2013 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1158995 94-96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Barrel Sample. This wine has firm tannins, lending it a dark, serious character. It is hugely concentrated, full of black fruit and sweet wood flavors. Along with the weight, it does have a more elegant side, showing potential balance, freshness and a long finish.  (4/ 2014)

90-93 points Antonio Galloni

 The 2013 Lafite hits the palate with a burst of dark red and purple fruit. White flowers, mint and licorice all develop in the glass, adding layers of depth and complexity. Smoke, tar, cinnamon, graphite, dried violets and plums are all layered into the resonant finish. The style is up-front, textured and generous, with no hard edges and plenty of near to medium-term potential. The blend is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. Tasted twice.  (4/ 2014)

92-93 points James Suckling

 This is exceptionally high in Cabernet Sauvignon at 98% with only 2% Merlot. It shows aromas of black currants and flowers and cigar box. It’s full body, with fine tannins and a long finish. It’s subtle and polished.  (4/ 2014)

89-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (98% cabernet sauvignon and 2% merlot): Medium red-ruby. Very precise, pure, flinty raspberry and coffee aromas are complicated by an intense violet note. Then almost steely in the mouth, with a bright, juicy personality to the flavors of red berries, plum, graphite and minerals. This struck me as quite mouthfilling without being at all heavy. Finishes with building but smooth tannins and a lovely lingering strawberry sweetness. General director Charles Chevalier said "I went looking for fruit this year by harvesting as late as feasible, which of course meant that due to rot we made even less wine than projected, but I think we were able to achieve more fruit in this manner. I may have to decrease the time this wine will spend aging in oak but I don't know yet." When I mentioned to Chevallier that I couldn't remember the last time a vintage of Lafite had so much cabernet sauvignon, he promptly answered: "Few people know, but in 1994 the final blend was an unbelievable 99% cabernet sauvignon and 1% petit verdot; this year we just had to get rid of most of the merlot, because even at 3% or 4% of the total it was obviously only diluting the whole."  (6/ 2014)

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By: Alex Pross |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 5/14/2014  | Send Email
*** to ***½ For me this is always one of the toughest wines to taste En Primeur since it typically shows very monolithically. Dark and brooding, its initial aromas of burnt earth slowly fall away to reveal black cherry cola and blackberry with notes of milk chocolate. It displayed good fruit, length and nice tannin structure, ending fresh and bright. This is one of the more accessible Lafites I have tasted En Primeur.

By: Trey Beffa |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 5/1/2014  | Send Email
98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot make up the 2013 Lafite blend. Though somewhat closed, the barrel sample showed upfront cedar, minerals and lead pencil flavors. The wine was balanced, with a dry finish. This is not a huge Lafite, but should be a good cellar candidate for the short to mid term. 91-93 points.

Additional Information:

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.