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Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2015

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  • JS99
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  • D96
  • JD96
750ML / 0% ABV
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3.9 11 Ratings
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3.9 11 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Very dark color, with purple glints, indicating that the wine is still very much in its youth. The nose is still quite closed, which is to be expected after only a few months in the bottle. But it already presents good depth and plenty of complexity. Notes of fresh strawberries and tobacco, in which the wood has become perfectly integrated. The attack is simultaneously supple and very powerful.

The intensity on the palate rises steadily... gently coming to rest on a plateau that is already very high. Not at all aggressive, it continues with great length, and in perfect harmony. This is a Lafite that is currently revealing very little of its potential; to experience it in its full glory will require waiting... for some years.

Blend: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 100
Wine Enthusiast
This is a great vintage from Lafite. The profile is rich in feel, with a seriously firm tannic structure. Solid, complex and with great authority, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine, is impressively dense in dark-fruit tones. It will age for many years. Drink from 2027, although that would almost be too soon.
Cellar Selection
JS 99
James Suckling
Lead and graphite are complimented by notes of blueberries and blackberries. Blackcurrants, too. Full-bodied and focused with very round and polished tannins. Elegance with power. Very classic nature for Lafite. Try in 2022.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The deep garnet-purple shaded 2015 Lafite Rothschild is blended of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot and was matured for 20 months in new oak barrels from Tonnellerie des Domaines (their own cooperage). It is still sporting a lot of cedar at this nascent stage with a vibrant core of black raspberries, red currants and crushed plums plus touches of cigar boxes, violets and underbrush with a waft of tilled loam. Medium-bodied and elegantly styled with wonderful freshness and depth, it is compellingly earthy/minerally in the mouth with a frame of seductively silky yet very firm tannins and culminating in a very long, racy and pure finish. Boasting spectacular finesse and packed with nuances, clearly, given some of the challenges here in 2015, this is a masterpiece of diligence in the vineyards, careful selection and very clever crafting—bravo!
Rating: 96+
D 96
Decanter
The Lafite violets come to the fore, providing finely polished elegance to the palate. It seems discreet but the cellar master says 2015 is the most ‘concentrated’ Lafite they have made. This will show as it matures.
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
The grand vin 2015 Lafite-Rothschild checks in as 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot that was brought all in 100% new oak. Director Eric Kohler (who replaced Charles Chevallier in 2015) told me the vintage suffered a touch of dilution but wasn’t a complicated year. The 2015 is an aristocratic, classy example from this estate that offers textbook lead pencil shavings, tobacco, smoked herbs, and graphite as well as a beautiful core of currant and cassis fruit. It’s the most refined and subtle of the first growths, has medium to full-bodied richness, building tannin, and undeniable class and charm. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.
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Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

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Chateau Lafite Rothschild, France
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Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of only four classified first growths and thus the designation as 1st er Cru. The vintage rankings of the Universal Paris Exposition in 1855 officially gave Lafite the rating as “Leader among fine wines.” While the first known reference to Lafite dates to 1234 with a certain Gombaud de Lafite, abbot of the Vertheuil Monastery north of Pauillac, Lafite’s mention as a medieval fief dates to the 14th century. The name Lafite comes from the Gascon language term “la hite”, which means “hillock”. There were probably already vineyards on the property at the time when the Ségur family organised the vineyard in the 17th century, and Lafite began to earn its reputation as a great winemaking estate. Jacques de Ségur was credited with the planting of the Lafite vineyard in the 1670s and in the early 1680s. The estate achieved wide popularity in the 1750s when it became the favorite wine of King Louis XV. Thomas Jefferson was also a steadfast customer and even visited the estate. After the 1973-1976 mini-crisis that hit Bordeaux, Baron Eric’s management of the estate made strides forward with a search for excellence and the gradual addition of a new technical team. In 1985 Baron Eric began a tradition of inviting fine-arts photographers to photograph Chateau Lafite. Today, his daughter Saskia de Rothschild represents the 6th generation of the family at the head of the winemaking properties. 

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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.

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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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.

MHL153461_2015 Item# 153461

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