2009 Lafite Rothschild

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2009-lafite-rothschild

Wine Critic Reviews for 2009 Lafite Rothschild

This is what the Medoc is all about. The freshness and delicacy of this wine in combination with its serious concentration and firm core are totally stunning. Time has already worked its magic and this is already delicious, but has decades in front of it. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019).

James Suckling | 100 JS
The main reason the 2009 Lafite Rothschild did not receive a perfect score is because the wine has closed down slightly, but it is unquestionably another profound Lafite, their greatest wine since the amazing 2003. Among the most powerful Lafites ever made (it came in at 13.59% alcohol), the final blend was 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot. The selection was incredibly severe with only 45% of the crop being utilized. A tight, but potentially gorgeous nose of graphite, black currants, licorice and camphor is followed by a full-bodied wine revealing the classic elegance, purity and delineated style of Lafite. It is phenomenally concentrated with softer tannins than the 2005, the 2003's voluptuous, broad, juicy personality, and low acidity. There are several vintages that I thought were a replay of their colossal 1959, most notably 1982 and 2003, but 2009 is also one to keep an eye on. It is still extremely youthful and seems slightly more backward than I would have guessed based on the barrel tastings, but it needs 10-15 years of bottle age, and should last for 50+.

Robert Parker | 99+ RP
It displays, as Lafite always does, more of a laid back elegance than Latour, and the difference between the two once again highlights the huge differences in terroir between north and south Pauillac, with the deep gravels here giving finesse, composure, almost nonchalance. It tames with a whisper, bringing you to submission by gently, purposefully and ever so slowly layering one thing on top of another. It has gorgeously pure and precise fruit on the nose, while the palate displays a multitude of flavours, from charcoal to cassis to crushed stone, and yet no one thing dominates. There are a ton of tannins, but they are individually fine, and it's only in retrospect that you realise how many of them there are. The tone of Lafite is speaking over the vintage, and it's going to run and run. Drinking Window 2024 - 2046.

Decanter | 98 DEC
This is stunning for its ability to take massively endowed fig, currant paste and crushed plum fruit flavors and harness them with ultrasuave freshly roasted espresso, black tea and ganache notes. A seductive style, long and velvety, with the dense core of black fruit and smoldering iron just waiting and waiting. Best from 2020 through 2040.

Wine Spectator | 98 WS
The 2009 Lafite-Rothschild is quite high-toned and expressive on the nose, perhaps the most ostentatious of the top flight 2009s with upfront black cherry and boysenberry fruit, lavish new oak and touches of violet. The palate is sleek and satin-like in feel with copious dark cherry and boysenberry fruit, fig and dates, almost honeyed in texture towards the precocious finish that has an opulent bent, almost hedonistic, unusual for this First Growth. But it is kinda irresistible. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.

Vinous Media | 96 VM
A powerful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, solid in structure. The wine is rich and concentrated, very textured. Great spice go with just enough fresh acidity, in this big wine.

Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE
(Château Lafite-Rothschild) The 2009 Lafite-Rothschild is a beautifully crafted wine that is all poise and seduction. This is the world’s ultimate luxury wine these days, and while the style has changed rather dramatically from the great Lafites of the decade of the 1980s, there is little here to complain about, as everything is done as perfectly as is humanly possible. The bouquet is deep and stunning, as it soars from the glass in a blaze of cassis, blackberries, coffee, tobacco smoke, a great base of gravelly soil tones and a generous coating of nutty, smoky new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, very suave and utterly complex, with a great core of pure fruit, moderate, refined tannins and stunning length and grip on the utterly seamless and completely seductive finish. This wine is crafted like a truly great Swiss watch, and consequently it offers up unprecedented accessibility at a very young age for those that will not be able to defer gratification, but it is so poised and beautifully balanced that it will also have no difficulty aging for many, many decades. Whether one prefers the old style of Lafite that took decades to really blossom or this new style that is the ultimate in seduction from the start is really just a matter of personal taste. There is certainly nothing in the makeup of the 2009 that is anything but exemplary in nature, and this is a beautiful wine. (Drink between 2020-2075).

John Gilman | 93-95 JG

Wine Details on 2009 Lafite Rothschild

More Information
Producer Chateau Lafite Rothschild
Region Bordeaux: Even among the greatest and most reputable wine regions on the planet, Bordeaux stands above the rest. The winemakers of this region have a single-minded dedication to the fine art of viticulture and their efforts never fail to show. If you consider yourself a fine wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to visit Bordeaux - life changing. Whether you wish to drink some inspirational and gripping wine as soon as possible, or you want to add some masterpieces to your collection, no region on Earth is a more obvious choice.

The noble and beautiful Garonne and Dordogne rivers surge through southwestern France, enriching the soil in a way very few other places can boast. The limestone-based earth is rich in calcium, and the almost oceanic climate conditions give the staple Bordeaux grape varietals vigor and flavor like nowhere else. For their illustrious reds, Bordeaux winemakers rely on a proven combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Meanwhile, a sip of their excellent white wine hints at the use of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.Each of these varietals carries a unique identity, making every quality wine a character piece to rival Citizen Kane. It can be incredibly hard to choose only a few wines to collect for your cellar!
Country France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.
Type of Wine Bordeaux Red: Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend: The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.

Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.

For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.

Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.

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