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Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
  • WE97
  • WS96
  • JS95
  • RP93
  • ST92
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

WE 97
Wine Enthusiast

A powerful wine with dark and dry tannins. It has a great depth of fruit flavor, with immense and concentrated weight, and a structure that is for long-term aging.
Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points

WS 96
Wine Spectator

Still tightly wound and very restrained, but there's a serious well of black plum and macerated currant fruit in reserve, held behind substantial but well-ripened tannins and a strong chalk and iron note. There's a nice austerity to the very driven mineral finish.
Barrel Sample: 93-96 Points

JS 95
James Suckling

A bit chewy but shows an impressive intensity of spice, sweet tobacco, and currant character. Full, dense and structured. Muscular for the vintage for Lafite. Tobacco box aftertaste. Some wet earth too.
Barrel Sample: 94-95 Points

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot (harvested between September 3-21), the 2011 Lafite Rothschild came in at 12.6% natural alcohol (considerably lower than in 2010 and 2009). Exhibiting a deep ruby/purple color, lots of crushed rock, red and black currant, forest floor and underbrush characteristics, moderate tannin and medium body, it is built somewhat along the lines of the 1999 and 2001. It should be a 20- to 25-year wine, but it is not at the level of the 2008, 2009 and 2010. Fresh acids give the wine a somewhat more clipped feeling than most great Lafites have exhibited. Nevertheless, there is a lot of freshness and vibrancy to this vintage.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points

ST 92
International Wine Cellar

Good dark red. Very closed nose hints at blackcurrant, licorice, mocha, graphite and spices. Slightly hard-edged in the mouth, with a peppery element to the dark fruit, mineral and spice flavors. Finishes a tad pinched, with palate-saturating tannins verging on dry. This will obviously need time in bottle to smooth out, but I fear that the tannins will always maintain at least a light green streak. Of course I hope I'm wrong, but this doesn't strike me as one of the most successful Lafites of the last ten years.
Barrel Sample: 89-92 Points

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Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

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Chateau Lafite Rothschild, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau Lafite Rothschild
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is perhaps the most famous wine label in the world. 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.

In 1868, Baron James de Rothschild became the owner of Lafite. He was a born dilettante, and it suited him to be the master of what, in 1855, was classified as first among the great wines of Médoc. Today, Baron Eric de Rothschild presides over this most famous Bordeaux estate.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable...

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is often misunderstood by consumers. It is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute critters on the label, though both can certainly be found here. It is impossible to make generalizations about a country this physically massive, but most regions are concentrated in the south of the country and experience either warm, dry weather, or more humid, tropical influence. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing and there is a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision...

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

MORPASLAFITE11_2011 Item# 116387

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