2008 Lafite-Rothschild 750ml

France - Bordeaux - Pauillac | First Growth/ Red / Bordeaux Blend
2008 Lafite-Rothschild
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International Wine Cellar | 93+

Full ruby-red with a purple tinge. Crushed cassis, blackberry, violet, cedar and graphite on the very fresh, complex nose. Juicy, spicy and penetrating, with lovely harmonious acids providing great clarity and cut to the black fruit and graphite flavors. Still youthfully closed and very mineral. Finishes pure and extremely long, with very fine tannins. This may yet turn out to be the wine of the vintage, but it will require patience.

Author: Ian D'Agata
Issue: Issue 157

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Jancis Robinson | 17.5+

Cabernet Sauvignon 83%, Merlot just 13%.Subtle purplish crimson. Sumptuous nose - almost Mouton-like (whereas Mouton seems to be making a more Lafite-like wine in 2008). Richer and riper than some earlier vintages of Lafite with even a hint of sweetness. Medium tannins and a dry finish but not the ballerina-like lift that I associate with Lafite. Not much lift or real aromatic interest - but perhaps we were too hurried through the tasting room to appreciate its finer points? Both Julia and Steven Spurrier tasting alongside me were more enthusiastic.

Drink Dates: 2015-2030
Author: Jancis Robinson


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Wine Advocate | 98-100

The 2008 Lafite Rothschild is one of the most profound young wines I have ever tasted. From a taster's perspective, it is reminiscent of a blend of the 1996 and 2003, but when you compare those vintages analytically, that makes no sense whatsoever. Representing only 40% of the production, this blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc boasts an opaque ruby/purple color (one of the darkest Lafites I have seen in 30 years) as well as an extraordinary, blockbuster aromatic profile of lead pencil shavings, forest floor, black fruits, licorice, and a hint of unsmoked, high-class cigar tobacco. In the mouth, a massive richness is accompanied by a freshness, delineation, nuance, delicacy, and mind-boggling density. Even after three decades of tasting, I am still astonished when tasting such a prodigious wine as this. Full, inky, and rich with creme de cassis and spice box characteristics as well as a length that I stopped measuring after a minute, the wine reveals a sweetness to the tannin and an opulence to the fruit that suggests a hot, sunny vintage, but again, that was not the case. There wasn't a great deal of heat, but there was more sunshine than the negative press reported at the beginning of September. This is a great, great wine. The harvest at Lafite took place between October 1-7 for the Merlot grapes, the Cabernet Franc was picked in mid-October, and the Cabernet Sauvignon between October 7-14 - an unbelievably late harvest for this estate. This wine should evolve for 30-40 years and last 50 or more. As I have indicated before, Lafite's second wine is now one of Bordeaux's finest second wines, and is made very much in the Lafite style.

Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 182

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Wine Spectator | 92

Supple and harmonious already, with inviting, almost plush blackberry, plum and fig fruit notes carried by fine-grained, lightly cedary structure. Black tea and sandalwood flash on the finish. Poised now, but has the stuffing for more time in bottle.

Drink Dates: 2011-2020
Author: James Molesworth


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Score: 94
Author: Miguel L
Trust Rating: 100
Tasted On: 03/31/2009
2008 Barrel sample @ Chateau. All is in control. A pure core of beautifully ripe blueberries, black berries and cassis, picked up on the nose and reinforced in the mid-palate after a soft, round and delicious tip-in. Graphite and leather notes accompany the ripe fruit as great nuances at the finish, which stretches to 50+ seconds. Tannins are smooth, elegant, and well controlled, and still persistent at this stage. Sweet fruit echoes to the end, and remains beautifully balanced. It is not "rich" but it is intensely concentrated and embraces you. Let it sit in the glass 20+ minutes and things really develop - gaining aromatic intensity of cassis, while the body gains weight and power. Concentrated and becoming full-bodied. Beautiful wine at En Primeur. 93-96 points. 83% CS, 13% M, 4% CF. Beautiful tasting room was overrun with all the top Decanter people, laptops deployed. They were in and out fast. (174 views)

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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