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Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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4.7 19 Ratings
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4.7 19 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 100
James Suckling
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.
D 100
Decanter
What I love about the 2016 Lafite is that the sweetness of the fruit comes through even at this early stage. Sweet, ripe blackberry and cassis pulse through the palate behind the tight construction of tension and classicism given by high acidity and plenty of tannins. It has ripeness and a sense of promise but, as is often the case with a young Lafite, it's not giving a lot away and we can expect it to age for many decades perfectly comfortably. Extremely accomplished, one to cherish. Matured in 100% new oak.
JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
On another level and one of the greatest young Bordeaux I’ve ever tasted, the 2016 Lafite-Rothschild is composed of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot raised in new oak. It takes the classic elegance and class of Lafite and turns the dial up to 11, offering a massive, heavenly array of blackcurrants, cedar pencil, graphite, tobacco, and incense aromas and flavors that soar from the glass. Deep, full-bodied, and flawlessly constructed, with perfectly integrated fruit, acidity, and tannins, this is legendary stuff all the way. It will be drinkable in 7-8 years and keep for 50-75 years or more. Along with Mouton, it’s the wine of the vintage from the Médoc. Hats off to director Eric Kohler.
WE 99
Wine Enthusiast
Almost entirely Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine beautifully sums up the density and the richness of this variety in Pauillac. It is impressive, made even more so in this vintage by the ripeness of the tannins, the beautiful, plush fruit and enormous promise. Drink this wine from 2026. Its aging potential is enormous.
Cellar Selection
V 99
Vinous
The 2016 Lafite-Rothschild is a total stunner. Seamless, racy and voluptuous in the glass, the 2016 is even better from bottle than it was from barrel. Once again, I am blown away by the inner sweetness and purity of the fruit. The 2016 is, rich, concentrated and yet also light on its feet, in the way only Lafite can be. Dramatic and ample the 2016 Lafite is a beautifully resonant, super-expressive wine endowed with regal beauty and tremendous overall balance. It will drink well for many years and decades.
RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Lafite Rothschild is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, with 15% of the press wine contributing to the blend this year. Deep purple-black in color, it slowly reveals the most gorgeous perfume of kirsch, lilacs, black raspberries and warm blackcurrants with underlying nuances of cigar box, rose hip tea, cloves, licorice and pencil lead plus a waft of garrigue. Medium-bodied and built like a brick house with a firm yet beautifully ripe, finely pixelated tannic backbone and seamless freshness supporting the amazing intensity of black fruits and floral layers, it finishes very long and provocatively perfumed.
WS 98
Wine Spectator
This offers the best of both sides of Pauillac, with a deep, deep well of dark currant, fig, blackberry and black cherry paste flavors forming a lush side while a series of I-beams made of graphite and iron provide the rigid structure. The two sides meld, pulling in extra sweet tobacco, smoldering cast iron, juniper and savory notes on the finish, leaving a mouthwatering feel. A real stunner. Best from 2025 through 2045.
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Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

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Chateau Lafite Rothschild, France - Other regions
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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 Château Lafite. Today, his daughter Saskia de Rothschild is the head of the Chateau and represents the 6th generation of the rothschild family.

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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.

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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.

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