2012 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac
* Cellar Selection * Showing the serious side of Lafite, this is big and dark, powered by tannins as much as fruit. The wood aging is still showing, although that will integrate into the great structure that holds up the ripe black currant fruits. Totally dominated by some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux, this wine has strength while also having great freshness. Drink from 2024.
Superb structure for the vintage with blackcurrants, cedar, mushroom and sweet tobacco character. Full-bodied yet reserved and tight with an impressive density. Long finish. Better in 2020.
This has a dark, smoky edge from the start, with smoldering tobacco and grilled savory notes lining the core of steeped plum, macerated black currant and lightly mulled cherry fruit. Shows a loamy, smoky edge to the finish, with the tobacco hint peeking out. Has admirable range, depth and grip, with just a twinge of the vintage’s austerity lurking. Best from 2018 through 2030.
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.
The 2012 Lafite-Rothschild opens with striking inner perfume. Long and beautifully persistent on the palate, the 2012 is ample and generous, but never heavy. Shades of dark red cherry and plum infusion shape the finish. The 2012 is not an epic Lafite, but it is expressive and delicious today.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Lafite Rothschild, representing only 38% of their total production, is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance mostly Merlot. It is a very stylish, elegant, yet concentrated Lafite Rothschild with an opaque ruby/purple color, soft well-integrated tannins, nice integrated oak, acidity and alcohol. Lafites’s 2012 reveals good, opaque, ruby/purple color and plenty of lead pencil and blackcurrant fruit. The wine is medium-bodied and should hit its prime 2020-2035.
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)