2012 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)
Barrel sample. Full and powerfully concentrated, this wine has dense acidity, sweet black fruits and very fine tannins. The concentration is enormous but it expresses itself through the prism of smooth, velvet-textured tannins.
Tightly drawn, with a firm, toasty edge framing the core of plum skin, red currant and black cherry fruit. A taut mix of beet, anise and bay chimes in on the finish, showing a touch of astringency. The ample flesh and length should fill this out in time.
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 is beautiful for the vintage. Full body and very tender with fine tannins and a pretty finish. Attractive currant, cedar, and sweet tobacco character. More delicate than the 2011.
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)