2000 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac
The nose is fresh, bright, and dense. With aromas of violets, minerals, spices, cool stones, mint, dark fruits, and plum skins, this is beautiful. Very much still a baby right now, it needs much more time. This is a wine for the next generation. Finesse and elegance, truly a wine that makes you contemplate life. This is not about power, there is really nothing like it. 93% Cabernet Sauvignon. Do not even think about touching this for another ten years, 2020.
Since taking over this first-growth estate in 1994, director Charles Chevallier has taken the wines from strength to strength. He is now the most capable winemaker of the top estates in the Médoc. This is the best young Lafite I have tasted. A triumph. Subtle aromas of currants, leather, tobacco and cedar-a classic cigar box nose, with plenty of fruit. It's full-bodied, with silky, ripe tannins. This is a wine that completely coats your palate, but caresses it at the same time. Best after 2012.
Perhaps of all the first growths in the totally un-classic 2000, this retains most of the classic Bordeaux. It is certainly almost black in color, while the new wood flavors are very present. But it shows an impressive restraint, leaving the power of the wine to be revealed over the years rather than immediately. This could well be the longest-lived of the Pauillac first growths.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 93.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, the wine still has a dark ruby/purple color and an extraordinarily youthful nose of graphite, black currants, sweet, unsmoked cigar tobacco, and flowers. The wine is rich, medium to full-bodied, but has that ethereal elegance and purity that is always Lafite. I originally predicted that it would first reach maturity in 2011, but I would push that back by 5-7 years now, although it has 50-60 years of life in front of it.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Full medium ruby. Flamboyantly perfumed aromas of cassis, graphite and tobacco, lifted by a floral nuance and stony minerality. Very young and precise but not austere or forbidding. A remarkably rich, silky, seamless Lafite with superb vibrancy for the vintage. Tannins are noble and the aristocratic finishing flavors go on and on.