Château Lafite Rothschild, 2022
Château Lafite Rothschild, 2022
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“I have discovered the wine of Château Lafite to be a delicious, generous cordial, comparable to the ambrosia of the Gods of Olympus”
Maréchal de Richelieu (1755).w/pW
In 1815, Guillaume Lawton said of Château Lafite, “I consider it to be the most elegant and delicate, with the finest substance of the three (Premier Crus). The location of its vines is one of the finest in the Médoc”.
In 1855 the Château was ranked as a Premier Grand Cru in the famous classification that was prepared for the Universal Exhibition of that year.
What the critics say:
"Performs the trick of being immediately succulent and mouthwatering while simultaneously revving up and building power through the palate. You're getting sapidity and savoury black fruits that are both elegant and full of power. The spicy rosemary and black pepper, with slate-textured minerality, is almost unnoticeable until it closes in on the final stretch, helping to stretch things out, beat by beat, adding energy and lift. One half of the 5% Merlot in this blend is from plots that have never before been used in Lafite's 1st wine, because their drone and satellite research discovered three tiny areas that were similar in character and could be vinified together. They have worked on this for the past three years, successfully so for first time in 2019. It just holds on tight, with a creaminess that you don't always find in Lafite at this early stage. A brilliant wine, one that could be upscored from this when in bottle. Harvest September 19 to October 7."
"Incredible aromas of crushed berries, sweet tobacco and wet earth. So perfumed and gorgeous. Hot stones and cement, too. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with lots of intense tannins and a never-ending finish. Juicy and flavorful. A muscular Lafite, not seen for a long time. Classssssss! Try after 2025."
"This is silky and delicious and juicy, not something you can often say about a Lafite En Primeur sample but before you even get close to tasting the wine you can feel the layers building. It has the precision, the freshness and the sense of effortless elegance that Lafite always conveys with lots of power and depth, deep black fruits on the nose and a mix of spices from rosemary to saffron on the palate. Is it better than the 2016? It’s hard to say at this stage but it certainly feels its equal, although differently constructed and unlikely to take as long to come around - think 10 rather than 14 years before reaching its drinking window. It's worth adding that very few wines have been so unmarked by the extremes of the vintage, or as technical director Eric Kohler puts it; 'Even after 25 years of working at Lafite I continue to be full of admiration for this terroir. Other plots that we own reacted to the heat at times, but Lafite just kept sailing on as usual’. The harvest took place between 17 September and 5 October, with a yield of 40hl/ha. 40% of the production went into the grand vin. 3.75pH which is classic for them. 74IPT."
"The 2020 Château Lafite-Rothschild checks in as 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot brought up in roughly 90% or more of new French oak. It's a deep, inky-hued Lafite boasting incredible notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, graphite, crushed stone, and gravelly earth-like minerality. Full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with terrific purity of fruit, it has ripe tannins, a layered, seamless mouthfeel, and a great, great finish. It should surpass the 2015 and 2017 and be in the same realm as the 2018 and 2019. Despite its richness and depth, it hit just 12.8% alcohol, with an IPT of 72 and a pH of 3.5. It’s going to be just about immortal."