2012 Ch. Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac

2012 Ch. Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Lafite Rothschild | Code: 17273 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > Pauillac | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Full Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

Prices: 

BBX

Bottle 3 x 75cl

1cs

£975.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

3cs

£2,040.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£2,200.00

New To BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

3cs

£2,398.00

New To BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£2,530.00

See All Listings

Scores and Reviews

BBR

18/20

DECANTER

18.5/20

JANCIS

18.5/20

PARKER

92-95/100

WS

93-96/100

DECANTER - Vibrant fruit from 91% Cabernet, not yet expressive but all the firm elegance of Lafite for a very good future.
Steven Spurrier, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. Very dense and lustrous. Unusually (for Lafite) intense and creamy; it's almost as though Carruades has assumed Lafite character and Lafite is more Moutonish, almost flamboyant! Dry edge but very savoury and rather lords it over us – see how ripe our Cabernets were…! Perhaps the tannins are not the ripest but the fruit certainly is. Classic Pauillac if not exactly classic Lafite. Not quite as 'whole' as Haut-Brion perhaps.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 24 Apr 2013

PARKER - The classically styled 2012 exhibits attractive elegance, medium body and outstanding concentration, but not the complexity and depth or prodigious qualities of many other recent Lafites. It is a relatively soft, spicy effort displaying notes of crushed rocks, white chocolate, black currants and graphite. It should be drinkable in 5-8 years and last for two decades.

Charles Chevalier was candid in saying that the tropical heat wave, along with the poor flowering resulted in intense labor in the vineyard and during the harvest where triage was the operative word, and had to be done thoroughly and consistently. The 2012 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot, was the result of a harvest that took place between September 28 and October 9 for the Merlot, October 9-16 for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The small amount of Cabernet Franc included in the Carruades de Lafite was harvested on October 11 - 12. Only 38% of the production made it into the grand vin. If the 2012 fills out completely it could turn out similar to the 1998 Lafite.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - Tightly drawn, with a firm, toasty edge framing the core of plum skin, red currant and black cherry fruit. A taut mix of beet, anise and bay chimes in on the finish, showing a touch of astringency. The ample flesh and length should fill this out in time. Tasted non-blind.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Story

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Producer

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Château Lafite Rothschild is one of the most renowned wine properties in the Médoc. Owned by Baron Eric de Rothschild and Lafite Rothschild is also one of the largest Médoc estates.

The vineyards of Ch. Lafite are found at the northern tip of the Pauillac appellation, just below the boundary with St. Estephe. There is evidence of an estate on this site as far back as the 14th century, and of exports of wine to the UK in the early 17th century. The current owners, the Rothschilds of the famous banking dynasty, bought the property in 1866, but this is a different brand of the family from that which purchased Ch. Mouton-Rothschild. For many years the Rothschilds’ control of Lafite was very much exercised at a distance, compared to the hands-on influence of Baron Philippe at Mouton, but since the Second World War this has changed somewhat, with the current owner, Eric de Rothschild, presiding over an extensive programme of investment in both vineyard and cellar.

With a base largely of gravel the vineyard is unsurprisingly dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon (71%) with the balance comprising Merlot (25%) Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (1%). Grapes are hand-harvested, and vinified parcel by parcel. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats, after which the wine is run off into barrels, 100% new for Lafite itself, a mixture of new and one-year-old barrels for the second wine.

The Grand Vin volume varies greatly according to the vintage, but is frequently less than half the total crop, and is usually no more than 20,000 cases. The second wine, Carruades de Lafite, has a slightly higher percentage of Merlot than Lafite and is in consequence more approachable in youth. Up to 30,000 cases are made. Wine deemed not worthy of inclusion in Carruades is sold off as generic Pauillac.

Throughout the 20th century Lafite was dogged by periods of inconsistency, often producing sublime wines but also failing to live up to its billing in other years. Since 1994, however the estate has been under the control of Charles Chevallier, and he has brought about not just an admirable level of consistency but has also been responsible for some truly brilliant wines often vying for the title of “Wine of the Vintage”.

In style thw wines of Lafite are often described as having a perfumed elegance and finesse, to contrast with the more masculine power and structure of Latour or the more exotic and intense flavours of Mouton. What is sure, however, is that at its best it represents a hedonistic experience for the consumer, and has the ability to age, in great years, for minimally 50 years and often longer.

Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

Region

Pauillac

Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.

For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.

Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.

Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.

Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.

Recommended Châteaux
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.

Storage Details
 
Storage in BB&R Warehouses
 

  Wines bought from Berry Bros. & Rudd can be stored
in our temperature controlled warehouses.
We can only accept orders for unmixed cases.
Storage Charges:
£12.00 (inc. VAT)
per case per annum
Customer Reserves For wines purchased In Bond,
Duty & VAT charges become payable upon withdrawing from your reserves.
BBX wines can only be bought In Bond.
More information on wine storage
£10.20 (inc. VAT)
per case per annum
for Cellar Plan Members
Customer Reviews
Questions And Answers