2012 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1128681 95-97 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (4/ 2013)

93-96 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (4/ 2013)

92-95 points 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.  (4/ 2013)

93-94 points James Suckling

 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.  (4/ 2013)

90-93 points 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.  (6/ 2013)

Jancis Robinson

 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.  (4/ 2013)

K&L Notes

*** 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)

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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.