2019 Château Lafite-Rothschild (99-100 points, JS)Saturday, June 6
Château Lafite-Rothschild has become the first of the First Growths to release their 2019 vintage this week, with potentially perfect scores and at £2,556 per six bottles in bond, 15% below the 2018 release price.
Any release of this wine is an event. As well as en primeur, we specialise in historic vintages and in most weeks we provide condition reports on vintages of this wine from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and later decades...the phrase 'liquid history' is very apt. The trade and critics are still assessing the ageing potential of the 2019, but Lisa Perotti-Brown MW is impressed by the tannins which she describes as 'unmistakably Lafite' (97-99 points), whilst James Suckling describes them as 'integrated and endless', predicting a potentially perfect score with a barrel range of 99-100 points.
This release price compares well with current market prices of £3,200 for the 2018 and £3,000 for the 2016, but when we factor in the reduced volume in 2019 - just 50% of the normal quantity released - the price seems even more reasonable.
This leaves the issue of allocations. We have extremely limited stock available, so do please let us know as soon as possible if you like to order and we will do our best for you.
Offered En Primeur, landing Spring 2022.
2019 Château Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac 1er Cru Classé
"The 2019 Lafite-Rothschild was picked from 19 September with the Merlots, pausing during a rainy spell and then picked through to 7 October. The blend includes what Eric Kohler calls "outsider" parcels that met the grade, including some of the Merlot on more clayey soils (see introduction) as well as 13.5% vin de presse. Alcohol here is some half a degree lower than many of its peers at around 13.4%. It has a very sensual bouquet, not a common feature in this First Growth, with generous black fruit infused with pencil box, sous-bois and discrete white pepper aromas. The oak is beautifully subsumed by the fruit already. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, rounded tannins that lend this Lafite its creamy femme fatale texture and disguise its backbone. More powerful than expected, this builds in the mouth towards an atypically corpulent, dense finish that seems to "flow" across the senses. There is not a single hair out of place. I can envisage this firming up during its élevage and deserving more bottle age than seemingly appropriate at this juncture. Whatever its drinking plateau turns out to be, it is certainly a wonderful Lafite-Rothschild that pips the 2018 and revels in the growing season. 96-98 points." Neal Martin, Vinous.com
"The 2019 Lafite Rothschild is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 7th of October. Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls effortlessly out of the glass with compelling notions of baked black cherries, ripe blackberries and crème de cassis followed by hints of mocha, licorice, smoked meats and Sichuan pepper with a waft of eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate is at once ethereally graceful and powerfully intense, featuring layer upon layer of profound smoky, savory flavors and decadently ripe fruit, framed by exquisite, silt-like tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with epic length. In terms of flavor profile, this is a surprisingly (atypically) hedonic, forward expression, with notably lower acidity/higher pH (the pH is 3.9). The alcohol is 13.4%, just a tick higher than the 2018 (13.3%). And yet, the tannins here are unmistakably Lafite, featuring all the tannic grace, finesse and densely pixilated poise fans will expect. What an exciting paradox for the palate—bravo! 97-99 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, The Wine Advocate
"Complex aromas of blackcurrants and lead pencil. Incredible. Graphite and tar. Stunning. It’s full-bodied, yet shows such harmony and polish. Elegance and complexity with finesse. The tannins are so integrated and endless. It goes on for minutes. 94% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 1% petit verdot. 99-100 points." James Suckling.