1996 Lafite-Rothschild 1.5L

France - Bordeaux - Pauillac | First Growth/ Red / Bordeaux Blend
1996 Lafite-Rothschild
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International Wine Cellar | 96+

($335-$346) Full, deep ruby, by far the darkest of these vintages. Knockout nose of great precision: cassis, black cherry, lead pencil, licorice, dried herbs and mint. Densely packed and extremely unevolved; a powerfully structured wine with uncanny precision and penetration. Finishes with powerful, firm tannins and exceptional mounting persistence. An infant, but a great Northern Medoc '96 in the making.

Drink Dates: 2015-2040
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 103

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Jancis Robinson | 18.5

Looks (and tastes) SO much much younger and more purple than the Lafite 1995. Quite aromatic, very rich and ripe. Seductive. Very smooth. Almost formless for the tannins are well in retreat. Solid stuff that still has a way to go. Slightly inky. Much younger and more angular than the 1995. But it should come out of its shell very elegantly.

Drink Dates: 2020-2050
Author: Jancis Robinson


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Wine Advocate | 100

Tasted three times since bottling, the 1996 Lafite-Rothschild is unquestionably this renowned estate's greatest wine. As I indicated last year, only 38% of the crop was deemed grand enough to be put into the final blend, which is atypically high in Cabernet Sauvignon (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot). This massive wine may be the biggest, largest-scaled Lafite I have ever tasted. It will require many years to come around, so I suspect all of us past the age of fifty might want to give serious consideration as to whether we should be laying away multiple cases of this wine. It is also the first Lafite-Rothschild to be put into a new engraved bottle (designed to prevent fraudulent imitations). The wine exhibits a thick-looking, ruby/purple color, and a knock-out nose of lead pencil, minerals, flowers, and black currant scents. Extremely powerful and full-bodied, with remarkable complexity for such a young wine, this huge Lafite is oozing with extract and richness, yet has managed to preserve its quintessentially elegant personality. This wine is even richer than it was prior to bottling. It should unquestionably last for 40-50 years. The wine of the vintage?

Drink Dates: 2012-2050
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 122

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Wine Spectator | 96

Impressively dark in color, with mineral, mint and black currant aromas that hint also of spices and cedar. Full-bodied, with very firm tannins and a silky texture, this top Bordeaux goes on and on on the palate. One of the most solid Lafites in recent history.

Drink Dates: 2002+
Author: James Suckling


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Vinfolio | 

Drink Dates: 2011-2045
Author: Vinfolio Team


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Score:
Author: Tallydoc
Trust Rating: 92
Tasted On: 08/11/2010
Drink Dates: 2012-2050
Score: 100
Author: gm
Trust Rating: 45
Tasted On: 06/13/2009
Drink Dates: 2012-2050

0 of 2 people found this review useful.

Score: 100
Author: winefolio
Trust Rating: 81
Tasted On: 03/04/2009
Score: 100
Author: dave1161
Trust Rating: 14
Tasted On: 12/24/2008

0 of 1 people found this review useful.

About This Producer


Chateau Lafite-Rothschild is one of the Bordeaux First Growths in Pauillac, and possesses a long history of exceptional quality. In the 17th century, the vineyards were owned by Alexandre de Segur, also proprietor of Chateau Latour. After the French revolution, the chateau was purchased by several Dutch merchants before the current owners, the Rothschild family, acquired it in 1868.

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild is one of the largest Medoc estates, producing 15,000 to 25,000 cases per year. The grand vin is composed primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon (up to 95%) with the balance divided between Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. 1994 and 1961 are exceptions, however, and consist of 99% and 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, respectively. Part of the estate's production goes to its second wine called Carruades de Lafite (previously names Moulin des Carruades) which is produced from up to 70% Cabernet, with a larger proportion of Merlot. The best vintages of Lafite include 1918, 1846, 1945, 1947, 1959, 1961, 1982, 1990, 2000, 2003, and 2005. Lafite has a balanced elegance supported by the structure of its tannins. It is both full-bodied and silky. Aromas include currant, leather, graphite and tobacco. As Lafite ages, it reveals more minerals, as well as almond, violet, and cedar.

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See other similar producers: Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Petrus, Chateau Cos D'Estournel

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