2012 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)
* Cellar Selection * Showing the serious side of Lafite, this is big and dark, powered by tannins as much as fruit. The wood aging is still showing, although that will integrate into the great structure that holds up the ripe black currant fruits. Totally dominated by some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux, this wine has strength while also having great freshness. Drink from 2024.
Superb structure for the vintage with blackcurrants, cedar, mushroom and sweet tobacco character. Full-bodied yet reserved and tight with an impressive density. Long finish. Better in 2020.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The classically styled 2012 exhibits attractive elegance, medium body and outstanding concentration, but not the complexity and depth or prodigious qualities of many other recent Lafites. It is a relatively soft, spicy effort displaying notes of crushed rocks, white chocolate, black currants and graphite. It should be drinkable in 5-8 years and last for two decades.
This has a dark, smoky edge from the start, with smoldering tobacco and grilled savory notes lining the core of steeped plum, macerated black currant and lightly mulled cherry fruit. Shows a loamy, smoky edge to the finish, with the tobacco hint peeking out. Has admirable range, depth and grip, with just a twinge of the vintage’s austerity lurking. Best from 2018 through 2030.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark ruby-red. Aromatic nose combines blackberry, black cherry, minerals, violet, spices and cedar. Fresh and juicy in the mouth, offering clean flavors of dark berries, graphite and cedar but not the flesh of the great vintages. This very fragrant Lafite displays noteworthy energy but turns tougher on the back end, finishing firm and tight, with rather muscular tannins and a vegetal nuance.
91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. Very dense and lustrous. Unusually (for Lafite) intense and creamy; it's almost as though Carruades has assumed Lafite character and Lafite is more Moutonish, almost flamboyant! Dry edge but very savoury and rather lords it over us - see how ripe our Cabernets were! Perhaps the tannins are not the ripest but the fruit certainly is. Classic Pauillac if not exactly classic Lafite. Not quite as 'whole' as Haut-Brion perhaps. 18.5-/20 points.
*** Absolutely perfectly ripe Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. As always, strong and tightly wound. The bright red and purple-hued fruit screams of violets, and the palate is sleek, with great focus and length. The wine is both strong and elegant at the same time without a hint of over-ripeness. 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. (Ralph Sands, K&L Bordeaux expert)