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Carruades de Lafite 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
  • JS95
  • RP93
  • WE93
  • WS92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Superb bright flavors. The mouth gradually takes shape, full-bodied and generous at first, then presenting ripe tannins, well-developed structure and a very fruity finish.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Currants and blackberries on the nose. Spicy and intense undertones. Full body, with juicy fruit and a soft, very silky texture and a long, long finish. Polished and very pretty. Best Carraudes ever. Try in 2018.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Of course, the wine to buy in order to get a look at the Lafite Rothschild style and personality is their second wine, Carruades de Lafite, which has become very fashionable in Asia, causing the prices to soar. A very strong effort, the 2009 Carruades de Lafite may be the finest Carruades since the 2003. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and tiny amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it reveals lots of sweet cassis intermixed with subtle smoke and forest floor, undeniable lusciousness and full-bodied hedonism. The wood component is pushed to the background, and the wine is extremely viscous, round and delicious. Additional complexity should continue to emerge over the next decade and this 2009 should keep for 20-30 years.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Very soft wine, with ripe Merlot dominant. There is a rich character along with fresh tannins, very juicy, licorice and big, firm fruits.
Barrel Sample: 91-93 Points
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This has a lightly firm coating of cocoa powder and roasted cedar, with the core of red and black currant and fig paste held at bay for now. Stays taut through the finish, but good cut and weight and an alluring tobacco note make this worth waiting out. Best from 2014 through 2024.
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Carruades de Lafite

Carruades de Lafite

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Carruades de Lafite, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Carruades is the second label wine produced by Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. After fermentation and maceration, the wines are tasted, selected and put together according to their different qualities. This step is very important because this is where we make the difference between the great "Lafite" and the second wine "Carruades de Lafite". The wines are drained off into oak barrels. We use 100% new barrels for the ageing of Lafite. The year after, these same barrels will be used for the Carruades.

Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

WBX6338196_2009 Item# 111798