Reviews & Scores
A wine worthy of superlatives, the 2005 Lafite showed incredible concentration yet a superb balance. The lovely blackcurrant and plum fruit shows a fragrant floral edge, hints of oak spice, and a firm, earthy underpinning. The texture is superbly elegant, with a lovely freshness and a lilting, silky finish, yet it does not lack a tannic grip, and the finish is satisfyingly long. Near perfection. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot with just a drop of Petit Verdot, aged in new casks.
The 2005 Lafite-Rothschild is a gorgeous wine, but it is also very young. Readers lucky enough to own it will find a very classic, gracious Lafite-Rothschild that still needs a few years to be at its best. Bright red-toned fruit, crushed rocks, mint and licorice open first, followed by darker aromas and flavors that develop as the wine gains volume with air. Tasted next to its peers, Lafite is so typical of itself and less marked by the year. And that is one of the signs of a truly great terroir. Lafite-Rothschild is not as showy as many other wines in this vintage, but it is so true to its own identity, and that is the highest compliment I can pay it. The 2005 is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, done in 100% new oak, which is not at all noticeable. At the time, the Cabernet percentage was quite high, but that has now become the norm.
This was the star of the tasting for pure, inherent quality -- a truly glorious wine that will presumably continue to impress those lucky enough to taste it for many decades to come. Very dark, shaded crimson. The most gorgeous panoply of aromas on the nose -- not yet knit but just starting to integrate. Exceptionally promising. Absolutely marvellous wine that was extremely difficult to spit. Fresh but ripe with great life and energy. The density of fruit covered the considerable charge of tannin. Such verve! So healthy. Some pure stoniness on the mid palate.
Having tasted the 2005 Château Lafite-Rothschild several times both blind and non-blind, it comes across as a First Growth politely requesting more time to 'settle'. Here, from an ex-château bottle tasted in Bordeaux, it delivers that graphite, pencil-box bouquet that unfurls gradually in the glass, biding its time, graceful but not intense. Parallel to some of its fellow 2005s, it is developing a little more spice, namely thyme and sage, than I recall. The palate is medium-bodied and beautifully balanced, to wit, a sophisticated Pauillac that priorities elegance and poise over intensity of fruit—in keeping with Lafite Rothschild's style. You come away with the sense that it will take its time and decline, giving away a great deal in its primacy, even if it is still more approachable than the 2005 Latour for example. Therefore, I would be inclined to set this aside for several more years.
An incredible nose, so subtle with red fruits, mint, minerals, and all sorts of flowers give way to Cohiba cigar tobacco. The palate has such freshness and density, with perfectly polished tannins. Slightly leathery, like a wonderful Hermes bag. What a wine, please leave this for another ten years.
Initially dense, almost black enough to be attacked with a knife. But then it becomes apparent that this is a beautifully integrated, balanced wine, bringing together power, with the hallmark Lafite style and poise. In the end, you have a wine that promises an impressive aging potential along with delicious black currant fruits, acidity and a layer of striking tannins. *Cellar Selection*
Knockout nose combines black- and redcurrant, minerals, graphite, licorice and lavender. Wonderfully suave and seamless, but with great purity and precision of flavor and terrific inner-palate perfume and lift. This dances over every square millimeter of the palate. Almost painfully young today, with an impression of fresh acidity serving to intensify the wine's flavors. About as austere a wine as I tasted from this vintage in April and yet it's not hard. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and a whiplash of minerally perfume. I'd forget about this one for about 15 years.
Delivers blackberry, dried porcini, tobacco and licorice aromas. Full-bodied, with layers of velvety tannins and loads of dark chocolate, cigar box, currant, berry and mineral. The finish is long, with a coffee, almost meaty, aftertaste. Very beautiful and balanced.