2003 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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."