1982 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac (low neck)

SKU #1029984 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is a denser version of the 1990 that stylistically reminds me of what the young 1959 probably tasted like. Still backward with a deep ruby/plum color revealing only a touch of lightening at the edge, the wine offers up an extraordinary nose of caramelized herbs, smoke, cedar, pen ink, black currants, and earth. The gorgeous aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, plump, rich, fleshy wine with low acidity. With 6-8 hours decanting in a closed decanter, it will offer beautiful drinking, but it needs another 5-8 years to reach full maturity. It is capable of lasting 50-60 years. This classic Lafite is not as fat and concentrated as the 1982 Latour, nor as complex or concentrated as the 1982 Mouton Rothschild, but it is a winner all the same.  (6/2009)

96 points James Suckling

 I am impressed with the loads of ripe fruit with almost dried raspberries and blackberries and a minty undertone on the nose. It's full bodied, with bay leaf, berries that turn to mineral undertones. It's full-bodied, with round tannins and a lingering finish of chocolate, cedar and other woods. I would leave it another three to four years to soften and open just a tiny bit; otherwise, decant three hours in advance.  (11/2010)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full, deep red. Slightly high-toned, highly nuanced nose of currant, roasted meat, cedar, marzipan, smoke and tobacco. Supple on entry, then firmed by sound acids. Still quite unevolved but seems distinctly less deep than the bottle of '59 I tasted alongside it. A rather muscular style of Lafite, finishing with big, tongue-dusting tannins. Drink 2005 through 2030. 93(+?). My second bottle showed a darker red-ruby color; higher-pitched aromas of redcurrant, cedar, orange peel and coconut; a bright, very tight palate impression, with strong acidity contributing to the impression of steely spine; and a very subtle and very long, firmly tannic finish. This bottle seemed even less evolved than the first sample.  (7/2002)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Dark ruby red. Mineral, berry and mint. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. A silky, seductive wine.  (6/2001)

Jancis Robinson

 Rather bluer than the Latour 1982. Quite a youthful looking crimson. Lightish very mineral nose without that much evolution. Very delicate mouthfeel. No observable tannin until the very, very end of the palate. Very fresh and delicate and somehow 'pointed'. Not heavy with a little bit of acidity but all in all closer to the Latour than in most vintages. Dry finish. 18.5/20 points.  (11/2010)

K&L Notes

97+ points Robert Parker: "This is a denser version of the 1990 that stylistically reminds me of what the young 1959 probably tasted like. Still backward with a deep ruby/plum color revealing only a touch of lightening at the edge, the wine offers up an extraordinary nose of caramelized herbs, smoke, cedar, pen ink, black currants, and earth. The gorgeous aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, plump, rich, fleshy wine with low acidity. With 6-8 hours decanting in a closed decanter, it will offer beautiful drinking, but it needs another 5-8 years to reach full maturity. It is capable of lasting 50-60 years." (06/09) 95+ points Stephen Tanzer: "Good full, deep red. Slightly high-toned, highly nuanced nose of currant, roasted meat, cedar, marzipan, smoke and tobacco. Supple on entry, then firmed by sound acids...A rather muscular style of Lafite, finishing with big, tongue-dusting tannins." (Jul/Aug 02) 94 points Wine Spectator: "Dark ruby red. Mineral, berry and mint. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. A silky, seductive wine." (06/01)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

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Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.