2003 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2003 Lafite Rothschild comes as close to perfection as any of the great Lafites made over the past three decades (1982, 1986, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010). This sensational effort came in at 12.7% natural alcohol, it is made in the style of one of this estate’s great classics, the 1959. Composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it exhibits a dense ruby/purple color to the rim along with a luxurious bouquet of cedarwood, lead pencil shaving, white chocolate, cocoa and cassis. Fat, rich, opulent and full-bodied with low acidity and stunning seductiveness and complexity, this noble wine possesses a bountiful, generous, heady style. It is just coming into its plateau of maturity where it should hold for 20-25 years. This is one of the candidates for the wine of the vintage – make no mistake about that. (RP)
Spicy and rich, with a tobacco and berry character on the nose and palate I love the nose. Full bodied, with soft velvety tannins that give you so much. This goes on and on. Sexy and exciting right now, but leave this for five or six years.
This is a splendid wine. Yes, it is more powerful than the usual aristocratic Lafites, but it still manages to retain a special air of great elegance and presence. The fruits are black, the tannins immensely powerful, the flavors are of black figs, dates, cocoa. At the end, there is a vibrant acidity that shows through, which promises a great life for this great wine. (RV)
Subtle, complex aromas of berries, licorice and currants. Full-bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a long finish. Very well-integrated wine. Lovely stuff. Wonderful length and finesse. Best after 2012. (JS)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Full red-ruby color. Captivating aromas of cassis, cherry, tobacco, mocha, coffee and leather, with a complicating element of dried oregano and thyme. At once silky and penetrating in the mouth, with very firm acids for the vintage giving shape and thrust to the dense flavors of currant, tobacco and iodine. Finishes with broad, dusty tannins and superb persistence... 93(+?)
Château Lafite Rothschild is one of the five first growth Bordeaux, and one of the most famous and collected wines in the world. The vineyard covers 112 hectares and is well-drained and well-exposed, with soil made up of fine deep gravel, mixed with aeolian sand on a subsoil of tertiary limestone. The estate dates back to at least the thirteenth century and has had an amazing and prestigious history to look back upon. 94 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted at Bordeaux Index's "10-Year On" tasting in London. Comparing the wines side by side, the Lafite Rothschild '03 has a similar bouquet to the Latour but perhaps it retains just a little more delineation. It is more understated than Latour but offers lifted pencil shaving scents and hints of sous-bois. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy, sensual entry - layers of red berry fruit, mint, vanilla and white pepper. It is very composed towards the finish, nicely focused and stretches long in the mouth. I appreciate the refinement here, the composure and finesse. Tasted March 2013."