2003 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac

SKU #1025712 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A modern day version of the 1959 Lafite, the 2003 Lafite Rothschild was bottled in mid-May, 2005 after achieving 12.9% natural alcohol - hardly an astonishing figure given the vintage's weather conditions. A combination of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, it represents a ripe version of the essence of Lafite-Rothschild. Dense purple-colored, with classic notes of graphite intertwined with melted licorice, creme de cassis, smoke, and flowers, it reveals extraordinary richness, opulence, power, purity, intensity, and viscosity. Whether this wine will close down or not is questionable as it is somewhat atypical given its sweetness and softness.  (4/ 2006)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (5/ 2006)

96 points James Suckling

 This is rock and roll. So wild, with bright blackberries to blueberries, meat and spices. Full bodied, with soft and silky tannins and a long finish. Notes of grilled meat and exotic fruit on the palate, gamey like lamb. Long and velvety.  (2/ 2011)

96 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (3/ 2006)

93 points 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(+?)  (6/ 2006)

K&L Notes

Château Lafite Rothschild is one of the 5 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 13th century and has had an amazing and prestigious history to look back upon. 94 points Neil 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."

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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 Médoc 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

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
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.