrant, blackberry, cedar and mineral flavors. The exceptionally refined tannins give this wine an utterly seamless quality on the pure, extremely long, mineral-driven finish. Though it will be drinking well sooner than usual, this truly remarkable wine will be enjoyed by your grandchildren as well. Is it lacking just a bit of flesh to reach a perfect score? This may yet turn out to be the wine of the vintage, and is an archetypical expression of the unique characteristics of great Bordeaux cabernet sauvignon.
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